Contains: Offal, dairy.
The inspiration recipe for this one is Filipino-based, and is a Lengua in Mushroom Sauce. Although I doubt it is traditional in the Philippines to use canned condensed mushroom soup – but just as everywhere, people do adapt for convenience and time constraint reasons. But the idea was intriguing, so I went with the flow!
I had a very small calves’ tongue from a butcher specializing in finding locally raised meats (and quality olive oil). I bought this small one (0.685 ounces), planning to come up with an appetizer recipe using it. Well, I found the Filipino idea instead. Had mushrooms, a can of semi-condensed golden mushroom soup (Amy’s brand), and some veggies.
Pig tongues are also about this size and can be used instead.
For a 3-pound ox tongue, simmer the tongue for 3-4 hours. I decided to use 1.5 hours of simmering for this little lengua. I wanted to be sure the skin would peel off nicely once cooked. Removing skin is far easier after cooking – allow to cool down to a warm, finger-friendly temperature before peeling. This recipe source tells me if you still have trouble, a vegetable-peeler can be used. Good to know!
Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Cook Time: 3-4 hours for an average 3-pound tongue, which is 50-60 minutes per pound. But if one pound or less, go with 90 minutes. Plus another 25 minutes.
Rest Time: Enough to cool for skin removal. Chill for another hour or so for ease of slicing.
Serves: 2 – 4.
Lengua in Mushroom Sauce, Filipino-Inspired
- 1 ox (beef or bison) tongue or 1 pork tongue. I will give different measurements for two sizes of tongue.
- 3 bay leaves.
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns (for small tongue). 1 teaspoon for large.
- 1/2 medium onion, or 1 large onion for a larger tongue.
- 5-6 good sized white button mushrooms, chopped coarsely; or 15 for large.
- 1/2 can semi-condensed mushroom soup (I used Amy’s Golden Mushroom Soup), or 1 full can for large. Campbells would work, too, adjust liquid volume.
- Two or three good handfuls of coarsely chopped cabbage (green, Savoy, Napa, bok choy,..)
Bring the tongue to boil and reduce temperature to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Drain and wash out pot and then re-add the tongue along with onion, peppercorns and salt. Cover with water again. Bring to a boil again, reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 90 minutes – 4 hours – (3-4 hours for an average 3-pound tongue, which is 50-60 minutes per pound. But if one pound or less, go with 90 minutes.)
Remove, allow to cool enough to handle, peel off skin – fingers usually work fine, but a vegetable peeler isn’t amiss here. Set in the fridge to cool and stiffen for about an hour or two. Do reserve the onion (or feel free to add more). Also, reserve a cup or two of the boiling water (depending on the size of the tongue used).
Meanwhile, prep the rest of the mis en place.
In a suitable skillet or pot, simmer the bay leaves, mushrooms, and soup, along with any onion, and the cup or two of broth from the tongue. Simmer for about twenty minutes allowing the liquid to reduce, meanwhile slicing up the chilled tongue very thinly. Add this to the pot, along with the cabbage. Simmer another five or so minutes.
Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaves to discard, and serve, tasting to add more salt or pepper as needed
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