1/2 teaspoon (3g) freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
1 large shallot, very finely minced
6 to 8 cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons (8g) balsamic vinegar
¼ cup (40g) flour
2 cups (475ml) mushroom broth, plus more, if desired
1 teaspoon (5g) ketchup
1 ½ cups (200g) white cheese curds
Cut potatoes into thin fries and place into a large bowl of cold water. Soak 30 minutes or up to overnight in fridge.
Heat oven to 425F (218C).
Drain and rinse potatoes well. Lay out onto a clean dish towel and dry thoroughly. Place them onto a large rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil and 1 teaspoon (5g) salt. Spread into an even layer.
Bake until golden and crisp, about 40 to 50 minutes, flipping halfway.
For the gravy, melt butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until translucent and starting to brown.
Add mushrooms, season with ½ teaspoon (3g) salt and ¼ teaspoon (1g) pepper. Cook until mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add soy sauce and vinegar and cook until liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle with the flour and cook and stir for 1 minute.
Slowly whisk in 2 cups (475ml) of the mushroom broth and bring to a simmer. Allow the gravy to thicken adding a splash more broth or water if too thick. Whisk in ketchup and season with remaining pepper and more salt, if desired.
Transfer fries onto a shallow serving dish and top with cheese and gravy.