When it comes to exploring the diverse world of culinary delights, adventurous eaters are often rewarded with unique and exquisite flavors. One such dish that stands out for its rich taste and melt-in-your-mouth texture is Lengua en Salsa, or Braised Beef Tongue in a spicy tomato sauce. This traditional dish is a culinary gem, celebrated in various cuisines around the world. In this blog post, we will delve into the origins, preparation techniques, and captivating flavors that make Lengua en Salsa a must-try culinary experience.
A Journey into the Origins:
Lengua en Salsa has its roots in Latin American and European cuisines, where beef tongue has been a delicacy for centuries. The dish can be traced back to Spanish and Portuguese influences, as well as the culinary traditions of countries like Mexico, Argentina, and the Philippines. Over time, it has become a beloved staple in many households and restaurants, cherished for its unique taste and tender texture.
Tenderizing and Braising the Beef Tongue:
Preparing Lengua en Salsa begins with selecting a high-quality beef tongue. The tongue is first thoroughly cleaned and then simmered in a flavorful broth with aromatic vegetables and spices. This process helps tenderize the meat, rendering it incredibly moist and succulent. The braising liquid includes ingredients such as onions, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and herbs, imparting a rich depth of flavor to the tongue as it cooks slowly over a gentle heat.
The Art of Sauce Creation:
Once the beef tongue is tender, it is removed from the cooking liquid and allowed to cool. The outer skin is then peeled away, revealing the tender, juicy meat underneath. The tongue is thinly sliced, creating bite-sized morsels that are ready to be bathed in a luscious sauce. The sauce, can vary in flavor profiles depending on the regional influences. Ours at MBK, includes ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, herbs, and olives all cooked down to create a rich and savory sauce that complements the delicate beef tongue perfectly.
The Captivating Flavors and Presentation:
Lengua en Salsa offers a complex and captivating flavor profile that combines the natural richness of beef tongue with the aromatic notes of the sauce. The tender meat, having absorbed the flavors of the braising liquid, becomes incredibly flavorful and pairs beautifully with the velvety sauce. The dish strikes a delicate balance between savory, tangy, and slightly sweet notes, resulting in a harmonious symphony of flavors on the palate. We often serve Lengua en Salsa with a side of Mexican rice, allowing you to savor every delicious bite and appreciate the depth of the dish.
Embracing Culinary Adventure:
Lengua en Salsa is a dish that showcases the beauty of embracing culinary adventure. While the idea of beef tongue may be unfamiliar or even intimidating to some, the rewards of venturing outside one’s comfort zone are undeniable. This dish serves as a testament to the richness and diversity of global cuisines, encouraging us to explore and celebrate the unique ingredients and preparations that make up our culinary heritage.
Lengua en Salsa, with its tender braised beef tongue and luscious sauce, offers a remarkable gastronomic experience that transcends cultural boundaries. The dish’s rich flavors and textures have made it a beloved favorite in many regions, captivating the palates of those willing to venture beyond the ordinary. By embracing the culinary adventure that Lengua en Salsa presents, we open ourselves to a world of flavors and expand our appreciation for the diverse tapestry of global cuisine. So, take a leap, indulge your senses, and savor the unforgettable delight that is Lengua en Salsa. Enjoy!
Lengua en Salsa
- 1 whole beef tongue (lengua)
- 1/2 medium white onion
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 10 roma tomatoes quartered and blended
- 2 slices white bread toasted – medium to dark
- 1 large white onion sliced thin in half moons
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 whole jalapeno
- 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 – 2 Bay Leaf
- 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed olives finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Remove tongue from the plastic packaging and rinse well.
- In a large pot, combine tongue with 1/2 onion (cut into two pieces), 2 garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt,1 tsp. whole black peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce heat, continuing to boil for approximately 1 1/2 hours (depending on the size of the tongue) or until the juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
- When fully cooked, remove tongue from pot and set aside to cool. Reserve one cup of the cooking liquid. Using a small knife, carefully remove the thick outer layer from the meaty flesh. Remove any unappetizing fatty parts towards the back of the tongue.
- Once cleaned, cut the tongue into 1/2 inch slices and set aside.
- In a large pan over medium heat, add 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, sliced onions, whole jalapeno, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and cook until tender and translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
- While onions are cooking, toast two slices of white bread and set aside.
- In a blender, combine Roma tomatoes, toasted bread and blend until smooth.
- Pour tomato mixture into the pan with the cooked onions. Nestle the sliced beef tongue into the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid.
- Add 1/2 cup chopped olives, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and stir well to combine.
- Simmer approximately 20 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, taste and correct seasonings adding additional salt if needed.