Poutine is a Canadian dish originating from rural Quebec sometime in the 1950s, although its exact origins are unclear. The traditional rendition that is popular amongst restaurants, pubs, and street food vendors throughout Canada consists of french fries topped with fresh cheese curds, which are just slightly melted by pouring hot brown gravy over the fries. This recipe is a variation on that theme, using lobster meat and a gravy that is made with lobster stock base. Lobster stock can be purchased online or can be acquired by freezing used shellfish parts until enough material is accumulated to make a stock. Fish stock or clam stock can also be substituted if lobster stock is difficult to obtain. The lobster meat, while aesthetically pleasing and delicious, is an optional inclusion to this dish – the name lobster poutine refers to the flavor of the gravy.
- 3-4 Russet potatoes
- 1 can of lobster stock or other seafood stock.
- ½ stick (4 tbsp) of butter
- 4 tbsp of flour
- Heavy cream
- 1 lobster (optional)
- ¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese
- Cooking oil, for frying or tossing
- Minced parsley
If using lobster meat, cleanly kill one lobster by making a deep sagittal incision 3″ down the midline of the head. Butcher the lobster and extract meat from the claws, tails, and legs. Alternatively, flash boil the lobster in a large stockpot for 30-60 seconds and rinse with cold water before extracting the meat. Sauté the meat in butter and any desired aromatics until fully cooked. If preparing in advance, the meat can be parcooked and sautéd just prior to serving.
Slice potatoes into disks, and cut evenly sized fries. Soak in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
Bake the fries by lightly tossing them in a few tbsp of cooking oil and arrange them in a monolayer on 1-2 baking sheets. Bake at 450F for 50 minutes until crisp and golden brown, turning the fries once halfway through. Alternatively, heat 3″ of cooking oil in a heavy pot or dutch oven to 325 – 375F, and fry the potatoes until golden brown, about 3-5 min.
Meanwhile, melt ½ stick (4 tbsp) butter with 4 tbsp of flour and cook to a blonde roux over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes.
Whisk in one can of lobster stock, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, & ground mustard, and enrich with a splash of heavy cream. Keep the sauce warm until assembling the fries and cheese curds.
Arrange fries in a dish, crumble feta over the fries, pour hot sauce over the fries to melt the curds, and garnish with lobster meat, if desired, and chopped parsley or basil.