4 slices double-smoked bacon
¼ cup (60 mL) all purpose flour
2 480-mL cartons beef stock
1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup (125 mL) red wine
1 head garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large baking potatoes, about 1 lb (500 g) each
Vegetable or peanut oil for deep frying
1½ cups (250 mL) cheddar cheese curds, or diced gruyere
1 green onion, finely sliced
- Fry bacon until crisp; remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- Measure out 2 tbsp (30 mL) bacon drippings and add to a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until light golden in colour, about 2 minutes. Pour beef stock over and whisk until no lumps remain. Add 2 slices of bacon, Worcestershire Sauce, wine, garlic, and thyme sprig; bring to a boil and reduce until thickened and flavourful, 12-15 minutes. Strain through a sieve to remove solids and return gravy to pot; discard solids. Season to taste with salt & pepper and set aside.
- Peel the potatoes and cut lengthwise into slices ⅓-inch (8-mm) thick. Cut slices into ⅓-inch (8- mm) wide shoestrings. Soak in a large bowl of cold water for 20 minutes.
- Heat a 3-inch (8 cm) depth oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 325°F (160°C). Drain the potatoes and carefully blot dry. Working in batches, fry potatoes until soft but not coloured, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove potatoes to a paper-towel lined baking sheet to drain.
- Increase oil temperature to 375°F (190°C). Again working in batches, fry potatoes until crispy and golden, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper-towels and sprinkle generously with Maldon salt to taste.
- Reheat gravy and crumble remaining 2 slices bacon. Divide fries between four shallow bowls and sprinkle each with an equal amount of cheese. Pour hot gravy over each, sprinkle with bacon and onions to garnish.