Smoked Venison and Cheese Curds!
Ever heard of poutine? Reputedly, it was invented by a French speaking trapper living in rural Quebec when, in the mid-1950s, he was in a local pub and asked the cook to put cheese curds on his a plate of chips. The chef explained in French, “It will make a damn mess!”. And with that, poutine was born.
Key ingredients for traditional poutine are crispy fries, (or ‘chips’ as the Canuks call them), squeaky fresh cheese curds, and a good gravy. I’ve found that a light oven-roasted chicken gravy tastes best and drips luxuriously over the mounded mess. But, any good gravy will do.
For my recipe, I enlisted the help of my son, Andrew. He works at a famous pub and tap in St Paul, Minnesota, known for sloppy good Juicy Lucy burgers, thirst quenching craft tap beer, and killer deep-fried cheese curds that stand shoulder to shoulder with those served up at the Minnesota State Fair. The trick, he revealed, is to work with frozen curds, and Fry Krisp pre-mixed batter.
We added a mitt full of thinly sliced smoked venison stuffed with rabbit loin. Let’s face it, any recipe that combines twice fried potatoes, gooey beer-battered cheese curds, and smoked stuffed venison slathered in rich brown gravy is sure to please. Feel free to substitute any wild game meat leftovers in this recipe.
For one serving:
1 cup frozen cheese curds
¾ cup Fry Krisp Batter Mix (Also, works great on ANYTHING you want to deep fry.)
1 bottle of light lager beer (We used 2 Canadian brews. Molson for the batter and Moosehead for drinking.)
Potatoes cut into fries or chips and prepared for deep frying
1 cup prepared chicken gravy
Anaheim pepper and green onion for garnish
Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Mix up batter to the consistency of a pancake batter and let sit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry potatoes and set aside to drain, and get your gravy to warming. Remove curds from the freezer, dust lightly with dry Fry Krisp batter mix, and drop curds one by one into hot oil. (I used a Lodge 9 quart cast iron dutch oven fitted with a handled fry basket.) About half way through frying curds, shake basket gently to separate any curds that are stuck together. When done, remove, and drain. Immediately build your poutine in layers, smother with gravy.