Eddie Sahm’s Pork Poutine
Straight talk: this isn’t a recipe you can whip up in 20 minutes on a weeknight. The work on this dish starts 12 to 24 hours before you plan to serve it. Poutine is delicious and unique, but it’s labor intensive. The good news is that it’s worth it. Crispy fries at home with a little gravy and crispy pork belly? That’s time well spent. (Important: Read through the entire recipe before you begin, because some elements need to be prepped a day in advance.)
- 3 russet potatoes
- 2–3 pounds pork belly
- (1) 16-oz bag Wisconsin cheese curds (available in most major grocery stores)
- (1) 32-oz carton store-bought beef bone broth (or four cups homemade)
- 4 tablespoons red wine
- (1) 1.5-oz package “More than Gourmet” classic French demi-glace (available in the soup/stock aisle of most grocers)
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon plus ½ cup kosher salt, divided
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup whole black peppercorns
- 2 star anise pods
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- Three scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped
Prepare the pork belly:
- Brine the pork belly overnight in the refrigerator by placing it in an 8-quart pot and adding four quarts of water, ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup kosher salt, ¼ cup whole black peppercorns, and 2 star anise pods.
- After the overnight brine, remove the pork belly from the pot (leaving the brining liquid in there), and pan sear it whole, over medium-high heat, in a large skillet. Put the pork belly back in the brine, cover with lid, and cook in the oven at 325 degrees for two hours. Remove from brine and allow to cool. Cut into ¼-inch strips and pan sear until golden brown and crispy. Set aside.
Prepare the gravy:
- To make a roux with the flour and butter, melt butter over medium heat. Add ½ cup flour and whisk until well combined. Add rest of flour and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Bring beef bone broth to simmer over medium-high heat. Add Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and butter/flour roux. Stir over medium heat until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Make the fries:
- Cut the potatoes, skin on, into quarter-inch slices and soak overnight in the refrigerator in water. (You can soak the potatoes in water for as little as an hour, but an overnight soak will result in a crispier fry.)
- Fry the potatoes in canola or soybean oil at 250 degrees for seven minutes. Let rest seven minutes, then cook again for seven minutes. Cool. Cook a third time at 350 degrees until the fries are crispy.
Assemble the Poutine:
- Place the French fries in a large pan or baking sheet and top with cheese curds. Place under broiler until cheese curds just begin to melt and bubble. Remove from oven and top with gravy, crispy pork belly, and chopped scallions.