Sunday Lunch at Lola Charing Valdes Gonzales’ always included this very popular dish. Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Stew) is usually ‘fiesta’ fare; something special to serve for special occasions. I suppose that there is only one tongue per cow; so it does deserve to be special.
Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue Stew)
Lengua Estofado is an ox stew simmered in tomatoes, red wine, soy sauce and spices. It is then baked with a gravy from the stewing liquid with button mushrooms and peas.
- 1 whole ox tongue
- 2 whole tomatoes - cut into quarters (must make up 1 cup)
- 1 big onion - cut into quarters (must make 1 cup)
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 pieces cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 20 pieces whole peppercorns
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 cups of cooking liquid
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 150 grams fresh button mushrooms - slice into bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
How to clean the ox tongue:
In a big cooking pot, that can comfortably fit the ox tongue, fill with water up to 2 inches from top and bring to a boil.
When the water is boiling, place the ox tongue inside the pot and boil for about 15 minutes.
Remove tongue from pot and see if you can start removing the whitish skin of the tongue; use knife to do this. If it’s still a bit difficult to peel off the skin, put in back in the pot and continue boiling for another 10 minutes and try to peel off the skin. Keep doing this till you have peeled off all the tough, whitish skin from the tongue.
Throw all that boiled water and skin.
Nowadays, you can already purchase from the supermarket, cleaned ox tongue.
Cook the stew
In a cooking pot that can accommodate the whole ox tongue, over medium low fire, place the ox tongue, enough water to just cover the ox tongue, tomatoes, onion, red wine, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorns, soy sauce, salt, and Worcestershire sauce.
Cover pot and continue to simmer till the ox tongue is tender.
Do this by inserting a toothpick or large fork into the thickest part of the tongue; and when it does this easily, the tongue is tender.
Remove the ox tongue from the liquid and let cool.
Reduce the cooking liquid till you have about 3 cups left. (reducing: bring the cooking liquid to a slow boil till you estimate that it is about 3 cups).
Strain the liquid to measure 3 cups. Set aside.
With the cooled ox tongue, slice, starting from the tip of tongue. Slice in a diagonal way; making it look like a tongue, 1/4-inch thick.
Lay the sliced ox tongue onto an oven-proof baking dish like cards that have been spread out one on top of the other but showing half of it.
Preheat your oven to 300ºF (160ºC) while you make the sauce:
Make the sauce:
In a small sauce pan, over low fire, place butter and melt.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the flour and stir continuously for 2 minutes.
Pour in 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and stir till the liquid is well blended.
Continue to do this till all the liquid has been absorbed.
Pour in the red wine and stir.
Add the frozen peas.
Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce; or taste and adjust accordingly.
Pour sauce evenly all over the ox tongue in baking dish.
Bake the ox tongue for 30 minutes.
- Serve with hot rice or creamy, mashed potatoes.
- Depending on the size of the ox tongue, it can serve 8 to 12 persons.