Poutine Gyros – A Tribute To Canada

0
Serving of a Poutine french fries with cheese curds

When it comes to Canadian cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is probably not bar or pub food. Every region has its specialty and preference with these good eats, from chicken wings with bleu cheese dressing to bangers and mash or your traditional pickled egg.

In Canada, however, there is one dish that is fully unique and wonderfully tasty. That dish, of course, would be poutine.

You can find poutine outside of Canada as a dish called “Chips, Cheese, & Gravy [or “Fries” if you live outside the UK], and the description is an accurate one.

Poutine is simply French fries, fresh cheese curds, and brown gravy if you’re talking about the traditional dish. It is so popular in Canada that you can pick up some poutine at a McDonald’s!

Considering how easy it is to make, however, why settle for mass-produced frozen poutine when you could make your own at home? And why not try out your variation on this dish listed as a Top 10 Canadian invention by CBC Television like this one: a poutine gyro?

Homemade Cheesy Poutine French Fries
Brent Hofacker / Adobe Stock

How Did Poutine Get Its Start?

Eating Food Truck Poutine Gyros

There are a few fanciful tales about how poutine, this popular Canadian dish, first came about in the 1950’s. Maybe the most widely told story is that Fernand Lachance told everyone that it would “make a damn mess” when he was asked to put some cheese curds onto some fries.

The gravy, as the tale goes, was later added because the fries would “get too damn cold” while trying to eat them and the cheese. Whether you believe this tale or one of the others, they all have one thing in common: poutine came from Québec.

The word “poutine” dates back to 1810, and one of the most common definitions of the word throughout time has been that of an “unappetizing mixture of various foods, usually leftovers.”

Some say it is the Canadian version of the English puddings, while others say it is more like a classic chili-cheese fries type of dish. It may not be the healthiest dish you ever eat, but it is wonderful on the taste buds!

But… Poutine Gyros?

Delicious poutine with fresh cheese curd and gravy melted cheese
Filmme. / Adobe Stock

Since the poutine migrated out of Québec, different regions put their take on this classic Canadian dish. You might find poutine with Bolognese sauce and spicy sausage.

Shredded cheese instead of cheese curds is a pretty common substitution and food combination. You might find ground beef and onions added to a classic poutine recipe.

Even Greek poutine that has feta cheese has been known to happen! Today, however, let’s take a look at one of the best variations of this dish and create some poutine gyros.

How to Make Poutine Gyros

Poutine Gyros with Bacon Bits

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Get your fries ready.

French Fries
sommai / Adobe Stock

Frozen baked fries will do for this dish, but I recommend using it if you’ve got a fryer at home. The best option is to cut your own fries from fresh potatoes, creating a medium-size fry instead of wedges.

There’s not always time for scratch fries, however, so go with whatever works for you.

Step 2: Prepare your gyro meat.

Raw fresh minced meat
siwaporn999 / Adobe Stock

You can also short-cut this step by purchasing pre-made gyro meat to just heat up according to instructions. If you want to make your own gyro meat from ground lamb, I highly recommend this recipe from Food Network’s Alton Brown. There’s a Tzatziki sauce you could make in that link as well!

You may also substitute pork or chicken for the lamb in the linked recipe as well for a more authentic Greek flavor. Whatever you decide, get your meat to simmer and proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Chop your veggies.

Colorful mix chopped gegetables
akulamatiau / Adobe Stock

You’ll need one medium tomato and one small onion. Chop these up as the meat is cooking, then set to the side.

Step 4: Prepare your sauce. 

Tzatziki sauce ingredients
LiliGraphie / Adobe Stock

Many people enjoy a cool tzatziki sauce, essentially just plain yogurt, finely grated cucumber, a little mint, and some garlic if you want, and I like to throw in just a little oregano when I make my own at home.

Why oregano? Truth be told, ktipiti is better on poutine than tzatziki, so if I’m making the cool sauce instead of the spicy ktipiti, I like to throw in a “tribute” if you will to my preferred topping. Making ktipiti is easy! You’ll need:

  • 1 or 2 giardinera peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • A little water

Then you just mix everything. Use the water only enough to create a spreadable sauce. This is a pretty spicy sauce, so be prepared for a decent kick!

Step 5: Finalize your poutine.

Poutine Fries
nokonoko / Adobe Stock

Put your finished fries/chips down on the plate first. Then spread some of the sauce on the fries, but not too much otherwise, even crispy fries become soggy!

Then put on the veggies next, followed by the meat you’ve chosen. Add more sauce to this, and finalize your poutine gyros with a sprinkle of feta cheese on top!

And that’s how you can make your poutine gyros at home. Do you have a favorite variation of poutine that you enjoy? Share it with us in the comments below!

Related Resources

Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *