For years, I have been meaning to re-shoot the photo for my ox tongue (lengua) in mushroom sauce recipe and update the cooking instructions as well. I bought a 1.5 kilogram beef tongue, put it in the slow cooker overnight and, when I got up the next day, I thought I ruined it. The meat was so tender that it was difficult to get it out of the cooker without allowing it to cool to room temperature. I sliced it after chilling in the fridge for a couple of hours and it was literally falling apart while I cut. Is that a bad thing? Oh, no. The beef tongue was — quite literally — melt-in-the-mouth tender.
Ox tongue in mushroom sauce sounds continental but, believe it or not, most Filipino cookbooks include a version of this dish. My father had his own version too. This is mine. Because of its price in the Philippines, ox tongue is served mostly in expensive restaurants and hotels. When served with mushroom sauce, a few slices are arranged on the dinner plate and served with a scoop or two of mashed potatoes. Neither is it a dish commonly served at home because of the extensive cooking time it requires. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it… Here are some tips for a less exhausting way to cook ox tongue (lengua) in mushrooms sauce.
First of all, you don’t have to do everything all the same time. The tongue goes into the slow cooker the night before. The mashed potatoes can be prepared hours earlier and kept in the fridge. While simmering the ox tongue, do other things… read, go online, watch TV, sleep, do the laundry, clean the house… Read the rest of the tips in the printable recipe.
- 1 ox tongue (about 1.5 kilos)
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 whole garlic
- 1 whole onion
- 6 peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ carrot
- a few stalks of leek
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 and ½ cups sliced button mushrooms
- 1 can condensed mushroom soup
- a splash of Worcestershire sauce
- sliced scallions, to garnish
- mashed potatoes, to serve
- Scrape the ox tongue with a knife. Rinse well under running water. Place in a glass bowl and cover with water. Add the vinegar. With your hands, “wash” the tongue in the water-vinegar solution. Rinse well.
- Place the ox tongue in the slow cooker and pour in two cups of water. Stir one tablespoon salt into the water; sprinkle another tablespoon salt directly on the exposed portion of the meat (i.e. the part that isn't submerged in water).
- Pierce garlic in several places with a sharp pointed knife. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, leeks, peppercorns and bay leaf to the tongue. Cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours.
- Cool the cooked meat. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for at least two hours.
- Peel the ox tongue.
- Discard the outer skin. Cut the meat into half-inch slices. Arrange the sliced tongue in a shallow serving bowl or platter.
- Melt the butter in a frying pan. Add the sliced onion and cook over medium heat until caramelized. Scoop out the onion slices.
- To the remaining butter, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook until lightly browned then pour in about a quarter cup of the liquid in which the tongue has cooked. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to get any browned bits mixed in.
- Add the mushroom soup. Stir and heat gently until smooth. Off the heat, stir in the Worcestershire sauce and two tablespoons butter.
- Pour the sauce and mushrooms around the sliced meat. Top the meat with caramelized onion. Sprinkle with sliced scallions.
- Serve the ox tongue (lengua) in mushroom sauce with mashed potatoes on the side.
Enjoy your ox tongue (lengua) in mushrooms sauce!