Lengua Vera Cruz
I suppose the real test of learning is to see if you can recreate what you have learned months after the class has ended. So a few weeks ago I decided to pull out the two big honkin' beef tongues that were in my freezer and see if I remembered enough to create my own take on beef tongue. I also spoke to a friend named Alice who has a lot of great cooking knowledge and she gave me some further tips on making a brine to soak the tongues so they'd be mouth wateringly tender.
Happy Cows at Infinity Farm in Cedar Grove, NC
One of the beautiful ponds that cattle can access at Infinity Farm
So once we have established that these were happy cows who gave their life for our nourishment, it is not so gruesome for me to look into my stockpot and see these big tongues waving in there. I filled my pot with water and made a salt brine along with some bayleaf and peppercorn and garlic and let the tongue sit in this mix for about two days in my fridge.
Beef tongues waiting to be prepared... transformed into something appealing!
Beef tongue needing to have outer cover removed
Sliced beef tongue
Roma Tomatoes cut in wedges with the stems removed, onions sliced julienne style, green peppers sliced julienne style, garlic diced, Spanish olives and capers, lime juice and some cilantro finely diced and salt and pepper to taste. I saute'd this mixture in ideally tallow but if that is not available, butter or olive oil would be ok also.
Donna's Lengua Vera Cruz at home
Natural Chef Cafe Lengua Vera Cruz
In addition to tasting pretty good, there are some nice health benefits to eating the occasional offal.
Cow tongue has vitamins and minerals that help cells maintain themselves and also provides support to the nervous and musculoskeltal system. Cow tongue contains 3.79 mcg vitamin B-12, almost 158 percent of the daily recommended intake for adults. This has benefits for both red blood cell production and the nervous system. There is also a good amount of folate which is responsible for cell growth and maintenance. You can read about some of the other benefits here: Benefits of eating-cow-tongue.
If we go back in time and remember that people used to eat offal of some kind on a weekly basis, you can see that it was a nice way to get an infusion of nutrients that are hard to get from standard day fare. I encourage you to give it a try... for the sake of supporting your farmer as well as your own health!
Also published in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday