January 18, 2010
Lengua de Vaca – Delicious Until You Know What It Is
Beef tongue originated back when Paleolithic hunters liked the parts of animals that contained the most fat. These portions included organs, brains, feet, and of course – tongues. Approximately 75% of the calories in beef tongue come from fat. Now, tongue is commonly seen in Mexican cuisine. It can also be found as part of Romanian, German, Portuguese, Persian, Philippine, Albanian, English, Russian, and Japanese cuisines, or on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles.
When making beef tongue, seasoning – if the maker chooses to use seasoning – comes first. Next, the tongue is put in a pot and boiled. Once cooked, the chef must remove the skin from the actual meat to be served. People can also use pickled tongue; this way, it is already spiced and ready to be cooked. If the maker cooks the tongue in a sauce, the sauce can be reused as a sauce for other foods, such as meatballs or pasta. If the maker chooses not to use spices, they can also roast it in an oven, much like we do with roast beef. This method is similar right down to using the leftover grease to make gravy.
A common recipe (and the recipe that I believe to be the one Ana made) is as follows:
1) Wash tongue and place in a large pot of water to cover. Simmer until no longer pink, about 50 min. per pound of tongue. Remove from water and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel skin from tongue and trim gristle. Cut into ¼ inch slices.
2) Place whole peppers in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chile peppers, onion, and garlic until onion is translucent. Stir in tongue and continue to cook until tongue is brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until limp, 5 min. Pour in corn and heat through, 2 to 5 min. Season with salt.
3) Serve immediately!!!