The heart is in the meal – literally! ‘Pájsli’ recipe from Biarritz restaurant
‘Pájsli’ is a slang word for lungs, and it is the main ingredient of a traditional Hungarian meal. According to Bűvös Szakács (‘Magic Chef’) blog the lungs should be soaked in water for at least 2 hours before cooking (changing water a couple of times), and it needs 70–80 minutes cooking, the hearts need even more, 2 hours at least.
Nowadays meals made of lungs and other inner parts have a kind of renaissance, people rediscover these traditional recipes, and conscious cooking (using as much of the animal as possible if already killed) is a reason as well.
Biarritz restaurant is in the heart of the governmental district of Budapest, just around the corner of Hungary’s Parliament. It’s the gathering place of parliamentary representatives, favourite dining place of many famous Hungarians. The owner and manager is a couple since the beginning, and they, Éva and Gyula Berkes are present every day personally.
Here is how they make Pájsli.
- Cook a pork lung, heart and tongue.
- In the cooking water add some salt, bay leaf, onion, pepper.
- After long cooking, let them chill and cut them into stripes.
- Heat a little oil, add some flour and fry until it gets golden. Add the cooking water to it and put in the striped heart, lounge and tongue.
- Flavour it with fresh lemon zest and mustard.
- Cook it together and serve hot with pickled cucumber, sour cream and napkin dumplings.
As for the foodpairing, a white, matured wine with crispy acidity is suggested – mainly because of the chewy, gummy substance of the lungs. From Biarritz rich wine list of Hungarian wines Kovács Nimród Battonage Chardonnay or Patricius Dry Furmint is a good choice, if you go for red, we would suggest Eszterbauer Nagyapám Kadarka. Apart Biarritz wine list, Gróf Buttler Viognier from Eger wine region is a fairly complex wine with a body enough for the complex meal, and with fresh acidity, mineral aftertaste – due to its terroir, Nagy-Eged mountain, which is the highest vineyard in Hungary.