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Now before you go all judgey on me and say that real poutine is fries, gravy and cheese curd…period!, I happen to know after living almost twenty years in Frenchland (Quebec) , there are many ways to skin a poutine. A gazillion ways!
For me, this whole poutine thing started two years ago when we sailed our boat R.E.D. to the Gaspe area of the Saint Lawrence River from Montreal (sailingred). One of our most memorable stops was Tadoussac where we ordered a couple of pints and the Bistro Poutine at the Marina. A very traditional mix prepared with real homemade fries, fresh cheese curd (and by fresh I mean that wonderful squeaky-with-every-bite-cheese curd) and the most heavenly gravy I have ever tasted. So sublime that we went back three times for a repeat performance.
Then there was another time when friends from Rhode Island drove all the way up to Canada-land to join us on our little adventure for a couple of days. They had never tasted poutine of any sort so one day we drove to Matane, Quebec just to order their world famous shrimp poutine – fries, white sauce, very squeaky cheese curd all piled with fresh local shrimp. Other than a lighthouse, some spectacular vistas and the shrimp there wasn’t a lot extra to draw us there but it was worth the drive to spend time with our friends.
Still dreaming of that first heavenly experience I once ordered poutine pizza at one of our favourite watering holes. Tasty it was!
So fast forward to where we are now. East coast Canada and I stunble onto the idea of Shepherd’s Pie Poutine. Fries I can do. Shepherd’s Pie for sure (some of my recipes here, here, and here). Gravy, yes (my fave recipe here). But the cheese curd that I could easily find in its freshest form in any food market worth its salt in Quebec, not at all common here. I did find some but a supplier from away. Surely there is someone local.
For a repeat performance I used some freshly grated mozzarella which worked very well.
I’m seeing some lobster poutine maybe in our future. Maybe, but why would I fiddle with this gift from the sea gods in its already perfect form? But then again, why not? As my son-in-law says: “gravy, cheese and beer together on anything is never a bad thing”.
Thanks to Strawberry Blondie Kitchen for the inspiration