The fresher the cheese curds, the better they'll be. If you can't find local, fresh curds, order them from Ellsworth Co-op Creamery at ellsworthcheesecurds.com, or substitute kasseri cheese cubes. Kasseri, a salty Greek cheese, comes close to imitating the texture of curds. (Cheddar will work but won't add texture like the curds.) Oven-frying the potatoes in duck fat adds a rich, meaty flavor and gives them a gorgeously crisp texture. Look for duck fat in specialty markets, or order from amazon.com.
2 tablespoons duck fat
2 pounds baking potatoes, cut into 4 x 1/4-inch strips (about 3 medium)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
6 ounces 50% less-fat pork sausage
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
2 ounces fresh cheddar cheese curds
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
How to Make It
Place a small roasting pan in the oven. Preheat oven to 450°.
Carefully remove hot pan from oven. Melt fat in pan; add potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss. Bake at 450° for 45 minutes or until golden, turning once after 30 minutes.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Combine butter and flour, stirring until smooth. Add butter mixture to sausage; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add broth to pan, stirring constantly; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Spoon gravy over fries; top with cheese curds. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
The person who said this can't be poutine b/c it includes sausage has no idea what she's talking about. Poutine has all sorts of variations (from spaghetti sauce instead of gravy to adding beef and onions). It's ridiculous to one star a recipe for this.
Poutine in it's many variations is a great Canadian dish. This one is particularly good although many struggle to get proper cheese curds here.
Here is a link (http://www.foodbeast.com/2013/01/15/38-poutine-dishes-that-will-knock-your-canadian-socks-off/) for a few different varieties.
I guess we can give the Canadians a few points for this one. :)
I was unable to make the recipe as listed, with no access to cheese curds (or the greek version) or duck fat.
However, these items are all delicious on their own and were even yummier together (used small cubes of gruyere). Hopefully I can get my hands on the oddball ingredients someday and try this again.
I love poutine, ever since I first tried it in a small French bistro in New Brunswick, Canada. I couldn't find the curd, but tried kasseri instead, which was a great success.
As for the sausage, I don't see how that's inauthentic, even if that isn't how the recipe started out. I've had poutine with sausage in a Quebecois restaurant, with a nice, light veal gravy.
Well, I don't care if poutine is supposed to have sausage or not, I LOVED this recipe. Before this, I had never heard of poutine before. I was a little unsure about the duck fat but I think all the ingredients work well together. It's very filling, my husband loved it and I definitely want to try other variations of poutine.