This Americanized poutine involves five of my most favorite ingredients combined: beer, short ribs, gravy, cheese and french fries. It is the closest thing to meal perfection.
Tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef short ribs are the real star of this poutine. Recently I made beer braised short ribs and served them over creamy garlic mashed potatoes. It took three hours to make and three minutes to devour. The moment was so short, and once I realized it I wished I would have slowed down and savored my hard earned meal.
I followed the same recipe here except instead of using Stone’s Smoked Porter, I used Flat12 Bierwerk’s Pogue’s Run Porter. Both add so much flavor to the beef.
Poutine-realists will chastise my use of English white cheddar cheese as a replacement for cheese curds. Nobody said I do things “traditionally” around here.
But sadly cheese curds were nowhere to be found at Kroger, Fresh Market, or O’Malias. Had I prepared better I would have called Traders Point Creamery or talked to my local farmer friends to find out where to get them. But… once I had poutine on the mind, I refused to let cheese curds whey me down.
Farmer’s cheese and large curd cottage cheese were two alternatives suggested by a few online communities, but I don’t care for cottage cheese and John doesn’t care for goat cheese, and without having tried farmer’s cheese before I wasn’t interested in spending $11 for a large block of it. (Reminder, I already spent $13 on a little more than 2 pounds of beef short ribs).
An English white cheese caught my eye, and at $4 for a small block that was slightly soft but firm seemed like a better bet. It was easy to cut and then crumble with your fingers to break up the cheese.
And then there was the gravy. The last time I made short ribs I attempted to create a gravy from the stock and beer that the ribs cooked in. Bad idea. It was so bitter and salty from the strong flavors of the beer. Instead I created a mock beef gravy from beef stock that was savory and enhanced the flavor of the beer braised short ribs.
Assembling the poutine was simple. Place a layer of french fries down on a plate and top with shredded short ribs, cheese crumbles and as much gravy as you damn well please. Then you dig in.
*Use cheese curds if you can find them. If you can’t, or don’t want to, try farmer’s cheese, large curd cottage cheese, or my choice of English white cheddar cheese.
Beer Braised Short Rib Poutine
- 4 tbsp bacon fat
- 4-5 beef short ribs, about 2 pounds
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 shallots, diced
- 2 12-oz bottles of dark beer, preferably a porter or stout (I used Flat12 Bierwerk’s Pogue’s Run Porter)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- Crispy French fries
- 4 oz English white cheddar cheese*
For the gravy:
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.
To make the short ribs: In an oven safe dish (like a dutch oven), heat bacon fat over medium high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper on all sides. Dust with flour until each side is coated.
Brown in the bacon fat over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
Cook the scallions in the grease for one minute. Add the beer, beef stock and dried thyme and bring to a boil. Place the short ribs in the pot. Cover with foil and let cook for 2 hours. Turn the heat down to 325 and cook for another half hour.
Remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the cooking liquid.
Clean the short ribs of fat and bones. Shred some of the meat with forks to break it up. It will be tender and fall apart.
To make the gravy: In a medium size saucepan, heat butter over medium high heat. Add the flour and whisk, cooking for 2 minutes.
Add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, for 5 minutes. Gravy will thicken upon standing but it is a light, saucy gravy that will soak into the french fries at the bottom of you plate.
Layer shredded short ribs over prepared crispy French fries. Crumble cheese over the beef, and pour hot gravy on top to warm the cheese.