A twist on poutine (the classic French-Canadian dish of fries with cheese curds and gravy), loaded fries are trending on social media and restaurant menus – and we can see why! There’s nothing more indulgent than fries with a cheesy sauce and crispy bacon
Recipe and styling by Claire Ferrandi
Assisted by Nomvuselelo Mncube
Photograph by Dylan Swart
Loaded fries with cheese sauce and crispy bacon
- 60g butter
- 45ml (3 tbsp) cake flour, sifted
- 500ml (2 cups) milk
- 95g mature Cheddar, grated + extra, to top
- 2,5ml (½ tsp) Dijon mustard
- small handful fresh thyme leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 250g streaky bacon, diced
- canola oil, to deep-fry
- 500g – 1kg thick-cut French fries, frozen
- fine salt, to taste
For the cheese sauce, place the butter in a medium pot and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste. Cook, about 2 minutes, before adding the milk, stirring constantly as the sauce thickens. Once the sauce has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon and the taste of flour has cooked out, remove from heat. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well to melt the cheese and season to taste. Set aside until needed.
For the bacon, heat a pan over medium-high heat and fry the bacon pieces until crispy, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel and set aside until needed.
For the fries, in a deep fat fryer or large, deep pot, heat the oil to 180˚C. Use a sugar thermometer to check the temperature of the oil if using a pot. Deep-fry the fries from frozen, until golden brown, about 5 – 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel and season to taste.
Serve the fries topped with the warm cheese sauce and a sprinkling of crispy bacon.