Poutines Rapées-Potato Dumplings Acadian Style

This past summer my husband and I and several friends motorcycled to the Canadian Maritimes.  The day we crossed the border we met two Canadian couples, also motorcyclists, heading back across the border in the opposite direction to New Brunswick. 

While we were packing up the bikes the two ladies and I got into a conversation about the wonderful food we had eaten while on our trip and that I posted our eating experiences on the trip on my blog.  I mentioned to them our trying poutines on the ferry to PEI.  One of the women, Andréa, immediately said, “I have a really good Acadian poutine recipe that you should try.  It is so good”.  I told her that if she sent me the recipe I would indeed try it and then blog about how it turned out.

Well, she did and then I did and here is my story about a food called Poutines Rapées, which literally translates to grated pudding, but in actuality, is potato dumplings Acadian style.  Andréa sent me an email with a link to website featuring traditional New Brunswick recipes saying “I met you in Portland Maine and we talked about the Acadian Poutine.  Check out this website with many traditional New Brunswick recipes”.

Quoting from the website featuring recipes from New Brunswick, “For many Acadians living in southeastern New Brunswick, Poutine Rapeè, potato dumpling dish with a mixture of seasoned port in the center, is considered a national dish.” 

I love potatoes but had never made potato dumplings so I was really looking forward to this project.  By the time I got finished with my first try at making the dumplings I felt like such a rookie in the kitchen. 

The recipe was simple enough and I only needed a few ingredients. I have never used salt pork before and thought I would have to ask the butcher where it was located but I found it easily.  Then I needed to buy a grater.  Boy did that bring back memories.  I have not used a food grater since I was a young girl in my mom’s kitchen back in Brooklyn.  Back then I would help my mom grate potatoes and onions for potato pancakes.  YUM!

I was all set to put the dumplings together and realized I had forgotten to soak the salt port overnight so I had to put the cooking off for the next day.  I got everything set up and then made the mashed potatoes.  Then I peeled and started to grate the other potatoes. 

By the time I finished grating the ten potatoes I had band-aids on four fingers.  I strained out all the water from the grated potatoes and added what was left to the mashed potatoes.  I rolled the potatoes into balls and placed the salt pork in the center closing the hole and then rolling the potato balls in flour. 

As I was rolling the potatoes I thought that they felt a little too wet but kept working anyway.  I dropped the balls into the boiling water and thought okay this looks pretty good.  I set the timer on the stove and walked away returning periodically to see how they were doing. 

After a while the water started looking grayer and grayer and two of the dumplings disappeared.  They eventually all melted into the water leaving this very weird looking gray water with potato debris floating around.  All the dumplings were gone! 

So where did I go wrong?  I reread the recipe and like a light bulb going off in my head I realized where I made my mistake.  When I mashed the potatoes I prepared them like I would if I were making mashed potatoes for dinner.  I had added milk and butter to the potatoes. 

Okay, so back to the grocery store to buy more potatoes.  This time I followed the recipe exactly as written and they turned out so much better.  I noticed as I was rolling the potatoes that the mixture was dryer than my first try.  Once the potato balls were rolled in flour I placed two at a time into the boiling water mindful of keeping a rolling boil.

I was amazed at the length of time it took to cook the poutines.  They have to be simmered for two to three hours.  Now after my first experience this might as well have been an eternity.  But no worries this time they turned out perfect. 

I was so glad that part of the instructions for making the poutines mentioned, “Although the grayish color and gluey texture of the poutines makes them appear somewhat unappetizing, their taste more than compensates for their unattractive appearance” otherwise I would have been worried when I removed them from the water.  But with a little butter, salt and pepper they were delicious.

When I decided to prepare this recipe I decided to pair it with other recipes from the New Brunswick site.  I selected the recipes Spiced Baked Ham and Apple Acadian.

The ham was easy enough and turned out moist, flavorful and delicious.  I loved the combination of cloves, brown sugar, mustard and vinegar used to flavor the ham.  The aroma of the cloves filled my kitchen, wonderful.

