There’s a do-it-yourself attitude at Pasadena’s recently opened Haven Gastropub and Brewery. Not only is the Southern California mini-chain (the other location is in Orange) serving house-made brews including an IPA, Imperial Stout, and Bavarian Hefeweizen, it’s also serving an upscale take on pub food favorites, all made from scratch. One of chef Greg Daniels’ favorites is a version of the classic Quebec poutine, fries covered in a rich gravy and cheese curds–perfect for a blustery day. Daniels gives the snack a gourmet makeover by adding braised beef cheeks, Port Salut cheese, and a red wine reduction fortified with beef stock. When it’s served atop a pile of crispy fries, you’ve got yourself a crowd pleaser.
Beef Cheek Poutine
Yield 4 Servings
1 pound French Fries
1 pound Beef Cheeks
¼ cup Smooth Dijon Mustard
3 cups, Beef stock, unsalted
1 cup Flour Cold water, as needed
4 cups red wine
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprig thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
1 bunch parsley, washed
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, large dice
2 stalks celery, cleaned and cut into 3 inch segments
2 carrot, peeled and cut into 3 inch segments
Port Salut cheese, diced into 1 inch cubes
Trim beef cheeks of connective tissue and excess fat; place beef cheeks in a bowl and rinse with cold water until water runs clear.
Pat cheeks dry with disposable kitchen towel and place in clean, non aluminum roasting pan.
Add Dijon to cheeks and toss to coat; add celery, onion and carrot then cover with red wine. Reserve in cooler for at least 2 hours,
Add stock to mixture; wrap herbs, peppercorn and garlic in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine; add sachet to mixture, making sure it is covered with liquid.
Wrap roasting pan with a layer of plastic, then aluminum foil. Place in preheated oven and braise for 3 hours. Remove from oven and cool slightly; with kitchen spoon and tongs, carefully remove cheeks from braise and reserve. Strain liquid and place in pot. Place liquid on low heat and skim anything that may come to the top.
While still warm, shred beef cheeks and reserve. Add flour to bowl and whisk in water to make slurry; slowly whisk flour slurry into cooking liquid. Continue to cook over low heat, skimming off any scum that floats to the top; reduce until thick. Add shredded beef cheeks and season with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Deep fry French fries according to directions and lightly season and place in serving dish. Top with beef cheek sauce and top with cheese. Place in broiler until cheese begins to brown slightly; serve immediately.
The beef cheek sauce may be made in advance and held for up to 2 days, covered in cooler.