Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Ok, so here is the specific amounts Bob used to make 4 poutines. Some of you know how to make them and will only care about the amounts, but I'm going to write it all out in full so that anyone who has never made them can follow this if they like.
15 oz of peeled potatoes (for cooking/mashing)
60 oz of peeled potatoes (for grating/blending)
4 - 1 to 2 oz balls of finely diced raw pork, fresh or salted - as you prefer
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, approx 8-10 cups of water and the pot should be approx 5-6 inches high. Add 3-5 tsp salt to the water. You will use this pot to cook your poutines later and it must be boiling before you add them in.
In a separate pot, slice the 15 oz of potatoes and cook in unsalted water until fork tender. Drain and mash finely until no lumps remain.
While potatoes are cooking, using your grater, or as I did, my blender, blend the 60 oz of potatoes, cutting into small pieces and adding approx 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to help with blending process.
Blend until no chunks left...if using a Vitamix blender like me, it will only take 25-30 seconds.
Using double layered cheesecloth (or as I do, I have a designated new pillow case that is only used for making poutines, turned inside out) pour the pureed potatoes and squeeze out most of the liquid. This is hard to measure, it's a feel/texture thing. I'd say you take out approx 90% of the potato liquid.
Now measure out 2 parts pureed potatoes to 1 part cooked mash. Mix together the warm (not hot) mashed potatoes with the pureed potatoes, this is best done by hand and mix thoroughly. Add 2 tsp of salt or to taste and continue to mix well. Divide into 4 equal amounts.
If using fresh pork, salt the pork balls. If using salt pork, no need to add salt.
Take 1 portion of potato mix and form a rough ball in your hand, with the other hand, create an indent into the center of the potato and gently place a pork ball into it. Gently seal the pork by making a ball and assuring that the meat is centered as much as possible. Continue to "tap" the ball between both hands until smooth. Repeat with other 3 poutines.
This is where some people use cheesecloth to tie the poutines. I never have and rarely lose a poutine, but do whatever you feel comfortable with and that works for you.
Place each poutine onto a small saucer/plate. With the water at a full rolling boil, add each poutine in separately. They will go to the bottom of the pot and the water will stop boiling. You want to leave the heat on high until the water begins to boil again and that all 4 poutines are now floating to the top. Cover and reduce heat to a low to medium setting initially paying attention every 5 minutes with only a quick peek (keeping the cover off will allow too much heat to escape and you'll loose your boil) until you have only a fine simmer remaining. It is important that the poutines remain floating at all times. The next 20-30 minutes will be spent adjusting your burner to maintain a simmer that floats the poutines. Once you get and maintain this simmer, avoid lifting the cover for anymore than a quick peek and only if needed.
From the first boil after the poutines have been dropped in, you time the cooking to a total of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Once the poutines are cooked and your turn off the heat, they will sink to the bottom but that's ok.
Enjoy your poutines!