Recipe for Cooking Beef Tongue

Recipes: Lengua Estofada

Shared to me by Mr. Eduardo Quiambao, another good friend from my high school days in the Philippines, this Spanish-cuisine inspired recipe is a brilliant way of turning a generally unwanted meat part into a delectable dish. on one of my visits to my friend’s place, I remember how its distinctive meaty flavor lingered on my palate as I chewed on the cooked offal from a cow that I imagined, and secretly hoped, had perfectly served its turn in the so-called hierarchy of life.  A recommended addition to meals during special events like birthdays, get-togethers, or even weddings, this meal needs an additional task to prepare its main ingredient (the offal) before the actual cooking. The process continues with braising, an open secret step known to those who know how-to-cook very rich and tasty meals. Also, these stout-hearted food enthusiasts will note that this meal is worth preparing especially for those who know how to appreciate foods made from exotic sections of slaughtered-for-food animals.

beef tongue, approximately 2 lbs.
soy sauce, at least 3 cups
ground black pepper, at least 2 tablespoons
freshly-squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 cup
melted butter, 1.5 cups
garlic, 10 cloves and minced
onions, 2 medium-sized and sliced
celery, chopped 5 stalks
red bell pepper, 1 whole and sliced
tomato sauce, a 14.5oz-can of your favorite brand
cream of mushroom soup without garlic, a 14.5oz-can of your favorite brand
your preferred kind of mushrooms, sliced and equivalent to 2 cups

1)    Boil enough water in a pot that can contain the whole piece of lengua (beef tongue). As soon as the water boils, start dipping into it for at least 5 minutes the beef tongue using your tongs. You will notice that the top portions of the tongue will harden and become so tough (with a texture just like leather), which will then becomes part of your next task.

2)    With a knife, preferably a serrated one, start scraping away the leather-like edges and upper-portions of the tongue. Expect to work on this for at least 30 minutes, and make sure you completely cut away the hardened portions that aren’t at all edible. When done, set aside.

3)    In a large bowl, prepare a marinade from the soy sauce, ground black pepper and the fresh lemon juice. Marinate the tongue for at least 2 hours if you like to serve this for the next meal. But it’s suggested you marinate the meat overnight for a much tastier meal.

4)    On medium fire, pour in your large frying pan the melted butter. Then start searing the tongue on all its sides. Set aside when done.

5)    In a pan set on medium fire, pour the left-over marinade. Add into it at least 4 cups of water, chopped celery (which is used to further remove the game-y taste of the offal), and the red bell pepper. Adjust quantity of water, which should approximately be equal to half in volume of the meat and the rest of ingredients.

6)    Slice the browned meat into ½ to 1 inch width of pieces. Put all the meat slices into your pan that is, by now, boiling.

7)    With the meat in it, let the pot continue boiling, and give all the mixture a stir. Set fire into low and let the mixture simmer for at least 1 and ½  to 2 hours. Put a lid on your pot. And check and stir the mixture every now and then during the period. If necessary, add water if it’s drying up, and then let it simmer down until the meat has become tender.

8)    Set on medium flame the pan where you have browned the meat. Sauté the garlic and onions into it, and then set on low the flame.

9)    Using your tongs, place all the softened meat slices into this pan. Pour into it all the tomato sauce and cream of mushroom soup. Then add into it the mushroom pieces. Give the mixture another stir, and let it stay under low flame until it boils.

This is best served hot with steamed rice and your favorite vegetable sides. It’s good for 4 persons.

© 2019 Paul Timman