Tongue, when well prepared, is a most delicious and moist meat. It’s a muscle covered by a thick skin that is easily removed after blanching. Then you cook it slowly with vegetables until it’s very, very soft. This dish is braised. I like to serve it with a slight modern twist - I purée half of the braising vegetables, and serve the tongue with this purée, whole braising vegetables and blanched string beans. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
medium sweet onions chopped finely
garlic cloves chopped finely (remove inner green part)
Clean the tongue under cold running water - scrub the skin of the tongue thoroughly, then with a knife scrape any residues.
In a pot of boiling water, cook the tongue for 3/4 hour, covered.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables: Slice the leeks and wash very well. Drain and set aside.
Peel the carrots and cut in medium thick slices. Set aside.
Wash the celery stalks and cut in thin slices. Set aside.
Remove the inner green part of the garlic and mince finely.
After 1 hour of blanching the tongue, discard the water, allow the tongue to cool and remove the skin – you just peel it off easily (see photo uploaded).
In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, add the olive oil, the onion and garlic and fry until translucent. Add the carrots, celery, leek, parsley and stir well.
Stir in the tomato paste and white wine, allow the alcohol to evaporate and add the blanched tongue. Add boiling water to come to ¾ of the height of the meat. When boiling again, reduce heat to minimum, season lightly with salt, and cover with lid. Let simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is very tender. Turn the tongue over every 15 minutes and stir the pan so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom.
When the meat is cooked, remove and cut in medium thick slices. Cover and keep warm.
Discard the parsley, divide the vegetables in half. Put half in a blender and process with 173 cup of cooking liquid, until you have a smooth purée. Adjust the cooking liquid if the purée is too thick, it should be a creamy consistency. Check seasoning.
Put the purée on a warm serving dish, put the slices of tongue over the purée and add the remaining whole vegetables around.