4-6 potatoes, depending on how hungry you are for fries, or how many people you’re feeding.
4 tbsp vegetable oil (peanut works best for crispiness)
Seasonings to taste. I use:
- Cayenne OR basil flakes
Other seasonings that would also be totally delicious: jerk seasoning, garlic salt, thyme, rosemary
Optional: the pulled pork was already flavoured with delicious porky goodness, but it could use a good barbecue sauce. Fries and pulled pork tend to be a little dry, so to make everything go down a little easier a gravy or a dressing like Chef Michael Smith’s “mop” would be a nice addition.
I was out enjoying the weather yesterday on Church St, (15C! In March!) and walked by Cumbrae’s. Cumbrae’s provides ethical meat grown in Ontario and Quebec. I don’t often have the opportunity to splurge on legit meat products, and usually only visit during holidays for a reasonably-priced turkey thigh, but as I was in high spirits from the early spring weather, I felt like treating myself. I was actually hunting for sandwich meat to feed a wicked sandwich craving (picked up some sliced roasted turkey breast – tasty), but my eyes fell on their $12.99 pack of 10-hour slow-cooked pulled pork.
Pulled pork is a bit of a luxury, since I rarely have the time to stay at home slow-cooking some delicious meat for myself. And $12.99 for what ended up being about 2 cups of tasty, well-cooked meat is something I’ll gladly snatch up.
While the pork would be excellent on a crusty bun with some dijon, I ended up deciding to enjoy it with some thick-cut oven fries (this choice was definitely influenced by my near-empty fridge and lack of delicious rolls).
Oven fries are insanely easy to make. While they’re not particularly fast, they’re definitely something you can let cook while you’re busy with other, more important menu items (such as a nice riesling).
I’m not picky about potatoes. As you can see above, I used two regular yukon golds and 4 skinny russets. In my experience, the yukon golds cook faster and make a fluffier fry, but really, it’s not that big of a deal. We’re topping them with pulled pork, after all.
I’m also not picky about fry size. I try to cut each potato into 6-8 thick sticks, but that number will vary according to size, of course, and preference. I don’t have a fancy-dancy fry-dicer, but if you do, by all means use it.
Preheat your oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
So, there are really two ways to go about cooking up your fries. One way is to slice everything up and then let the sticks soak in a bowl of water for at least an hour. The other is to boil them for 15 – 20 minutes (actually boil, not just 20 minutes in water as it heats up to boiling), or until a fork sticks in easily without the potato breaking apart (we don’t want mashed texture). Both ways work fine.
Drain your potatoes after boiling (or soaking for an hour), and brush or toss with oil. Spread the fries out on a baking sheet and sprinkle on your seasoning. To go with the barbecue flavour of the pork, I used a mix of salt, cayenne, and paprika.
Stick those bad boys in the oven for 15 minutes, then turn and flip the fries, and put them in for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown and a fry is all fluffy and delicious on the inside.
While baking your fries, you can heat up your pulled pork (if you’re using a pack, like me, or have your own prepared). I heated mine up over low heat in a saucepan. To make a little bit of sauce I filled the bag the pork came in with some water and shook it around to get all the tasty leftover bits out, and poured that into the pan with a bit of apple cider vinegar, salt, and sugar.
Top your fries with pork and anything else you enjoy: cheese, bacon, green onions! And dig in.