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Smoked Bone Marrow Poutine


smoked bone marrow poutine

I grew up in Canada and even though I’m Italian-Canadian, I think living in Canada my entire life has qualified me to know a good poutine from a bad one. Not only that, I think growing up in Canada and doing plenty of visits to Montreal in Quebec, has made me more than qualified to make a good poutine (you know, aside from cooking for a living, for the past 12 years). The anatomy of a good poutine starts with the fries, you need a good, solid, tasty fry to be able to hold up being doused in gravy. My preference is always a hand-cut fry versus using something previously frozen. Not to knock frozen fries, there are some good ones out there, but to me, a fresh cut fry is the best. Next, is making the perfect gravy. You don’t always need to make a fancy gravy, it just needs to be good. In this case, I did make a fancy gravy and the secret is using bone marrow to add some extra richness and flavour. Make sure that you use canoe-cut beef marrow bones for this, since it's much easier to get the marrow out. The last piece to the perfect poutine puzzle is the cheese curds. You need proper cheese curds. Ideally you can find ones made in Quebec, with that classic bit of squeakiness in the bite, but most cheese curds will do. Please just don’t use shredded cheese, or any other kind of cheese except curds.


For this recipe, I used russet potatoes for my fries which to me is the best potato for making French fries. I blanched my potatoes first in some boiling water, although this step isn’t necessary, it will just take longer to fry your potatoes if you skip it. I also like that the pre-cooked potatoes make the inside soft and creamy with a perfectly crisp exterior. I fried my potatoes directly on the Alchemy plancha using canola oil, flipping them regularly and adding more oil if needed, until golden brown. If you don't have access to a plancha, you can fry your potatoes in oil in a Dutch oven. Make sure to salt your fries while they’re hot before adding your curds and gravy.


An extra step I took was also to smoke my beef marrow bones. It’s a pretty easy step to add. I just seasoned my marrow bones with salt and fresh rosemary and cooked them in the smoker for 20 minutes. Once they’re done, I placed them on the plancha and then scraped the marrow into my gravy for an extra layer of flavour, then broke up the marrow bits with a spoon and let everything reduce together for the perfect gravy. Keep reading to find out how to make my Smoked Bone Marrow Poutine or jump to the full recipe.


fresh rosemary sprigs being tucked on top of canoe-cut beef marrow bones

Preheat your smoker to 275F. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the plancha or stove top.

Season your canoe-cut beef marrow bones with salt and fresh rosemary sprigs.


placing the seasoned beef marrow bones in the smoker

Place your marrow bones in the smoker for 20 minutes.


cutting the russet potatoes lengthwise

Meanwhile, cut up your russet potatoes into thick-cut fries, by cutting the potato lengthwise into one inch thick slices.


cutting the potato slices into fries

Then, chop each piece of potato lengthwise again, into about inch-wide pieces; you should get about three to four fries per round of potato.


sprinkling salt into the pot of boiling water with the potatoes added to it

Place your cut potatoes into the boiling water, add salt and allow to cook and blanche, about 5 minutes. You don’t want the potatoes too soft, just slightly softened so they don’t take as long to cook through while frying.


emptying a small strainer of blanched potatoes to the plancha to fry

Once your potatoes are blanched, add canola oil directly to your plancha. Using a small strainer or slotted spoon, add your potatoes directly to the oiled up plancha, drizzle with more canola oil. Or, if you don’t have a plancha, in a dutch oven with a half inch of canola oil, fry your potatoes until golden brown, making sure to flip midway. Pat dry your potatoes after boiling if you are using this method.


a cast iron pan on the hot plancha with a knob of butter inside of it

While your potatoes are frying, add a cast iron pan to the plancha. Once hot, add butter to the pan and allow to melt.


flour being sprinkled into the melted butter in the cast iron pan

Sprinkle in your flour, one tablespoon at a time, whisking together after each one, until the butter and flour is combined.


beef broth being poured into the cast iron pan on the plancha

Slowly pour in your beef stock about a one tablespoon to a quarter cup at a time, stirring to combine after each addition. Allow to simmer.


the beef marrow bones being taken out of the smoker

Remove the marrow bones from the smoker.


the beef marrow bones being placed on the plancha

Place on the grill. Remove the fresh rosemary sprigs from three of the bones and finely chop. Add the chopped rosemary to your gravy.


the french fries frying on the plancha

Make sure to flip your fries and add more canola oil when necessary. Keep cooking until golden brown and crispy on all sides.


scraping the smoked bone marrow into the gravy

Scrape out the bone marrow from three bones directly into the gravy pan, using a spoon, break up the marrow and stir into the gravy, add salt, and allow to simmer until desired thickness, at least 8-10 minutes.


seasoning the french fries with salt in a large bowl

Once your fries are done, remove from the plancha into a large bowl, season with salt and toss gently. If you used a dutch oven, drain your fries on some paper towel, and salt.


ladling gravy over the hand-cut fries and cheese curds

Place your fries in your serving bowl and top with cheese curds, pour the hot smoked bone marrow gravy on top.


placing a full smoked marrow bone on top of the completed poutine

To finish off your poutine, top with the final marrow bone. Dig in!


And now for the full recipe...


Smoked Bone Marrow Poutine

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


Ingredients:

3 large russet potatoes

4 canoe-cut beef bone marrows

2 large sprigs fresh rosemary

4 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 cup beef stock

Salt

Black pepper

¼-1/2 cup canola oil


How to Make Smoked Bone Marrow Poutine:


Preheat your smoker to 275F. Bring a large pot of water to boil on the plancha or stove top.


Season your canoe-cut beef marrow bones with salt and fresh rosemary sprigs. Place in the smoker for 20 minutes.


Cut up your russet potatoes into thick-cut fries by cutting the potato lengthwise into one inch thick slices and then chopping each piece into about an inch wide strip, you should get about three to four fries per round of potato. Place your cut potatoes into the boiling water, add salt and allow to cook and blanche, about 5 minutes. You don’t want the potatoes too soft, just slightly softened so they don’t take as long to cook through while frying. Once your potatoes are blanched, add canola oil directly to your plancha. Using a small strainer or slotted spoon, add your potatoes to the plancha, drizzle with more canola oil. Or, if you don’t have a plancha, in a Dutch oven with a half inch of canola oil, fry your potatoes until golden brown, making sure to flip midway. Pat dry your potatoes after boiling if you are using this method.


While your potatoes are frying, add a cast iron pan to the plancha. Once hot, add butter to the pan and allow to melt. Sprinkle in your flour, one tablespoon at a time, whisking together after each one, until the butter and flour is combined. Slowly pour in your beef stock about a one tablespoon to a quarter cup at a time, stirring to combine after each addition. Allow to simmer.


Remove the marrow bones from the smoker. Place on the grill. Remove the fresh rosemary sprigs from three of the bones and finely chop. Add the chopped rosemary to your gravy.


Make sure to flip your fries and add more canola oil when necessary. Keep cooking until golden brown and crispy on all sides.


Scrape out the bone marrow from three bones directly into the gravy pan, using a spoon, break up the marrow and stir into the gravy, add salt, and allow to simmer until desired thickness, at least 8-10 minutes.


Once your fries are done, remove from the plancha into a large bowl, season with salt and toss gently. If you used a Dutch oven, drain your fries on some paper towel and salt. Place your fries in your serving bowl and top with cheese curds, pour the hot smoked bone marrow gravy over it and then top with the final marrow bone. Dig in!


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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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