Nosh Pit: Mile End’s Famous Vegetarian Poutine

Text by Shani R. Friedman

If you’re looking for something to cure last night’s hangover, or you just want the Canadian classic known as poutine in your home, the owner of Brooklyn’s Mile End (named for the Jewish center of Montreal) is now sharing his carb-alicious recipe. Noah Bernamoff, a Montreal native, and his wife, Rae Cohen, set up shop on Hoyt Street at the beginning of this year. Now that’s he brought his famous smoked meat, Montreal-style bagels and — bonus for you non-meat eaters — poutine with a mushroom gravy, Jewish New Yorkers finally have it all.

10 Idaho Russet Potatoes
Canola or Vegetable Oil (for frying)
3 Large Yellow Onions
2 Large Carrots
1/2 Celery bunch
3 Crimini Mushrooms (brown, not white buttons)
1 Gallon Water
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme
10 Fresh Bay Leaves
1/2 lb.Butter
1 1/2 Cups Flour
Cheese curds, as many as desired


For the frites:

Scrub potatoes with skin on and cut into quarter-inch fries.

Rinse until water runs clear. Then submerge in cold water for at least 2 hours (best is overnight).

Heat the oil. If you have a candy thermometer, it will be easier to monitor the frying. Bring the temperature to 285 degrees. Par-fry the cut fries for 7 -9 minutes, or until just cooked through. Do a second round of frying at 350 degrees for 3- 5 minutes.

For the mushroom stock:

Use a ratio of 3 parts onion, 2 parts carrot, 1 part celery and an equal amount of Crimini mushrooms to the amount of the other vegetable components.

Wash and dice all vegetables.

Heat 2 fl oz of oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat and then add diced vegetable mixture. Saute the vegetables for 10-20 minutes on medium-low heat with the cover on, stirring occasionally. Add 1 gallon of cold water and 2 tsp of salt. Simmer for 15 min and add an herb bundle of fresh thyme and bay leaf.

Allow the stock to simmer gently for an additional 45 minutes. Strain the stock.

For the roux:

Melt the butter. Slowly introduce flour to the warmed butter over a medium-low heat (up to approx 1 1/2 cups of flour). Continually whisk flour into butter, and mix until roux is tan in color, allowing also for the carryover cooking that will take place and continue to darken the roux. Better to go slowly than burn the roux. This can take up to 20 minutes. The roux should have the consistency of wet sand.

Allow roux to cool. Introducing to the stock while still hot will cause gravy to separate. Warm 4 quarts of stock, introduce cooled roux to stock slowly.

Allow gravy mixture to simmer lightly and incorporate while stirring consistently.

Season generously with salt and pepper.

To finish:

In a deep dish, layer the curds and fries respectively, pouring hot gravy over the top.

What do you think?

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