Beauty & the beast is the scenario for today or more like the beast turned beautiful. This is a true ugly duckling story. What I`m talking about & this simple man`s plan to better eating is Beef Tongue in Red Sauce/Lengua de Res en Salsa Roja. Let`s face it, beef tongue is just plain unsightly in it`s whole raw form but…. with a little kitchen love this nasty looking thing is transformed into the most tender, melt in your mouth, meaty, rich, flavorful cut imaginable. I think meat butter might be a good description as odd as that may sound. There are a couple of steps involved in this recipe & it does take a bit of time but none are complicated or difficult. The end result is nothing less than spectacular & so worth the effort! By the way, beef tongue makes the best tacos you`ll ever taste but that`s for another day.
Here`s what you`ll need for your Beef Tongue in Red Sauce/Lengua de Res en Salsa Roja:
Beef Tongue- 2-3lbs
Onion- 2 white or yellow
Whole Peppercorns- 1 tablespoon
Bay Leaves- 4 or 5
Dried Peppers- I used a mix of morita, pasilla & guajillo but use what you like or leave them out. I like spice.
Tomatoes- 3 cups chopped
Tomato Paste-2 tablespoons
Green Olives-1 cup chopped
Dates- pitted & diced
Cumin- 2 teaspoons
S & P to taste
Cilantro- finely chopped to garnishThe star of the show. Hard to imagine what a thing of beauty this is going to become but trust me here, it will!Start by giving the tongue a good rinse & scrubbing. Take a big stock pot & fill with water, a tablespoon or so of salt, the peppercorns, bay leaves, 1 chopped onion, 2 or 3 smashed garlic cloves & the dried chiles.Add your beef tongue, bring to a boil & reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover & let this go for 2 1/2-3 hours. Alternatively this is a great dish for the slow cooker. Set it to low, go to work & come back 8 hours later to proceed with the next step. Cooked & ready, look at this amazing stock that`s left. We`re going to add some back into our sauce so don`t throw it out. Freeze any that remains because it`s pretty amazing.I know, still pretty vile looking but that`s all going to change really soon. The first thing you need to do is get rid of that outer layer. It`s tough as leather but your dogs will love it.Make a shallow cut & it will peel right off. Trim any excess fat as well. The meat`s looking a lot like a perfectly cooked pot roast.All trimmed & looking pretty, nothing like what you started with. Look how super juicy this is. Go ahead & have a piece. Tell me meat butter`s not a good description, it will melt in your mouth. Cut into slices. Time to make the sauce.Prep the veggies. Finely chop the remaining onion, mince a couple of cloves of garlic & chop the tomatoes.Chop the olives & dates. Don`t have dates, raisins would be a great substitution here. We just want to add a little sweetness to balance the spice.Heat a splash of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, stir & cook 3-4 minutes until the start to soften.Add the tomatoes & cook about 5 minutes.Now the garlic, stir & cook about a minute more.To the pot add 4 cups of the reserved stock, cumin, oregano, tomato paste & the cinnamon stick. Stir well & bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer & cook 15 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick & transfer to a blender jar. Blend until smooth. Always be careful when blending hot liquids. Remove the center piece of the lid to let the steam escape but cover with a kitchen towel.Return your sauce to the pot & add in the olives & dates.Add in the sliced tongue & bring back to a simmer for about 20 minutes. Check & adjust the seasoning to taste. It`s ready to go.Plate & garnish with some chopped cilantro.
Enjoy your Beef Tongue in Red Sauce/Lengua de Res en Salsa Roja! This is so amazingly good! Truly the ugly duckling has transformed to the beautiful swan.