Your future self is thanking me right now.
Thanking me for coming up with this weirdly delicious platter of french fries. Thanking me for embracing full-on gluttony from time to time. Thanking me for helping you cope with the three-too-many pints of beer you had yesterday celebrating St. Patty’s Day.
After all, everyone is Irish on March 17th!
Ladies and Gents, this poutine is something special. First and foremost, it’s flippin’ delicious. I mean, how could it not be??? Secondly, it’s a fun twist on the classic Canadian poutine (which is usually french dries drenched in cheese and gravy and topped with cheese curds). It’s like a French Canadian-Irish hybrid of a dish. And I’m loving it.
I start with store-bought frozen french fries (by the way, you can totally make your own. That was my original intention with this recipe, but it ended up not happening because #toddlermomlife), and cook them up in the oven according to the package directions.
Then! I smother them with all the glorious things.
Freshly grated Irish cheddar cheese!
Scallions and fresh herbs!
And Irish whiskey gravy!
I mean, there’s really no way in any world that these wouldn’t be delicious. They’re basically my dream food.
I forget if I’ve told you guys this before but french fries are my number one food. Yup, that’s right. They are my ULTIMATE treat, and you better believe that I order the french fries over that pathetic side salad every.darn.time. If I had to pick between brownies and french fries, the fries would win every time! It’s in my blood. My mother is the same way.
In fact, when we eat french fries together, I insist that she orders her own because she is notorious for “having just a few” of my french fries…which really translates to her eating all of them. Lessons learned over the years!
With this poutine, though, I think it’s safe to say there would be more than enough for the both of us. Maybe.
I love using Irish cheddar here (and in lots of dishes!) because it’s a little bit on the nuttier, sweeter side than American cheddar. It’s still sharp and salty and melts like a dream, but it has little nuances of flavor that keep things interesting.
It also goes wonderfully with the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the salty, porky punch of the bacon.
I love this combo so much, in fact, that my brain already came up with four or five more recipes using these ingredients. You’re welcome, Future You. Again.
Once you pile all these delicious ingredients on top of your french fries and bake them until everything is gooey and glorious, you pour over an Irish whiskey gravy. And then you swooooooon. It’s part of the recipe steps. “Pour over gravy and swoon.” You’ll see.
If you haven’t tried gravy on your fries, are you even living? In my humble opinion, the answer is no. Gravy fries are a thing here in Jersey, usually seen on late-night diner menus. And I fully admit that I thought the idea of gravy on my fries was a horrible, disgusting one at first…but after a night of too much fun, they really hit the spot like nothing else can. I was converted back in my early 20s, and I’ve never looked back.
I highly recommend you try poutine at home! You will fall in love!
Now, this gravy is made with whiskey, and if you’re worried about that because you don’t love whiskey, don’t be! Because I don’t love whiskey either! It adds a cool flavor to the gravy, though! And it definitely doesn’t taste too boozy.
I still don’t recommend that you feed this poutine to children or anyone who can’t/chooses not to have alcohol. Because the flavor is definitely there (and I’m sure some of the alcohol is too). It’s just not an overwhelming flavor. You won’t feel like you just did a shot of Jameson or anything.
(Funny side bar: a few weeks ago, we were out to dinner with friends and reminiscing about our younger days. One of the things I always used to do when out at bars was order myself a shot of Jameson. This Irish girl loved the stuff. There’s also a funny story about my husband first hitting on me that revolves around Jameson, but we’ll save that story for another time. While out to dinner [all parents of young children at home with sitters, mind you], we decided to do a shot of Jameson in honor of the good ol’ days. And GOOD LORD, that stuff is not as smooth as I remember it being. I am such a wimp these days! Our “what the hell were we thinking?!” faces were probably PRICELESS to everyone else in that restaurant!)
Just trust me when I say that this poutine is beyond incredible. It is shout-from-the-rooftops delicious. Whiskey gravy and all.
I’ll say it one more time: you’re welcome.
Irish Cheddar Poutine with Bacon & Whiskey Gravy
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the Poutine:
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1 package of frozen french fries
- 1 cup shredded Irish cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded jack cheese
- ½ cup chopped scallions
For the Gravy:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ cup chicken stock
- ½ cup Irish whiskey
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Poutine:
- Preheat to oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Cook the frozen fries according to the package directions.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until crispy and rendered. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve for later.
- To the drippings in the pan, add the sliced onion and minced garlic. Cook until starting to soften and then reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or until the onions are caramelized and soft. Set aside.
- To the cooked fries, add the caramelized onions, spreading them out as evenly as possible.
- Add the bacon, scallions, and shredded cheeses.
- Return the fries to the oven and cook for a few minutes or until the cheese is melted. Garnish with the scallions and serve with the gravy drizzled over top or on the side as a dipping sauce.
For the Gravy:
- While your fries are cooking and your onions are caramelizing, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple minutes.
- Slowly stream in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Add in the whiskey and continue to cook and stir until the mixture is thickened and slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Keep warm until you are ready to serve.
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