Minutes of the Organ Meat Society, Five-Course Dinner at Hospoda
The third course was a chunky beef-heart stew in bacon sauce served over steamed and sliced dumplings.
Organ Meat Society Meeting Friday, January 22, 2012 Hospoda 321 East 73rd Street
The meeting was called to order precisely at 7:30 p.m., at Hospoda, an elegant Czech restaurant on the Upper East Side. The Society occupied an alcove with some diverting murals in the rear of the restaurant. There were seven Organ Meat Society members present. The meal lasted until 11:15, at which point, after shaking the hand of chef de cuisine Marek Sada, farewells were said and the meeting adjourned. Following is a report on the food.
The menu included the above five courses, but not in that order.
Course 1: Pork Blood Soup With Barley and Marjoram -- This dish was like a liquid version of French blood sausage, not at all bloody-tasting, but with a rich, coarse texture, nicely bumpy with barley, given an extreme floral shot by the fresh marjoram. Everyone went for seconds.
Course 2: Truffled Cow Tripe in Béchamel Sauce -- Served like several of the other courses in metal bowls from which we could help ourselves, the cow tripe was so supple it must have been cooked for hours. The bechamel sauce was rich, and the scent of truffles (well, truffle oil) was powerful. The membership was beginning to realize at this point that every dish was going to be impossibly rich. Very nicely cooked brussels sprouts accompanied this course.
Course 3: Beef Hearts With Bacon Sauce and Dumplings -- This thin stew, powerfully flavored with minced bacon and shot with paprika, was to be ladled over sliced, steamed dumplings, something like northern Chinese bao. The heart was tender and not particularly fibrous, and the dumplings delighted one and all.
Course 4: Fried Rabbit Livers With Tartar Sauce -- Who knew that rabbit livers were so large? Or that they'd taste so good when crumbed and fried? The Society generally agreed that this was the best dish of the evening, and we thought the notably mild livers would make a spectacular hero sandwich, especially with the homemade tartar sauce served on the side.
Course 5: Smoked Beef Tongue With Pickled Mushrooms and Potato Puree -- We were almost too full to approach the tongue, but we did and found it silky smooth and smoked as much as good Texas barbecue. A thoroughly worthwhile dish, however, and the tiny white pickled mushrooms formed a nice flavor contrast.
The closing moments of the meal
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