This decadent little poutine project all started after Thanksgiving, when my uncle sent me home with a leftover quart of duck fat he had used for a turkey confit. Most people take home leftovers of turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes, casserole, but I got duck fat. And it was awesome.
Duck fat is extremely high quality and silky, with a STRONG flavor. Besides using the duck fat to fry french fries, I have used it in place of other oils or butter in my everyday cooking, like with eggs. However, I don’t actually love it as an everyday cooking fat. Not only is the flavor extremely strong -- so is the smell! A few mornings I have cooked my breakfasts in duck fat and I feel like my clothes smelled greasy all day long. Has this been your experience? I would love to hear about your experiments cooking with duck fat in the comments! What else should I make with it besides french fries?
Maybe duck fat doesn’t work so well with scrambled eggs, but it is amazing for french fries (and probably other deep fried items!). Traditional poutine is a French Canadian dish of french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. To make my poutine dairy-free, I subbed pulled pork for cheese curds. You probably don’t need me to tell you this, but this Pulled Pork Poutine is extremely rich. I love editing decadent dishes to be paleo, but that doesn’t mean this is a healthy food that I am going to start eating all the time! This is a total #treatyoself moment that just happens to be grain-free and dairy-free.
Finally, if you don’t have duck fat, can’t find it, or don’t want to pay for it (MEEEEE!), then consider the multitude of other paleo-approved fats suitable for frying. Beef tallow, rendered bacon fat, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and ghee are all options. Basically, avoid canola oil and make sure the fat you are using has a smoke point higher than 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pulled Pork Poutine
Duck-fat french fries are coated in pulled pork and rich, homemade gravy for the ultimate French-Canadian inspired decadence. This dish is a special treat that will warm you from the inside-out. If you can handle it, finish your poutine with a handful of crushed potato chips. Just because.
4 potatoes (I used 2 sweet and 2 russet)
1 quart duck fat, or other oil for frying
1 recipe Pulled Pork, pork shredded and juices from the bottom of the crockpot strained and reserved
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons arrowroot starch
1 recipe your favorite barbecue sauce (I used Fed and Fit's Paleo BBQ Sauce)
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Julienne the potatoes so they are ¼ inch thick on each side. You may skin the potatoes if you like, or leave them on for a more rustic fry. Soak the fries in water for 30 minutes to remove some of the starch. Strain the fries and pat extremely dry with a clean dish towel.
Place duck fat into a large stockpot and secure a thermometer to the side of the pot. Heat fat over medium heat until it reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add coconut flour, whisking vigorously, until the roux is a deep brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved pulled pork juices and whisk vigorously until incorporated. Add nutritional yeast, arrowroot starch, and S&P to taste, whisking vigorously. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until thick. Turn heat to low to keep gravy warm.
Working in two batches, lower french fry sticks into the duck fat once it has reached temperature. Cook through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a french fry slips out with no resistance, about 5-7 minutes. Remove parcooked fries with a mesh strainer. Repeat with the other batch. Turn up the heat on the burner to heat the duck fat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower the first batch of fries into the duck fat and cook until brown and crispy around the edges, about 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the second batch. Strain the fries on a stack of paper towels.
To serve, place french fries in the center of a platter or shallow bowl. Mix shredded pulled pork with barbecue sauce to taste. Top fries with pulled pork, drizzle with (or drown in) gravy, and sprinkle green onions on top. If you’re feeling extra bold, crinkle some potato chip crumbs over the top of the whole thing! Can’t beat it!