Thursday, December 8, 2011



Some may be shocked at the thought of this dish or others like it but I find it delicious. Beef tongue can be made a multitude of way and when prepared properly it is tender lean and delicious. Its really good in tacos and cured, pepper crusted and sliced thin it makes a most wonderful Jewish style sandwich.

The way it is served above is Slovakian style. We do this fairly often with beef tongue as well as pork tongue but not usually smoked. Smoked meats are pretty common in Slovakia and across Europe because it is a means of preservation. Done in the past out of necessity now mostly because it is just so damn tasty. 

Get a hold of a cow tongue. Stretch it out on the cutting board and cut off the excess skin form the bottom. You can make this dish without smoking the tongue and it is just as good though it will lack the smoked flavor. If you are not going to smoke it start a large enough stock pot to fit the tongue with salted boiling water. Drop in the tongue and let it boil until the skin pulls away from the muscle. Then remove it from the pot and run it under cold water. The skin should pull away and peel off. If not return it to the water until the skin pulls away. Set the peeled tongue aside. 

If you decide to smoke it start the smoker going as low in temp as possible and smoke it with a mild wood like apple or cherry for about two or three hours. Just enough to infuse some smoke flavor. Over smoked will make the flavor to strong for the delicate paprikash sauce.  

After smoking set it out on a cutting board.  With a sharp filet or boning knife peel the skin from the muscle. This is done by putting the knife just under the skin. After a small piece of skin has been lifted grab it with a kitchen towel so it does not slip from the fingers. Move the knife along while pulling off the skin. Much like you would skinning a side of salmon.  

Slice the tongue into half inch slice and set them aside. 

  • Beef or pork tongue sliced. 
  •  1 large onion minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 3 tablespoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons flour and butter roux
  • A little vegetable oil

Get a large enough heavy pot hot over medium high heat. Pour in a little vegetable oil to cover the bottom. Then drop in the bay leaf and the caraway seeds. When the seeds start to crackle a little drop in the onions and garlic and stir. When they start to sweat and maybe turn a little brown put in the paprika and toss for a 30 seconds. Then pour in the beef stock and other ingredients except for the sour cream and the roux.

Turn down to low and cover, simmer until the beef tongue is completely tender. About two hours. Take out a piece intermittently to check.

When the beef tongue is tender remove from the heat. Gradually add the sour cream while stirring constantly. Then add the roux and stir well. Return the pot to the burner and simmer uncovered until the sauce becomes thick. 

Serve with rice, elbow pasta or Hungarian dumplings like above. Garnish with a little sprinkle of paprika. 

                                              Shown here is pork tongue that is not smoked.

Good stuff. 

To quote a friend: "Do you taste this dish, or does it taste you".

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