Disco Fries are steak cut french fries deep fried until golden brown; then topped with brown gravy and mozzarella cheese and baked until the cheese is melted and gooey. A classic NJ diner favorite!
What are disco fries?
You may call them Poutine, but where I live in northern New Jersey, potatoes topped with gravy and cheese are called Disco Fries.
Yes, I know poutine is made with cheese curds and not mozzarella cheese, but it's the easiest way to describe Disco Fries to someone outside of the New Jersey area! Even in NJ, they're made differently depending on where you grew up. You can find similar recipes here and here.
I aslo like the explanation of them from Best of NJ.
The town I grew up in was very small and there weren't a lot of things to do to keep us teenagers out of trouble. We had a movie theater and a diner. That was about it. And the diner was about 10 miles down the highway.
After gathering with friends during the weekend, nine times out of ten we would all wind up at the diner. Luckily for us we didn't have a driving curfew back in the mid-80's where we had to be off the roads by 11pm.
Once at the diner, dining fare would consist mostly of burgers and Disco Fries. The greasier the better! As I got older, these late night trips to the diner became few and far between. And even when we do go to the diner now, it's mostly for breakfast.
Going to the diner has been a tradition for so many people in our area. It's just the thing kids around here do without a second though. Just like going down the shore (aka to the beach). It's second nature and a right of passage.
In fact, the first time I went out of the state and wanted to go to a diner, people looked at me like I had three heads. "What's a diner?" they asked.
Thankfully (with a little help from Guy Fieri over the years), more and more states are opening the classic diner in their areas as well. What's not to love? Most diners serve breakfast, lunch and dinner options 24/7 so there is something for everyone.
Why make NJ Diner Disco Fries?
Our oldest daughter just finished up her third year of college at Penn State and is home for the summer. Though she cooks for herself at school, not even the local college diner serves Disco Fries, so she craves them whenever she comes home.
There have been times when I'll come home and both girls would be gone. Where are they? At the diner getting Disco Fries of course!
Ahh, to be young again and eat whatever you want without worrying about how many calories something is!
Making Disco Fries has been on my list to make for quite some time, but honestly, I just keep forgetting about it. So after she put in a full day of Chemistry and lab work at a local college where she's currently taking summer classes, I surprised her by making a tray of these fries.
How do you make Disco Fries?
For this recipe, you'll need frozen steak fries, brown gravy and shredded Mozzarella cheese. First, if you're unsure as to what steak fries are, they are potatoes that have been cut down into thicker cut wedges.
Technically, you could make these using fresh potatoes and cutting them down yourself, but the local diner definitely uses frozen so I was going for authenticity here. It also saved a lot of time!
Start by frying the potatoes in oil until they're lightly brown on all sides and crispy; then drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil. You want to make sure they're well done so that once you add the gravy, the fries don't become too soggy.
While the potatoes are cooking, you can make your gravy. The gravy is usually beef based and I made mine with butter, flour, beef broth and gravy master to give it that dark caramel color.
Next, add the potatoes to a baking sheet and sprinkle on the cheese. Place them in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the oven, place the potatoes on a dish and pour the gravy over the top.
This has to be the easiest recipe for Disco Fries and my kids (and husband who snuck a few bites) loved them! In fact, our oldest daughter said they were definitely a close 2nd to the local diners' fries.
Our younger daughter didn't get to eat them fresh out of the oven because she wasn't home, so she reheated them later and said though they tasted good, they were a bit too soggy so I recommend eating these as soon as they're made. ~Enjoy!
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NJ Diner Disco Fries
- 28 oz. Bag Frozen Steak Fries
- ¼ c. Canola Oil
- 8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 tbsp. Butter
- 1 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
- 4 c. Beef Broth
- ⅛ tsp. Gravy Master
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan and fry the potatoes in oil until they're lightly brown on all sides and crispy; then drain on paper towels to remove any excess oil. (You want to make sure they're well done so that once you add the gravy, the fries don't become too soggy.
- While the potatoes are cooking, you can make your gravy. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat; then add the flour and whisk to form a roux. Add the beef broth and gravy master and stir until thick.
- Next, add the potatoes to a baking sheet and sprinkle on the cheese. Place them in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove the pan from the oven, place the potatoes on a dish and pour the gravy over the top.
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I'm sorry, you can take down my other comment. I mostly just needed you to know that people don't call disco fries poutine and vice versa. I didn't want anyone to call you out or be mean, and then I ended up doing that. Poutine and disco fries, equally delicious but different. they do both contain fries cheese and gravy, but there is a huge difference between cheese curds and shredded cheese.
Carrie's Experimental Kitchen says
Thank you for your candid comments, I truly appreciate you stopping by. Yes, I do know that poutine and Disco Fries are different and that poutine uses cheese curds, I was just trying to let people know that in all essence they are the same: fries with cheese and gravy. My post was not about the difference of poutine vs. Disco Fries, but rather the way our local diner here in NJ makes their Disco Fries for the last 40+ years and how my own kids enjoy them. I'm not sure where in NJ you're from, but I'm sure every diner makes them their own way. All in all they're pretty tasty, don't you agree? 🙂
I do agree, and again I apologize, you are right no one makes them the same. I was just referring to the part of your post where you say "You call them poutine, but here in Jersey we call them disco fries." Either way, yours look delicious, and I am going to make them for my family tonight, to try a different way.