Not a fussy child by any means, I did draw the line at some things, and watching my mother scoop another layer of dirty scum off the cows tongue boiling way on the stove I knew I was in trouble.
“But mum I hate tongue!” was usually my response as I fled the kitchen in tears, much to the delight of my sister who loved the stuff.
Unfortunately for my sister things changed. After many a long day cycling in the Andes, where tongue was almost always on the menu in the small hillside restaurants I pulled into, I know love the stuff. The only problem is finding tongue in a restaurant, let alone a shop, in this country is almost impossible these days.
In England our bovine diet is almost totally limited to what supermarkets determine are ‘the finer cuts’ and so you can imagine my delight when I found tongue on the menu of Parrilladas del Sur, a Bolivian cafe hidden in the gloom of The Old Kent Road. If you ask your butcher nicely they should sell you an ox tongue for a few pounds so here is a recipe so you no excuse but to give it a try.
- 1 beef tongue
- 4 fresh tomatoes (one tin)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Half an onion finely chopped
- Three cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- Bacon dripping or cooking oil
- Cilantro/Coriander, finely chopped
1. Cook the beef tongue in boiling, salted water until tender (about three to four hours) removing any scum that builds up on the surface with a slotted spoon.
2. Remove the tongue and when cool enough to handle remove the skin and cut into thin slices
3. Now peel and dice the tomatoes, garlic and onions and sweat in a little bacon dripping (cooking oil will do) for 10 to 20 minutes until sticky and rich. Season well.
4. Place the sliced tongue ion a serving dish and our over the sauce. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and garnish with some diced red onions and fresh diced fresh tomatoe.
5. Serve with rice and boiled potatoes.