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.