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Spiced Beef Tongue Recipe

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Published April 28, 2007 at 12:55 p.m.


Yesterday afternoon, Ruth Horowitz informed me that she would be eating leftover tongue for lunch. Although I'm the resident food writer, my co-workers don't usually drop by my desk to tell me what they're eating, but Ruth knows that I'm particularly interested in the American discomfort with chowing down on "variety meats."

She found the tongue for $1.99 a pound at City Market and prepared it using a tried and true recipe from the original, 1961 edition of The New York Times Cookbook.

Wanna try it? A friendly gentleman in the meat department explained that City Market gets tongue from the folks at LaPlatte River Angus farm in Shelburne, but they don't always have it around. To find out if tongue is available or to place a special order, call 863-3659, ext. 7. Meat from LaPlatte is free of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.

Here's the recipe Ruth used, which I located with a little help from my mother.

Spiced Beef Tongue   6 servings

1 fresh beef tongue, about 3 pounds                3 strips lemon peel
1 tablespoon salt                                              1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small onion, sliced                                         2 teaspoons brown sugar
Few whole black peppercorns                           1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf                                                          2 cups dry white wine
Water to cover

    1. Place the tongue, salt, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover the pan and simmer until the tongue is fork tender, two and one-half to three hours.
    2. Remove the tongue from the water and cool slightly. Trim as for boiled fresh beef tongue, above. [taken from recipe above: cut off bones and gristle at the thick end of the tongue. Slit the skin from the thick end to the tip on the underside. Use a paring knife to loosen the skin at the thick end, and pull and peel off the skin from the thick end to the tip.] Cut the meat into thin slices.
    3. Place the tongue slices in a casserole and add the remaining ingredients. Bake, covered, in a preheated moderate oven (375° F.) until the meat absorbs nearly all the liquid, about thirty-five minutes. Serve hot or chilled.

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