Sneakeater Posted March 13 Author Share Posted March 13 Last night was cooking as travel. Tonight was coming home. Tongue Polonaise, a classic Ashkenazi-American dish, has been a favorite of mine since I was a boy. It's simmered pickled beef tongue served with a sweet and sour raisin sauce. I had thought that the best version I've had was the one at the Mill Basin Deli. I've always thought of that as the one deli in New York where the composed plates are better than the sandwiches. But in my one post-Lockdown visit there, the Tongue Polonaise was awful. It was like they'd stopped trying (and with most of their business reduced to pick-ups and deliveries, they very well might have). I think I can cook rudimentarily now, but not much better. So believe me that I never expected to say what I'm about to say: the Tongue Polonaise I made tonight was the best rendition I've ever had, anywhere. It wasn't totally authentic, to be sure: some (more than "some", actually) butter found its way into the sauce. But it was SO GOOD. I've made tongue before. But I had never pickled one. I remember reading Leo Steiner say in an interview in the late '70s that if he cures corned beef for 5 or 6 days, it's fine -- but if he cures it for 12 days, it's heaven. So you can bet I kept this tongue pickling for two weeks. Oh. And the sauce. Oh. I had some boiled potatoes on the side. Slathered with more butter. And some steamed unfrozen green beans (since this was an Ashkenazic meal, I made sure to steam THE SHIT out of them). Also with butter. We're not pretending to be a Kosher deli here. I don't even know what to say. I can't believe I can just make this. (Well, I don't know if you "just" make something that requires more than two weeks' advance planning.) I formed a conviction at some point that the wine that would really go with Tongue Polonaise is a Trousseau. It must be the deep similarities between pickled tongue in a sweet and sour raisin sauce and the kinds of things they eat in the Jura. 2017 Lucien Aviet Arbois Trousseau "Caveau de Bacchus" I was right about the pairing, though. I think it's that Trousseau has its own sweet-and-sour thing going on. I noticed it the last time I drank one. There's also the Trousseau light-but-powered thing. So it has the thin texture to compliment this ostensibly light dish, but enough hefty flavor to go along with what is actually a quite beefy cut of meat. Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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