Beef Tongue with Raisin Sauce
1 beef tongue (1.4 ~ 1.8 Kg / 3 ~ 4 lb)
1 large onion, quartered
2 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
1 rib celery, quartered
5 large cloves, garlic
5 large bay-leaves
1 tsp salt
1. To clean the tongue: Wash tongue thoroughly in running water. If needed, scrub it with a kitchen brush. Put it in a large pot and cover with cold water. Let it soak for 1 hour. Empty the water, wash the pot thoroughly and rinse the tongue again. Place the tongue back in the pot, add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay-leaves (no salt yet) and fill the pot with water to cover the tongue. Put the lid on and place it on the stove, on medium heat. As muscle meats are prone to become tough when cooking too fast, simmering slowly for a long time is desirable. It is recommended to cook tongue for 45 ~ 60 minutes per 454g/1 lb. Flip tongue very carefully every 45 minutes.
After 2 hours of cooking, add salt. Starting after 2.5 hours of cooking, and every 30 minutes, test with a thin sharp knife. Cooking is done when the knife goes through smoothly.
2. Remove cooked tongue from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Let it cool. Once it is cooled, it is easy to peel the skin. Use knife if needed in places. To remove fat and roots at the bottom of the tongue, get your hand in there and remove, separate pieces of meat hidden in the fat and discard undesirable parts. After cooking and trimming, tongue yields 40% of meat weight before cooking.
3.Cut the meat into 12mm (½”) slices. At this point, you can use any sauce of choice or use the meat as is, as hors-d’oeuvre, cold cuts (cut thinner in that case), shredded and served warm in a sandwich or in this recipe it is served with raisin sauce (recipe below).
4. As for the broth in the pot, strain, separate vegetables to use at other meals. Let the liquid sit to skim the fat. Use a few tablespoons of skimmed broth for the sauce if more liquid is needed, or freeze to be used later for other cooking.
5.Place sliced tongue pieces in a medium saucepan with lid, pour the raisin sauce over and simmer for 10 ~15 minutes on medium low. Dish out and serve.
Raisin Sauce for Meat Dish
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup (120 g) raisins of choice (I used mixed)
1 cup apple juice (I made fresh from Fuji apple)
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
smidgen ground saffron dissolved/brewed in 2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp crispy caramelized onion (optional)
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the raisins and sauté for a minute. Stir in the apple juice, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt and saffron and caramelized onion. Simmer for three minutes for the flavor to meld.