Topped with French fries, cheese curds and gravy, this Grilled Poutine Burger is a fun way to mix up summer grilling!
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Some number of years ago, I was traveling through western New York, and we grabbed lunch at a place called Bourbon & Burger Co. in Batavia, NY. Now Batavia is not a large town – just 15,000 folks according to Google. This burger joint, though? Delicious! A bunch of really unique burger ideas paired with a small, but respectable bourbon list? Count me in!
I wanted to try all of the burgers on the menu – and if we lived in Batavia, I would have eventually worked my way through the menu. However, one burger in particular caught me eye. The Burger Poutine. What a fun combination of classic American backyard fare with the national dish of Canada!
Grilled Poutine Burger
Burgers with fries is common. Burgers with fries on top? Not as common, but not exactly rare, either. Burgers with fries, poutine gravy and cheese curds on top? Ok, that’s a new one to me! It’s taken a few years, but I finally got around to recreating this concept back home. This will definitely become a regular burger recipe in our house!
What is Poutine?
We can’t talk about a Grilled Poutine Burger without first jumping into poutine. As noted above, poutine is arguably the most famous dish in Canada. It consists of crispy french fries topped with gravy and cheese curds. It might sound odd, but it’s friggin’ delicious!
Whenever we’d travel to Canada for curling tournaments, we always made sure to stop at a poutine shack. Imagine a small pizza shop that sells pizza by the slice, except instead of pizza the only thing on the menu is poutine. Why has this not caught on in America yet!?
While poutine might not be common in the States (yet), cheese curds are luckily gaining traction here. I was walking through a grocery store recently and saw a bag of cheese curds. That reminded me of poutine…which then reminded me of those poutine burgers. Two seconds later, those cheese curds were in my cart, and I was heading over to pick up a pack of burger buns.
The gravy is the key to a good poutine! Well, the fries and cheese curds play a pretty significant role, too, but a bad gravy will just ruin the whole thing. For these Grilled Poutine Burgers, I used the same gravy recipe I used back when I made this Pulled Pork Poutine. (I did cut the recipe in half this time, though.) It’s a delicious brown gravy!
Once that poutine gravy is done, it’s time to turn to the burgers. Now back in the day, I used to make ‘meatloaf burgers’ where I’d add an egg and a ton of seasonings. Now I just keep it simple. Ground beef, salt, pepper and a bit of dried rosemary. That’s it. That’s my go-to recipe whenever I make burger patties at home, and it’s pretty darned fantastic!
For the fries, I cheated and used a bag of frozen “fast food style” fries from the store. However, if you wanted to go all in, you could make a batch of these boardwalk fries (just omit the Parmesan and truffle oil). Good luck saving enough of those fries for the burger though – they’re addicting!
Cheese curds seem to be growing in popularity here in the States. But what exactly are cheese curds (aka “squeaky cheese”)? Remember the nursery rhyme about Little Miss Muffet sitting on a tuffet eating her curds and whey? The cheese-making process produces both curds and whey. Curds are solids that are pressed into blocks and aged. The result? Cheddar cheese. Curds are essentially young, unaged cheddar cheese. They have a milder taste, and their texture is a bit different…but they’re still delicious.
Finally, I knew I wanted to put cheese on these burgers, but I felt like cheddar might be a little overpowering. We already had the cheddar cheese curds on there, so I opted for sliced mozzarella instead. Mild, but still melts well. It was perfect for these Grilled Poutine Burgers!
If you’re looking for a fun way to mix up the summer grilling menu, then put this burger recipe on the list! It’s quite tasty, and it’s a fun conversation piece if you’re inviting friends over. Happy grilling!
Did you make a batch of these Grilled Poutine Burgers at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Grilled Poutine Burgers
For the Gravy
For the Burger
- 1 26-oz. bag frozen thin-cut French fries, or homemade boardwalk-style fries
- 2 pounds ground beef I used 80-20
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 6 slices mozzarella cheese
- burger buns
- bibb lettuce
- 1½-2 cups cheddar cheese curds room temperature
- 2 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley for garnishing
For the Gravy
- Using a small bowl, add cornstarch and water; whisk together until well combined. Set bowl aside.
- Using a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Once butter has melted, add shallot and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes. Add flour; continue sautéing, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes or until mixture turns golden brown.
- Add beef stock, chicken stock, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and black pepper; stir until well combined. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil.
- Once boiling, add cornstarch mixture. Using a whisk, stir until mixture is well combined.
- Continue cooking, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes, or until gravy thickens noticeably.
- Reduce heat to low to keep gravy warm.
For the Poutine
- Bake fries according to package directions. (If desired, use this recipe to make homemade boardwalk fries.) Note: I recommend baking fries several minutes longer than instructions to ensure they are extra crispy.
- Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Using a large bowl, add ground beef, salt, rosemary and black pepper; gently mix until just combined.
- Divide mixture into 6 equal portions; use a burger press (or your hands) to shape into patties.
- Grill for 4 minutes. Flip burgers over and add a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each burger. Continue grilling for 3-4 minutes, or until burgers are done to desired taste. (Tip: If needed, increase heat on gravy to ensure it is hot.)
- Place lettuce on bottom portion of the buns and top each with a grilled burger. Add fries, gravy, cheese curds and chopped parsley. Serve immediately. (Note: You will have extra fries, gravy and sauce – serve ‘em on the side with your burger!)
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