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Last Labskaus!  The usual accompaniments (plus a slice of R&D's newish [funny it doesn't look newish] shissel rye, which strikes me as EXCELLENT).

My plan, when I made this Labskaus, was to fuck around with the pairings for the first two run-throughs, but to finish up with what (as @Behemothhas noted) everybody in the history of Hamburg (including, in Hamburg, me) has had with it.

Fifth Hammer Brewing Co. Pentatonic Pils

A fairly simple German-style Pilsner from LIC -- but not an indistinctive one.  Mainly, the bitter finish is REALLY bitter.  Fine by me.

I would like to say, thought, that the weight of history aside, it is not clear to me that this is a materially better pairing for Labskaus than Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray.  Too bad all those sailors weren't coming back from New York.

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I read all these threads about these fabulous dinners people have at home, with photogenic, obviously labor-intensive food, and legendary bottles.   I can't speak for anybody else on this board, bu

If I'm not enjoying wine when I'm seventy, then my nieces and nephews are going to be stuck with a shitload of wine they won't know what to do with.   Or my next wife, who by then should be almost

Whaddya mean? That's more than half the meals I serve. Tossed with great care, I might add.

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The rest of the Volaille Demi-Deuil.

Reheating it to the extent that the copious remaining broth was reduced took it past that just-on-the-edge-of-being-cooked place that the real recipe brings it, into that overcooked boiled chicken spot we're all familiar with.  And I'm sure La Mère Brazier would have thought that my grating additional truffle over the dish (even though the original truffle slices were still peaking through the bird's skin to form mourning dress) was grandstanding.

But I had a truffle that must be finished.  I'm sure that, bonne femme that she was (even though she never deigned to be made any man's femme -- much less that of the father of her son's), La Mère would have used the remaining broth (rather than, by her lights, overcooking the reheated chicken by reducing it) to poach some, say, artichoke hearts, and then grating the remaining truffle over them.  But I'm just not bonne enough a femme.

Part of me thinks that, as much as I adore this food, it's all just an excuse to drink more Beaujolais.  Like I need one.

2014 Domaine de Robert (Patrick Brunet) Fleurie "Cuvée Tradicional"

This is a wine that pushes all my buttons.  It isn't natural -- just highly traditional, well-made and understated.  It tastes like what it is -- but the best version of that, dripping with commitment and integrity.  It's what good Beaujolais tastes like.

I'm delighted that additional bottles of this, my favorite wine from my favorite Beaujolais vintage, keep popping up in my storage units.  But I really think this one must be the last.  I know why there were more than I thought.  Just a few weeks ago, I emailed my pusher before the last batch of my orders from the 2019 vintage (not as good as 2014, but in the end surprisingly good) was going to go out, instructing them to double my final order.  I knew what would be happening five years or six or seven years on.

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Today didn't go as planned, so I had to defer the feast I had planned for tonight to tomorrow (I have what I think will turn out to be a genius pairing for it, too).

Busiate tumminia with more of that jarred pesto pepperoni (another jar expelled from my fridge!!!!!) (wait'll you see what the NEXT jarred sauce I have planned for this wonderful pasta is!).

On the side, another relatively successful attempt at sautéed cabbage masquerading as Marcella Hazan's smothered.

It occurred to me that this really wants a WHITE.  A Sauvignon Blanc.  (I mean, I'm sure a white Sicilian would be great.)

2018 Domaine du Carrou (Dominique Roger) Sancerre

This is not my favorite Sancerre usually (which makes you wonder why I tend to have so much of it around), but this bottle hit the spot.  Bursts --  I mean bursts -- of lemon and melon and stone fruit and grass.  I often find Domaine Roger somewhat lethargic -- but not this bottle.

Not that anyone pays attention to Sancerre vintages, but the legendary 2018 vintage must have helped.  Maybe we SHOULD pay attention to Sancerre vintages.

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Delighted to see you enjoy these wines.   Out to dinner with a wine enthusiast who insisted I pick the wine.   I chose an Axelandre Bain, and he sighed/snorted with disgust.    Sorry about that...

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Chairman Mao's Red Braised Pork Belly.

This didn't come out right.  It didn't taste bad -- but it wasn't the dish I've had in Hunanese restaurants, either.

One thing is, I probably used too much oil.  OTOH, I always hear that food in China is much oilier than the versions served here.  So maybe this was "authentic".

I certainly used too much soy sauce (light and dark), though.  And I thought I was being careful.

Also, I put in too little chili pepper.  That's unusual:  usually I put in too much.

How about, with pork belly braised in sugar and soy sauce (among other things), a wine whose maker says, "ses notes exotiques peuvent inciter à l'essayer sur les accords sucré-salé des cuisines d'orient"?

2018 Domaine de Souch Jurançon "Cuvée Monplaisir"

This is a Moelleux, Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng and maybe a little Petit Courbu.  Jurançon Moelleux are a little like Vouvray Moelleux:  they're sweet but they're not that sweet.  There's lots and lots of tart acid at the finish -- and lots of tart citrus at the start.  But don't get me wrong, there's tons of honey in between.

This went very nicely with "les accords sucré-salé" of my dinner.  It was especially welcome as I overdid the salé.

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Oh, I forgot the backstory. It’s good. 

