As some of my previous blog posts have mentioned, I participated in a meat share through Randle Farms. The most recent piece of meat I got from them was a beef tongue, which I've neither eaten nor cooked before. I was excited! To my surprise a piece of beef tongue can weigh up to 7 lbs. The one I got was about 4-5 lbs, I think. So, I decided to divide it up and make it three ways. Since this is a new type of protein for me, I used the most familiar cuisine: Asian. After a few hours of cooking, I had two appetizers and one entry from this nice piece of muscle. To kick off the meal, I made Chinese Braised Beef Tongue. This is something my mom made time and time again when I was growing up (except she used brisket or some other cut of beef).
Chinese braised beef tongue
- 1 lb of beef tongue with skin, one piece
- 4 tbsp rice wine
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 scallions
- 1 dried whole chili pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 anise star
- 2 pieces of dried orange peel
- 3 dried shiitake mushroom
- 3-4 cups of beef stock or water
- Place all the ingredients in a pot over medium heat.
- Lower the heat once it comes to a boil and simmer for 2-3 hours.
- Remove from heat and cool. Then refrigerate over night.
- When ready to serve, remove beef tongue from liquid. Remove the skin and slice thinly.
Our next appetizer was beef tongue wontons. Tongue is very lean and to balance this off, I served it in a homemade chicken soup. Making wontons is very easy and fun, I even had my dinner guests help me out by wrapping their own. They all did an excellent job since none of them opened up while cooking.
beef tongue wontons
- 1/2 pound ground beef tongue
- 2 stalks scallion, finely minced
- 1 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 pound wonton wrappers, at room temperature, covered with a damp towel
- 1/4 cup cool water
- 2 quarts homemade chicken broth
- In a large bowl, combine the ground meat, scallion, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar and sesame oil. Mix well.
- Put a scant teaspoon of filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, brush water on all edges. Fold over to in half, press to secure edges, encasing the filling. Brush water on one corner. Bring two corners together and press to secure. Place on clean, dry plate in one layer and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Repeat with remaining.
- In a large stockpot, add all but 2 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. The 2 cups of reserved broth should be room temperature or just slightly chilled. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the wontons. Bring pot back to a gentle boil. When it reaches a boil, add 1 cup of the reserved broth. Bring back to a boil and again, add the remaining 1 cup of reserved broth.
To finish off our tongue in cheek dinner, I served up the tongue in a massamam curry. This is something I make all the time. I mean ALL the time. It is so easy and simple. With either shrimp or chicken or really any protein I'm in the mood for, I'd whipped this up maybe once a week for dinner. And to my delight, everyone loved the beef tongue version.
beef tongue massaman curry
1 lb beef tongue, skin removed and sliced
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 tsp minced ginger
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup potatoes, sliced
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
2-3 tbsp massaman curry paste
2-3 cups of coconut water or water
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce
- Heat a wok, large frying pan, or soup-type pot over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl around, then add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes to release the fragrance.
- Add the beef tongue, stirring until fully cooked.
- Add in the potatoes, carrots, peppers, celery, and enough coconut water to cover the vegetables. Cook until the vegetables are tender. And more coconut water as needed.
- Add in curry paste, fish sauce and coconut water. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes. If you prefer a thicker curry sauce, leave off lid.
- Taste-test the curry, adding more fish sauce for increased flavor/saltiness, or more curry paste if you want it spicier.
- Serve over rice.