Lengua (Ox Tongue) in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Lengua 650

This last main dish for my Thanksgiving series is my Mom’s specialty. This recipe of ox tongue uses a combination of onion, butter, bay leaf, milk and cream of mushroom sauce. The is a rich and creamy dish that reminds me of beef stroganoff without the pasta and with a much more flavorful meat.  Every time my Mom cooks this dish, our guests would always request for her to make it again.  But still there are some who are grossed out by the thought of eating tongue.  So my mom would never tell them what it is until they had a taste of it. Most of them cannot even tell that it is ox tongue and some would even give my mom a compliment on how good the dish is.

Did you say tongue???

The Secret to Cooking Tongue

Since tongue is almost pure muscle and have stringy fibers, the key to cooking tongue is softening it, and I mean melt in your mouth soft.  Many people dislike cooking tongue because it requires a lot of time and hard work to clean and soften it. Over the years, I have watched my mom try different ways to clean and soften tongue.  For a long time, she would do the traditional way which is boiling it until the outer skin can be peeled off and the tongue is soft enough.  But since we got here in the United States, my Mom got smarter and found a faster way of cleaning and cooking the tongue which is to pressure cook it.  She saved not only time but energy by using the pressure cooker.  This is the method I prefer since I am always on the run.  You have to give this a try, you will thank me for it!

A Tongue Twist to your Thanksgiving Menu

Tongue is a very unique ingredient and if prepared and cooked right can be a very exquisite dish.  In fact, many famous dishes form other countries make use of tongue as a major ingredient.  Tongue is commonly used in Mexican or Spanish dishes like the tacos de lengua and the lengua estofada.  Being a special ingredient, it is meant to be served on special occasions just like Thanksgiving. Instead of serving traditional dishes, here’s a twist on your Thanksgiving menu.  I
hope you and your guests enjoy it as much as we do!

Lengua in Creamy Mushroom Sauce
(serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:

5 lbs beef tongue, cleaned and thinly sliced (preferable tongue is less than 3 lbs so it’s easier to soften)
3 – 9 oz cans whole button mushroom
2 large onions, chopped
2 – 30 oz campbell’s cream of mushroom (or 6 small cans)
1 can evaporated milk
2 pcs bay leaf
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup butter
10 cups water
fish sauce to season

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Rinse tongue to remove slime and scum.  Pressure cook for 25 minutes.  If using traditional method, in a pot, boil tongue in water until outer skin cracks and peels off. (This step should also soften the meat, add more time if tongue is still tough) After pressure cooking or boiling, rinse tongue in cool water.  Peel off outer skin and rinse.
  2. Slice tongue crosswise, approx ¼ inch thin.
  3. Combine sliced tongue, whole button mushroom, water, onion, bay leaf soy sauce and butter.  Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add evaporated milk and stir.  Add cream of mushroom while stirring until it is dissolved well. Bring to a boil for another 5 minutes.
  5. Season with fish sauce.
  6. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies or steamed rice.

(Optional:  if sauce is too thin, add cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken sauce.)

If you have not tried beef or ox tongue before, you got to try this recipe!  This dish will break your boring Thanksgiving menu!

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