The baked apples were another story altogether.  I have never used phyllo dough before and found it very intimidating.  Preparing the apples was easy enough but working with the phyllo turned out to be challenging to say the least. 

I had forgotten one of the tips I had heard one day watching the Barefoot Contessa making baklava using phyllo dough.  When she prepared to use the phyllo she first dampened some paper towels and placed the dough on the towels to keep it moistened.  So, my sheets started to dry much too quickly making it difficult to spread the melted butter. 

Then I had to wrap the dough around the apples.  Sounds simple doesn’t it, not!  The end result was really delicious baked apples but definitely not pretty.  I used Golden Delicious apples and wished I had chosen smaller apples.  I believe a small apple would have been easier to wrap in the phyllo and I would have peeled the apples.  The cranberry sauce filling melted into the apples adding another layer of flavor.  There were two choices of sauces I chose Crème Anglaise. 

We wound up having an impromptu dinner party with out neighbors and they enjoyed the dinner immensely.  We all added butter, salt and pepper to the poutines which added flavor and moisture to the dumplings making them very good and a nice compliment to the baked ham.  I added green beans and pineapple chunks to finish off the dinner.  Of course we had a wonderful, very light red wine to top it all off. 

Good food, good wine, good friends and good conversation now that is a good end to a very crazy cooking experience. 

Thank you Andréa for sharing your country’s favorite recipes.  I look forward to making other recipes from the website you sent along and when I do I will blog about them.

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49 Responses to Poutines Rapées-Potato Dumplings Acadian Style

  1. Genny says:

    More power to you, Mary. That’s more work preparing a meal than I care to do. As for the Apple Acadian, sounds sort of like the apple dumplings you can buy at Sam’s Club that are delicious and much easier to fix. Good thing you’re not a lazy cook like me; if you were, then you’d have nothing to blog about!!

  2. Elaine says:

    Thanks for placing your Chicken Soup on your blog. It is delicious! Must be why I’m feeling so good!

    • I’m so glad you like it and I am really glad you are feeling better. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some words. Mary

      • Ginny says:

        My mother never had to do that. The trick is getting the right consistency, ratio of cooked potatoes to raw. I would LOVE to find a place where I could buy some canned ones. There was a company for awhile that did. Anyone that knows of a company that does now..please let me know

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  5. Ginny Gallant says:

    Can anyone tell me where to buy these poutines rapees
    I used to be able to get them from a company called Claude
    in St. Antoine, NB, but I think they closed…help ?? We used to make these every year, but getting older, need I say more.??

    • Tammy says:

      Ginny I was in Shediac N.B yesterday , and there is a small restaurant (can’t remember the name of the place ) very good , I even took home 6 of them . But she will take orders for large amounts

      • Tammy says:

        Will try to get the name of the place and get back to you .

      • Ginny says:

        thanks a lot. I wish I were closer….took down the name of the town, just in case… Would still like to get some that are canned.

    • Cecile says:

      In Shediac, there is a little place when you go to enter the TransCanada highway..across from the Parlee Beach. As you turn right, the second or third driveway on the right is a small Acadian restaurant – good place. they have rapee pie, meat pies, poutine a trou, pet de soeur, etc. When I visit Canada, I always go buy a supply to bring to the States.

      In Bouctouche at the La Sagouine restaurant, has great poutine rapee and rapee pie.

      • imreadyanytime says:

        OMG…I’m from Richibucto N.-B. and now live in Ontario. I’ve been here for 45 yrs now. I used to go home almost every year but now that my parents are gone I don’t go anymore so I miss having poutines rapee. I had to laugh when I read about the pette de sours lol. I haven’t heard that in yrs! Now if I remember correctly these are cinnamon buns/tools right? My mom used to make them all the time but hers were on the hard side since she would use pie pastry instead of the other proper dough, not too sure why but anyways thx for the memories Cecile!

