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Monday 17 March 2014

Gluten Free: Poutine

It doesn’t matter if you’re falling out a nightclub at 3am before staggering across town to find the bus home or you’re leaving the pub in time to catch the last train, there’s one thing you’ll want to eat. Chips. You might be an advocate of chips and cheese, a fan of chips and gravy or a lesser-known chips and pakora sauce person, but at the end of a night out (or a night in) there’s only one thing that satisfies your carb cravings.

Poutine is Canada’s answer to chips and cheese and gravy. Crunchy, melty, carby and salty, there is no hamgover that can’t be soothed by a helping of Poutine. This dish single-handedly makes up for the fact that Canada also gave us Justin Beiber. I might have gained some Canadian cousins through marriage, but I can’t claim any kind of authenticity for my recipe. The original version uses cheese curds which just aren't readily available in the UK.

I’m using homemade chips here, I don’t think chip pans and alcohol are a great mix. Of course, you could just use frozen oven chips - there are plenty of gluten free ones available. It depends on where along the hungry/sleepy scale you are.

Poutine (serves 4)
You’ll need:
  • 350g potatoes
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 25g butter (or dripping)
  • 25g tapioca flour (or white rice flour)
  • 500ml beef stock.
  • 200g mozzarella, chopped into small cubes or torn up
Make it!
  1. If you want to, peel the potatoes. It’s entirely up to you. Then, cut the potatoes into chips. 
  2. Cover the chips in cold water and leave in the fridge for a few hours. This removes some of the starch from the potato and gives you a crispier chip.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  4. Drain the potatoes and rinse. Give them a shake in a colander to remove the excess water.
  5. Toss the chips in a bowl with the oil. Add salt and pepper and lay them out on a baking tray. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
  6. Meanwhile heat the butter and tapioca flour in a saucepan, stirring all the time, for a couple of minutes until you have a smooth paste. 
  7. Add the stock, a little at a time, stirring until the mixture is lump-free, until all the stock is incorporated. Use a whisk if the lumps are being stubborn.
  8. Now, spread the chips over your plate and scatter the mozzarella over them. Pour gravy on top and serve.


  1. The first year I ever went to Burning Man our camp was opposite one of the Canadian camps and they served poutine- you had to cut your chips yourself while you were in the queue! I thought it was amazing even though it didn't look half as appetising as these pics- but when you've been in the desert for 10 days any hot meal is HEAVEN!

    1. Poutine is pretty much everything you want from comfort food! I like the idea of cutting your own chips while you wait - I might suggest it to my local chippy

  2. I've never tried it, and I'm sure your could convince me of its tastiness, but I'm just not convinced with cheese and gravy. Cauliflower cheese with a roast dinner drives me mad for this very reason.

    1. Ah, I drown my cauliflower cheese in gravy, but the rest of my family tend to look on in disgust when I do. Poutine is different, the gravy makes the cheese all melty and delicious.

  3. I am a Canadian, and I approve this message. (Also, as someone who doesn't typically have cheese curds handy, I can vouche for the deliciousness of any kind of melty cheese in such a recipe.)

    1. Hurrah! I'm delighted to get the seal of approval from an actual, proper Canadian person. I did worry I was committing heresy by substituting the cheese.


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