If you prefer the ox tongue dish with mushroom sauce, you can click here. Personally, I am so tired of that recipe and that’s the reason I started experimenting. I was aiming for something not too different from the one with mushroom sauce because that’s the favorite of my daughter, Sam.
I sliced a cooked ox / beef tongue (lengua) then divided the meat into two unequal portions. The larger portion we had for dinner the other night. Served a la Chinese style cold meat, we ate the ox tongue slices with a dipping sauce made with a mixture of soy sauce and hoisin sauce. The smaller portion became the ox tongue with gravy dish that you see in the photo and which went into the kids’ lunch boxes yesterday.
First, see how to prepare and cook the ox / beef tongue or lengua or whatever you call it at home.
A tip. For best results, simmer in the ox tongue in salted water and throw in a whole garlic, onion, bay leaf and peppercorns. A bunch of leeks would be great too. Not only do herbs, spices and vegetables add body to the flavor of the ox tongue, they give the broth a rich color too. And since you’re going to use some of the broth to make the gravy, you really ought to make sure that it is tasty.
While cooling the ox tongue, cool the broth as well. Strain — twice if necessary — and cool. Chill. Fat will harden on the surface after a few hours. Remove the hardened fat and discard. If you’ve wondered why some lengua dishes form “sebo”, it is likely because the fat was not removed from the broth before it was used for making the sauce. There’s just no express lane when it comes to cooking ox tongue. Time and patience are necessary.
So, you have your sliced ox tongue and broth sans fat. You’re ready to complete the dish.
- 8 to 12 slices cooked ox / beef tongue
- butter lots of it (the amount depends on the size of the tongue and how many slices you cut it into)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- broth in which the ox / beef tongue lengua had ooked
Heat about three tablespoonfuls of butter in a skillet. Brown the ox tongue slices in batches. Flip them over halfway through the process to brown both sides. Add more butter to the skillet with every batch of ox tongue slices.
As the ox tongue slices brown, remove them from the skillet and arrange on a serving platter. Keep them warm (inside the oven is a good place) while you make the gravy.
Add more butter to the skillet so that you have about four tablespoonfuls in there. Add the flour all at once and stir well. Over medium heat, cook the flour in the butter until browned, about six to seven minutes (you're making a brown roux for the gravy base).
Pour in the broth (warmed to room temperature) a little at a time, stirring as you pour. Stop when you reach the consistency you prefer. Some people like their gravy really thick; other's don't. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and add whatever aromatics and herbs you like.
Pour the gravy over the browned ox tongue slices and serve.
This little experiment will probably turn up in one of the many potluck and family dinners over the Christmas holidays.
Since the gravy I made was meant to go with less than half of a whole ox tongue, you will need to double or triple the ingredients to make enough gravy to serve with a whole ox tongue.
Finely minced garlic is really great.