A married couple in their 60s bought a vineyard in Jurançon to retire to, with the thought of occupying themselves in retirement making wine.  The husband thereupon died.  Rather than giving up the vineyard, the wife soldiered on, making increasingly good wine into her 90s.

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7 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Oh, I forgot the backstory. It’s good. 

Shit - I thought the backstory was going to be about Chairman Mao!

Interestingly, I made some food from Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cooking last night (and last week). But last night's food tasted different than a lot of Chinese food I cook, and/or we're used to, and that is that it contained zero sugar. Well, maybe the tiniest bit in the dark soy, which was part of the marinade for chicken. According to her book, they don't use sugar in Hunan like they do in other provinces; this was a sour and spicy chicken dish - it was great! (Well, it would've been better had I used thigh meat, but I used breast, and Sig Eater just loved it). 

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I perhaps celebrated a friend's birthday too hard last night.  So I was not up to cooking anything tonight.

My neighborhood finally has a taco truck.  It appeared three or four weeks ago.  I was eager to try it.

I had some birria.  I was late to this craze.  But for once, I can see the reasons for its mode.  This beef soup:  what depth of flavor, layer upon layer.  (This is definitely what @Behemoth, when drunk, would call New World cooking.) 

This truck isn't one of New York's Famous Birria Destination Trucks, though, and I'm not making any claims for it.  Cuz the tacos -- one carnitas and one suadero (although I would say "not really" on that suadero designation) -- were only OK.  So it may be that I loved the birria so much because I'd never had birria before.  (But I did love it.)

I heated up some leftover rice and smothered cabbage, and black-eyed peas, on the side.

Off Color Brewing Miscellanea Vol. 3

A foudre-fermented wild ale from Chicago, the casks having come from Barolo (you can see what attracted me).  The name means that the beer uses a collection of the wild cultures the makers have traded with other makers that Off Color just tossed into a single foudre, resulting in a veritable jungle of happy bacteria.

There's lots of citrus at the front, and lots of funk at the back.  Which interestingly traces the flavor profile of the birria and tacos once they've been doused with lime.

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On 3/3/2021 at 7:03 AM, joethefoodie said:

According to her book, they don't use sugar in Hunan like they do in other provinces;

Apparently Chairman Mao liked his sugar!

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Leftover Chairman Mao's Red Braised Pork Belly.  I tweaked the seasoning a little -- but there was nothing I could do to hide the fact that I put in too much soy sauce, so that it was too salty.*

Sautéed cabbage (in sesame oil, which at least changed the flavor a little), with lotsa garlic, on the side.

The default wine with this dish would be a Riesling Kabinett or Spätlese.  Those would also be wines that would counteract the saltiness (at least while you were drinking them).

2019 A.J. Abram Riesling Kabinett "Hofberg"

My favorite.

And it really did counteract the saltiness (while I was drinking it).


*  I know where I went wrong!  I used this fairly intense Japanese dark soy sauce, and forgot to adjust for that.

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Pieds de Porc Ste. Ménéhould

I should think of moving to Ste. Ménéhould (heh as if France would take me).  Two of my favorite dishes come from there.  Well, you could argue they're the same dish, just with different "proteins" (put in scare quotes cuz both are in large part fat).

I'm not alone in feeling this way.  Louis XVI had stopped in Ste. Ménéhould to chow down on the very dish I cooked tonight when he was captured by the revolutionaries.  (Yes this is Pork Dishes Of The Autocrats Week here at Chez Sneak.)  I'm sure he later came to regret it, but I'll bet at the time he thought it was almost worth it.

The recipe comes from Elizabeth David.  I would like to thank Mrs. David for opining that the dish I was initially considering when I came upon some pig's trotters at my new local butcher -- the one where you stuff them with forcemeat and maybe truffle (I had some to finish off) and bind the whole thing with caul fat etc. etc. -- "is rather a performance to attempt at home".  I might have grated that remaining bit of truffle on top of this simpler (and quite delicious) preparation at the end, though.

I Can't Believe It's Not Sauce Gribiche(c) as a condiment.  The vegetables cooked with the trotters during the braising phase on the side.

Now if you were in Ste. Ménéhould, there is little doubt that what you would drink with this is a still white Coteaux Champenois.  But those of us who are farther from the region know that still Coteaux Champenois wines are way overpriced -- and not as good as equivalent (in rank, not in price) (as I said, probably because of the opportunity cost of making still wines in Champagne country, the still Coteaux Champenois are more expensive than they deserve to be and their superior Burgundy equivalents are) Burgundies.

2014 André Bonhomme Mâcon Villages "Vielles Vignes"

If I ever meet any of Eric, Jacqueline, Aurélian, or Johan Palthey (André Bonhomme's son-in-law, daughter, and grandsons), the proprietors of this winery, I will (in better days) give them a hug.  They consistently make very good wines that I love to drink at very fair prices.

Their wines drip with typicity.  This is the very model of what a Village Bourgogne Blanc should be:  lots of citrus and stone fruit, some quite distinct herbs, some (actually more than just some) rocks, acid.  Not extremely complex, of course -- but not at all lacking in any complexity.  And not dull or listless in the least bit.

And it has some structure.  I don't think this wine has much of a future -- but it isn't in anything like over it.  It's giving immense amounts of pleasure right now (which is more than I can say for myself).

The kind of wine you could happily drink every night.  Sometimes it seems like I do.

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