      • imreadyanytime says:

        Oops there were a few errors in my grammar and I couldn’t edit them so here they are…pette de soeur…cinnamon buns/rolls.

  6. David Demers says:

    My family always wrapped the poutines in cheese cloth before placing in water to help keep them together.

    • Hello, David–Good to know. The first batch I made dissolved in the water. That would have been a good tip to know. The second batch was really good. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some words. Keep reading. Mary

  7. Serge says:

    Thanks for trying our national dish! I’m glad you liked it! We also put “clouds” in our fricot (chicken stew), which is also absolutely delicious! XD
    Many of us put sugar with the poutines, I prefer white but some prefer brown or maple sirop.

    • Hello, Serge–We certainly did enjoy this wonderful dish. You should send along your recipe for chicken stew. I will make and blog about it when finished. Hope this finds you well, happy and looking forward to a great weekend. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some words. Mary

      • Please post the Fricot recipe as well! Our families are originally from Shediac and all of our grandmothers made both Poutines and Fricot. We are making Poutines this weekend, it is a lot of work! One of my relatives used to put the grated potatoes into a pillow case and into the spin cycle on the washer to get the water out of them. We do put cheese cloth on them to keep them together and also tie a string around them that hangs out of the pot so that we can lift them out easily.

  8. klem says:

    You can get them at La Poutine a Maman in Dieppe NB. Acadian poutine is far better than the Quebec kind. I could eat these things everyday. They’re a bit ugly to look at but they are fantastic with butter and salt and pepper. They are fantastic.

    • Ginny gallant says:

      Were these fresh or canned poutines ? Really looking to find some in cans. The company Claude use to make them….. Appreciate any help I can get on my quest to find some !!

      • Ginny–I made them from scratch, so yes, they were fresh. A reader named Klem said you can get them at La Poutine a Maman in Dieppe NB. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some words. Keep reading. Mary

    • Hi, Klem–I agree. Once I got the knack of making them they were, as you say, ugly but really good with just a little butter, salt and pepper. Thanks for stopping by and leaving some words. Keep reading. Mary

  9. Ken Brassard says:

    I am also trying to find Claude’s Acadian Chicken Fricot; canned.

    • Ginny gallant says:

      I met someone from NB that said he saw some canned in stores, maybe Sobeys? I tried their web site and they weren’t any help. Still looking. Would appreciate any knowledge of where I could buy some.

  10. Adrienne says:

    Fricot or Acadian chicken stew is really easy to make. In a pot (dutch oven size) of water (enough to cover meat), boil pieces (6-8) of chicken (thighs or legs are the best as they have not too much fat but enough meat on the bones) with one medium or large chopped onion, salt and pepper. It’s easier to add these to your bowl if there’s not enough than to try and remove it. Once you chicken is almost fully cooked, put in approx. 1 cup diced carrots. Once carrots are partially cooked, remove chicken and set aside. Peel and dice approx. 4 large potatoes and add to the pot. Sprinkle a tbsp. of summary savory and cover. Let simmer. De-bone and remove skin off chicken and add meat back to your pot. This is your basic fricot. If you like the dumplings with it, mix a cup of water with a tsp of salt; then, add juice from the pot to make it bind. Drop the dough into the pot about the size of 1/2 to 1 tsp. Cover, wait approx. 15 minutes and then enjoy. Note: if you like more chicken then just cook more chicken pieces. Try not to overcook the potatoes.

  11. “Claude” brand poutine râpée and chicken fricot are no longer available. The company closed several years ago. FYI – I also run “The Official Acadian Poutine Râpée Facebook Group” on Facebook. Feel free to join! There are more than 1,200 members all talking about poutine râpée and various other Acadian foods.

