The results of our Poutines Rapees experiment! Starting from the bottom left, going clockwise: plain; ketchup; Tang & Tabasco; and Magic Shell with Nutella & sprinkles! Mmm.
When we made a half-joking request for poutine in one of our newsletters, we did not expect any response, much less a package delivery. We were a little apprehensive at the small box that arrived from Mimi G. of the Great White North. Instead of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds, Mimi had sent us the Acadian version, Poutines Rapees, which is essentially potato balls made with raw grated potato and filled with salt pork. They are a special occasion dish in New Brunswick since they take hours to make (as Mimi said, "mostly boiling the hell out of potato balls"). According to Mimi, they are generally topped with white or brown sugar, molasses, or ketchup.
The canned version made by Claude's in New Brunswick is extremely rare... since the company went out of business a few years ago. This particular can? From the early '90s.
Challenge accepted! We decided to make them.
We were nervous about opening it, but it mostly smelled like any canned item. Following the instructions, we put the contents (two potato balls and brine) into the only pan we could find, covered them with water (mostly), and popped the pan onto a hot plate to come to a rolling boil.
The color improved over heating time. Smell? Mostly boiled potato.
We ended up boiling the Poutines Rapees for about forty minutes to be on the safe side. In an attempt to add some texture, we returned them to an empty pan to crisp up, which failed miserably.
We cut each potato ball in half and added various toppings. We present Poutines Rapees four ways: plain, ketchup, Tang and Tabasco (fan choice, because the Internet is mean), and Dessert Style (Magic Shell, Nutella, and sprinkles).
- We do not recommend these plain. The consistency was very tough to overcome (it was almost glue-like).
- Adding ketchup faired a little better and at least added some flavor.
- Tang and Tabasco... well, look at Erin's face. The flavor was described as "peanut butter."
- Dessert Style looked the prettiest. Taste... you'll have to watch the video of Zack.
Good news! As of this post, no one suffered from food poisoning or botulism. If you're interested on making this Acadian delicacy on your own (for your next party!), here's a recipe below.
Thanks again to Mimi for providing us with a taste of Canada!
Total time: 4 hours
1 lb salt pork
10 uncooked potatoes
4 mashed/cooked potatoes seasoned with salt & pepper
- Soak the salt pork in cold water overnight to remove the excess salt
- Cut salt pork into cubes.
- Grate the uncooked potatoes and squeeze out excess water with a cloth
- Mix the grated potatoes with the mashed/cooked potatoes and season with salt & pepper
- Roll into balls
- Make a hole in the center of the potato ball with your thumb and add a tablespoon of salt pork
- Reform into a ball and roll the poutine in white flour.
- Cook in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 2-3 hours.
Makes 6 balls.
BONUS! Here's Zack, our video monkey, trying the dessert style Poutines Rapees: