This version of a Canadian classic is made with mushroom gravy, baked fries and cheese curds. For your romantic evening – serve it in one big dish to share. Paired with Saltbox Brewing’s Hefeweizen, this is date night success.


4 large potatoes
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
1 handful fresh oregano
1 handful fresh thyme
3 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
1/2 tbsp salt + more to taste
1/4 cup butter
4 tbsp porcini powder (or mushroom stock paste, in which case some seasoning can be withheld)
1/2 tsp
ground nutmeg
2 1/2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbs soy sauce
1 litre water
200g Local cheese curds
green onions, chives, Brussels sprout leaves for colour and garnish


Mushroom gravy:

  1. Place carrots, celery, onion, shallot and herbs in a large pot over medium heat. Fry until all the vegetables are soft and golden brown.
  2. Add butter, nutmeg, savoury and salt. Stir.
  3. Mix in porcini powder one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
  4. Incorporate flour, a spoonful at a time, until uniform.
  5. Add red wine vinegar, soy sauce and water to the pot. Bring the gravy to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Simmer until thickened and reduced. Taste and add salt if needed.
  6. Strain gravy into a larger pot with a fine sieve and press all the gravy liquid out with a spoon or rubber spatula.
    *OPTION: To make gravy with beef or turkey drippings, substitute drippings in place of mushroom powder or paste


  1. After washing and scrubbing, cut the ends off the skin-on potatoes, so they can stand-up on the cutting board. At it’s widest part, begin cutting 1/4 to 1/3 inch slices.
  2. Take those slices and cut them into 1/4-1/3 inch fries.
  3. Soak the fries in a large bowl, in cold water, so that they are fully submerged. This will create a crunchier fry, by removing some of the starch. The longer they soak, the better. You could soak anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.
  4. Once the fries are done soaking, drain, rinse and lay out to dry on a kitchen towel, then pat dry.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  6. Cover a large baking sheet in parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking oil.
  7. In a large bowl, toss dry fries in 2 tbsp of olive oil, and a few pinches of salt.
  8. Place fries on the baking sheet, and space out. If fries are too crowded, or overlapped, they will not get crispy. You might have to cook in two batches.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400 F, flipping once. Once the fries start to just turn golden in colour, take them out and turn the oven up to 425 F.
  10. Wait for it to get to temperature, then place the fries back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the fries are browning and crispy. As soon as fries are done cooking assemble the poutine.

Poutine assembly:

  1. Layer fries, and curds in a large bowl. Ladle a generous amount of hot gravy over the top.
  2. If desired, garnish with green onions, chives, or Brussels sprout leaves
  3. Serve paired with a local beer like Saltbox Brewing’s Hefeweizen.

Local Source Guide

Local Produce: Noggins Corner Farm MarketStirling Fruit FarmsMasstown Market or one of the many other Farmers’ Markets of Nova Scotia.
Local Cheese: Fox Hill Cheese House or Knoydart Cheese House & Farm

Recipe provided by: Jessica Emin

For more of our Taste of Nova Scotia events, news and recipes delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to our Taste of Nova Scotia emails.

Leave a Reply