  12. Debbie says:

    Hi everyone! My name is Debbie and I’m originally from Richibucto New-Brunswick. I have been living in Ontario for 44 yrs now and I would love to get my hands on some poutines but then I’d have to make them myself since there is none to be had here 😦 I don’t remember tha last time I had some but it must’ve been at least 10-15 yrs ago. I’m lucky enough to be able to get my hands on some N.-B. lobster often enough so I can’t complain too much lol. Now that I’ve read the recipe for making Poutines maybe, just maybe I’ll try to make some and surprise my two sisters when they come to visit. My older sister lives in Kingston and my younger sister lives in Markham so they don’t get poutines either and I know for a fact they would love some. So nice to read all the comments about Acadians and loved watching the video!

  13. Debbie says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention that I too used to buy Claude’s Poutines in cans and they were pretty darn tasty…sad that we can’t get them anymore 😦

  14. CJ in Spokane says:

    My grandmother made these every year for Easter. I never remember rolling in flour but tying each poutine in cheese cloth to hold all together. She also grated ham and salt pork. I am going to make these for my west coast friends, hopefully i can do Gram justice 🙂

  15. Annette LeBlanc says:

    If you have a KitchenAid mixer, you can purchase the grater attachment. It does the same job as using a hand grater, takes much less time and saves your hands and fingers.

  16. Paul Boucher says:

    Love the conversations. Brings back memories when my Mom used to get poutines from a diner back in Fitchburg Ma whenever they made them. Her family came from Shediac as I remember and she called them putsin’s. Ive eaten them when I was young and had a cousin who made them every so often.

  17. apcpinitaly says:

    Check out T Pauls in Gardner, they sell out of their poutines, they are so popular! Do us anyone have a recipe for a baked “casserole” of grated potatoe and pork?

    • ginny gallant says:

      Is Gardner in Maine by any chance.

      • Joe Richard says:

        No Gardner is in Mass. I have a cousin that lives there & she has told me that her church makes hundreds of them around this time of the yr. If you wish to contact me call this no.207-364-2562

    • Carol Carlisle says:

      My grandmother and uncles in the Fitchburg/Gardner, Massachusetts area, made huge batches of the poutines for the Christmas and New Year Holidays. I have been looking for a recipe for many years particularly since those family members are all gone.
      Memere also made what she called Rappee (which sounded to us kids who never learned French as roppay) and I can remember making it frequently in our early married years because it made a tasty and filling meal. Now I haven’t made this in over 40 or 50 years so consider the source.. ;-}.
      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grate 4 or 5 potatoes and add a similar amount (by volume) of bread that has been soaked in water and wrung out. (I can’t remember whether or not we added an egg.) Mix the bread and potato together in the bowl until well blended.
      Cube about a palm sized piece of salt pork and fry in a 10″ or 12″ cast iron frying pan till the pieces are rendered down. Leaving the pork and fat in the pan, and while it is still hot to sizzling, pour the bread potato mixture into the pan and put into the oven. Cook until top is brown, about 1 1/2 or 2 hours. The bottom and sides should be crispy, Cut into serving wedges. Butter and salt and pepper was enough additional seasoning for us although some folks liked ketchup.

  18. apcpinitaly says:

    Sorry for not clarifying…it is in MA. North central Massachusetts.

    • ginny gallant says:

      Darn !!!! Wish I were closer or you came to Maine !!

      • apcpinitaly says:

        I barely get to MA anymore, I live in DC. Each fall several area (Leominster, MA) Churches have fundraisers for which the parishioners make poutines, literally thousands, that sell out in hours. There is definitely a market for poutines. I wish they were more widely available!

  19. Marc Arsenault says:

    I am formerly of Rogersville NB, and I have a couple of cans of Claudes Pourine Rappee, Anyone know what is the expiry time on the cans as the is no Best before date.

    Thanks

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  22. John Rochon Jr says:

    Please tell me where I can buy putsinrapee’ and rapee’ in a lasangna tray

  23. Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone!
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  24. Glo says:

    When my sunt would cook the poutines she wrapped & tied hers in a gauze type cloth (cheese cloth). Kept them from disintergrating.

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