Poutine with Stout Gravy + Scallions

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I don't know where to begin when i rhapsodize about my love of poutine. I guess I'll just say it is very, very real.

Now I know that poutine is getting some hate lately. I happened to read the latest issue of Bon Appetit before writing this post, and laughed out loud after seeing this gem. Sorry Bon App, but poutine has been around for a long time, and I think it plans to stay, in our kitchen at least.  

When I moved here it came to my attention that the further away from Canada you get, the further you get from the general knowledge of poutine. Last summer I took it upon myself to scout it out in Philly. We went to one of the night market events, which has the streets packed to the brim with food trucks. Every food truck you can think of, and what was I searching for? The poutine truck. Which was clearly listed on the lineup. Did the poutine truck actually show up, after we walked around aimlessly for an hour, as the lines grew and the trucks all ran out of their most popular food? No, sadly it had made other plans and forgot to tell me. 

The next day while we were out for a beer around the corner from our place I saw poutine, smack in front of me on the appetizer menu. It was 20 yards away this whole time and I had no idea. I have to say though, the poutine here hasn't been entirely on point. As our Canadian friend has pointed out, poutine has three ingredients, and everything else is disco fries. Preach. 

Now after that long and winding road of french fry, cheese curd and gravy love, here's some homemade poutine. 

Poutine with Stout Gravy + Scallions
4 medium Russet potatoes
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbs canola oil
2 tbs butter
2 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1/2 cup stout beer
1 cup cheese curds
1/2 cup scallions
salt and pepper

Wash potatoes and cut into sticks of uniform thickness. In a large pot, cover potatoes with at least an inch of water and bring to a boil. Add vinegar and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, drain potatoes, and transfer to baking sheet lined with paper towels to dry potatoes. Place potatoes on a cooling rack and continue drying for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a 2 qt saucepan. When butter is foaming, whisk in flour to combine. Add onions and cook for about 2 minutes, until mixture beings to brown slightly. Add stock, beer and a generous shake of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, whisking occasionally until  gravy has thickened, about 10 minutes. Keep warm, cover, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss potatoes with canola oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Cook 12 minutes. Flip potoatoes and cook an additional 12-15 minutes, or until potatoes have reached desired doneness. Remove from oven and toss with salt.

To assemble poutine, top potatoes with cheese curds, pour gravy over and top with scallions.