A delicious twist on a Canadian classic!
As you might imagine, my taste testers are pretty happy with their roles in the Constantly Cooking kitchen. They are generous with their time and their suggestions, not all of which I choose to heed. Their tastes are also a little different than mine which is helpful when I am creating dishes like this that are not exactly in line with the lighter, fresher fare I tend to prefer. Upon tasting his first bite of this dish, my husband was heard to exclaim, “this might be the best thing I have ever eaten.” I don’t know about that, but I do know this is a super tasty and fun dish that would be really fun to prepare with kids or teens. The potato pancakes are light and crispy and can easily be cooked ahead of time then reheated. I prefer the easy-to-make homemade gravy explained below as it is less salty but you can easily substitute with purchased canned gravy or poutine sauce. You can also throw a little pulled pork on top if you really want to have some fun.
- 2 large russet potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) each salt and pepper
- canola oil
- 5 tablespoons (22 mL) butter
- 5 tablespoons (22 mL) flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) beef broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh cheese curds, in small pieces
- Put potatoes and just enough cold water to cover in a medium saucepan. Cover the pot.
- Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat so that the potatoes boil gently until just tender, about 10 – 12 minutes. They should yield to the pressure of a sharp knife tip but not be falling apart.
- Drain the potatoes; let them cool out of the pot (just put them on the counter) for 20 minutes, then refrigerate until cold (at least 1 hour). When potatoes are cold, grate them with a box grater. Toss the grated potato with the salt and pepper. Potatoes can be made ahead to this point, covered and refrigerated.
- While potatoes are cooling, make the gravy by melting the butter in a small pot placed over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the beef broth a few tablespoons at a time and keep whisking till you have a smooth liquid. Don’t worry if you end up with a few lumps; you can always strain the gravy before serving.
- When ready to cook the potato pancakes, put about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of canola oil in a small bowl.
- Preheat a griddle, panini press or large frying pan to medium-hot. When it is hot, dip a silicone brush in the canola oil and lightly grease the surface.
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Scoop 1/4 cup (60 mL) portions of the potato mixture onto the hot cooking surface. The number of pancakes you can cook at one time depends upon the size of your cooking surface; don’t crowd them too much or they will be hard to flip, if necessary. Press down with a spatula then use the brush to lightly grease the tops of the potato pancakes.
- Cook approximately 6 minutes per side. If using a panini press, close the lid after greasing the tops of the pancakes and start checking after 6 minutes – you want both sides to be golden and crispy.
- Transfer cooked potato pancakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Pancakes can also be cooked ahead of time, refrigerated, and warmed in a 350F oven till hot.
- Transfer pancakes to serving plates and top each with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of cheese curds and a drizzle of gravy. Garnish with parsley or chopped green onions. Leftover gravy, if any, can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 6 months.
- Serve immediately.
Serves 4 – 6.