Sunday, December 16, 2012

Beef Tongue... Stew

Lately, I find things I'd never seen on the shelves of their meat section at the local grocery store. Beef tongues are one of them. The store is not a fancy one like Whole Foods. The area the store locates has various ethnicities. Thankfully, the store is flexible enough to accomodate residents' tastes.

When I saw beef tongues there, I couldn't believe my eyes. I'd never seen one anywhere since I came to the US. "I've got to get this!" They remind me my mom's home meal. She used to sauté thin slices seasoned with salt and pepper. This simple dish was a full of flavor. It had a happy flavor with an indulging moment.

Yes, it looks intimidating, but it's quite a delicacy. This is a part closer to a throat. It's already prepped. Prepping a beef tongue is easy. Cover the piece with water in a pot and cook it for two hours. Then, remove a top layer skin turned white after cooking. That's it.

This time, I decided to make a stew. Another benefit of prepping a tongue is that you get broth at the same time. Its flavor is light. I would add some broth made from bones, too.

Rich broth is the key for a simple dish like stews. The depth of the flavor is up to a quality of broth. A watery taste stew is just awful. Rich broth is not necessarily fatty one. I refrigerate broth once it cools down, and remove any fat. Majority of fat is gone, but its rich flavor stays.

Cook onion, celery, carrots in olive oil and butter and a bay leaf. I like to add extra onion for sweetness. Add potatoes, sprinkle some flour, then add broth. Let it boil, then add demi-glace, tomato paste and red wine. This time, I added some dried oregano and a pinch of Herb de Provence. I don't like to add more than a pinch of this herb mix. I don't like to taste lavender in the stew. It turns me off.

Tomato, mushrooms and beef tongue are added. At this point, you just need to wait the tongue gets tender. I add salt, pepper and soy sauce. It might sound strange to add soy sauce, but it actually adds some depth to the flavor.

I've seen many recipes say adding salt and pepper before serving. I like to add them while simmering. I think salt and pepper blend into a dish better this way.

Sprinkle minced parsley and ready to eat. It came out very savory. The meat is so tender and melts in the mouth. I found topping with some sour cream is also good. Chad doesn't like stews, but he actually enjoyed this one.

I told my dad that I made the beef tongue stew. He was quite satisfied that I actually prepped the tongue and made the dish. He is a Foodie, too.

I'm going to hunt a couple more beef tongue recipes to try. Cheers to the grocery store! This didn't happen without you.

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