Tuesday, 25 April 2006

LP 9: Lengua Estofado

Lengua Estofado
I know Cia encouraged us to make something different out of innards and offal. But I'm pretty helpless on this since I really do not cook offals that often. So you would have to forgive me if I make this thoroughly standard fiesta dish. Cia, as mentioned, of Pabulum is currently hosting the 9th edition of Lasang Pinoy.

I had a lot of fun making this I must say. Starting with shopping for the tongue. Now I wouldn't find this in any ol' supermarket around here so off I went to Tooting (no kidding!) which has a very lively (and cheap) market. (I must blog about this place soon). Lots of fresh veggies and fruits plus this is where I get my fix on pork legs (properly cut), goat meat, whole baby back ribs, fresh chicken liver galore, and supermarket-rare offals - all in very reasonable prices. I went in a butcher shop and got this big boy of a tongue.

Lengua Estofado

It was more than 14 inches long and ... well ... resembles something like ... oh never mind. Hehehe! Finding a big pot to fit it in was a challenge but I managed to unearth one of my moth-balling-seldom-used stock pots and just about fit it in. The removal of the skin was a joy - not! Reynaldo Alejandro's recipe from The Food of the Philippines (where I adapted this from) said to scrape or peel. Well I scraped and scraped and scraped but most of the white film is still there. So I had to slice it off trying to take off as little and as thinly as possible. After a prolonged struggle with a double dead tongue I finally got it all off! Hurray, on to the cooking!

The marinade was quite good, though, I noticed that you can substitute cooking wine or lemon for the vinegars. I bet it would taste great as well. The only problem I had was in the browning of the meat since the marinade has sugar hence the residue got burned. I had to wash up the pot pronto before continuing with the sauteing. I know I lost some good flavours with all those drippings washed away but it was burned and I don't want that to ruin the sauce. Other than that everything else was surprisingly a breeze. And I originally thought it would be horrific including the taste and texture of the meat. The first time I had this was when I was 12 years old and even then, even though I had a pretty fussy tastebud I loved that properly tenderly cooked lengua from a relative's wedding banquet. Finally, I was able to recreate it.

Lengua Estofado

1.5 kg  beef tongue

1 tsp peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp cider vinegar or white cooking wine
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 cup water

3 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup minced onions
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
350 g  potatoes - peeled, quartered and sliced
1 big carrot - peeled and sliced
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1/3 cup pimiento-stuffed olives
1 cup button mushrooms - halved or sliced
  1. Boil the tongue in a large pot of water for 20 minutes. (You may cut the tongue in half if it cannot fit). Drain from water and leave until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel off the (usually white) outer skin. You may have to use a very sharp carving knife for this. Trim ends and wash.
  3. Combine all marinade ingredients and marinate the tongue for 1 hour or overnight.
  4. In a large pot heat the oil and brown the tongue on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  5. If the residue in the pot is not burned, use it with the same oil, if it is then clean the pot and heat it up again with about 2 Tbsp oil.
  6. Saute garlic for about 2 minutes in gentle heat - *do not* burn it.
  7. Turn up the heat and add in the onion, cook for about 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
  8. Add in the tomatoes and cook until soft.
  9. Put the tongue back in the pot together with the marinade.
  10. Add about 1/2 cup water. Bring back to boil and then simmer for 2.5 hours or until tender. Prick the tongue to let the liquid penetrate. You may add more boiling water a little at a time if it is drying out too much.
  11. Tip in the potatoes and carrots - cook for about 5 minutes.
  12. Add in the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. Just before serving, remove tongue from sauce and slice crosswise. Arrange in a platter and ladle sauce and vegetables on top. Serve hot.

1 comment:

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