Here’s a thing that happened.
Last year, Mr. Pedantic and I went to Canada and it was one of the worst weeks of our married life. After arriving at our spurious Airbnb at 11pm only to immediately find ourselves back on the sketchy streets of a midnight Montreal, we proceeded to tour the “enchanting” French-inspired city only to discover that online travel guides could be very deceiving. Let’s just say that the casinos far out-numbered the croissants… Our grand finale took place in a crowded tunnel where our vehicle was sandwiched between three other cars in a mildly terrifying four-car collision.
Yeah, it was fun.
We walked away from Canada vowing never to return (apologies to my Canadian friends but some impressions just cannot be erased), stronger as a couple, and with a newfound passion for the very best part of our somewhat tragic trip - poutine.
So, nearly one year later, I am here to share my “perfected” version and I like to think it is the best game day food ever.
Let’s start with a bottle of your favorite ale and a slow cooker. Things are already looking pretty good.
This slow cooker pork is incredible. Like, so, so good. It amazes me just how much flavor it has when it is so simple to throw together, and I secretly love eating it straight from the slow cooker. But, it is extra incredible when served on french fries, covered in gravy, and topped with melted cheese curds. Ohhhh yes…
Speaking of this gravy, nothing could be simpler. After your pork has cooked until it falls apart into tender, ale-bathed shreds, measure out two cups of the cooking liquid. Just look at this gorgeous amber hue!
Bring the broth to a slow simmer in a large saucepan, and shake together a bit of water and cornstarch in a small jar - this is called a slurry.
The slurry is whisked into the simmering broth and simmered until it is thick and smooth.
Next, it is time to assemble. You can do this one serving at a time or make one big sheet pan of poutine - it is entirely up to you!
Broil until the curds have begun to melt and then get ready for the most wonderful carb-loaded fantasy.
How dreamy is this situation?!
It is hearty, full of flavor, and really so much fun to eat.
Just watch out for wandering forks. Mr. Pedantic is notorious for stealing all the cheese curds. Not cool.
Can I go on a poutine diet from now until Thanksgiving?
SLOW COOKER PORK & ALE POUTINE
FOR THE SLOW-COOKER PORK
Cook's Note: This will make more pork than you need for the poutine. However, it is delicious on sandwich buns or aside mashed potatoes.
medium-sized boneless pork loin roast (1.75-2lbs)
1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered
2 cups water
12 ounces your favorite pale ale (I use Trader Joe’s brand “Trader Jose pale ale)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Combine pork loin and onion in the bowl of your slow-cooker. Cover with water, ale, and kosher salt.
Place the lid on the slow-cooker and set to high heat. Cook for 7 hours, until the pork is fork-tender. Shred with a fork, then strain the pork, pouring the broth into a large jar.
Cook’s Note: You can make this pork the day before you plan on making the poutine, just be sure to strain and reserve the broth in a separate jar before the pork cools, otherwise the cooking liquids will coagulate.
GRAVY & POUTINE ASSEMBLY
1 lb 10 ounces frozen french fries
2 cups reserved pork broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons filtered water
freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces white cheddar cheese curds
3 cups shredded pork
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the fries evenly over the pan in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes; until crisp and golden.
While the french fries bake, prepare the gravy.
Pour the reserved pork broth into a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.
In a small cup, combine cornstarch and water. Whisk to form a slurry. Slowly whisk the slurry into the simmering broth and continuing whisking until the gravy has thickened. Remove from heat and season with black pepper.
Divide the french fries amongst two or four oven-safe containers. Cover with cheese curds, shredded pork, and the prepared gravy.
Place the containers under your oven's broiler for 5-7 minutes; until the cheese curds have melted slightly.
Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.