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Photo by Barry Courter / In this poutine, a wine-simmered beef chuck roast is served with cheese curds over fries.

BARRY: It's a funny word, no doubt, but poutine as a meal has so much going for it.

Supposedly, it was created in the 1950s in Quebec when a Le Lutin Qui Rit customer asked the chef to add cheese curds to his fries. His translated response: "That's going to make a dreadful mess."

I heard about it at a music festival and upon taking my first bite declared it to be the perfect hangover food. It's the ultimate blend of potatoes, rich gravy, cheese and anything else that inspires you. When I raved about it to Kelley, she was kind of "Meh."

KELLEY: It's just gravy over fries with cheese curds, or so I thought. My daughter mentioned that her 2 1/2-year-old had it while in Florida and loved it, so I revisited it. At its most basic, it is simple, but you can serve it all kinds of ways.

BARRY: The first dish I had featured mushrooms in a white garlic sauce, and it was amazing. This version was also very good.

KELLEY: Well, the toughest critic, the grandbaby, loved it and ate quite a bit of it. We used a thicker, frozen fry and not the shoestring or crinkle fries, and I baked them in the oven instead of deep-frying them. I did have to look around for the cheese curds and eventually found them at Publix, but Earth Fare carries them from time to time as well. The gravy is also not super thick, so the fries will absorb it a little bit.

BARRY: There wasn't any left over is all I know.

 

some text Photo by Barry Courter / In this poutine, a wine-simmered beef chuck roast is served with cheese curds over fries.

Poutine

1 1/2 pound beef chuck roast

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 carrots, halved

1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 quart low-sodium beef broth

3/4 cup red wine

Few grinds of black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

Seer beef on all sides until golden. Add all remaining ingredients to crock pot. Place beef on top of vegetables. Cook on high 4-6 hours. Remove meat, and shred. Drain broth, and place in refrigerator so any fat congeals. Let this sit in refrigerator for a couple of hours.

For gravy: Melt butter, stir in flour and cook on low to make your roux. Add the reserved broth, and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes. Add beef, and simmer for another 5 minutes. To serve, place hot fries on plate. Sprinkle with cheese curds, and top with gravy. Garnish with chopped chives and fresh ground pepper.

Contact Barry and Kelley Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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