How does it feel writing 2013 on your checks these days? It takes me forever to get used to writing the new year on my stuff. I really hope this year brings only good things. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because a different number on the calendar does not give me more motivation to start or change things. Nevertheless there is a list of things that I need to and want to improve on all the time, regardless the year or month. The list includes spending more time with kids doing what they love; teaching my 5 year old some preschool stuff; being more organized with my paperwork; learning sign language and teach it to my 3 year old, braking the habit of procrastinating and making a schedule for the week and then sticking to it. What are some things that you want to improve on? Are there any habits that you were able to break or make in the past?
While you think of the answer, let me share a recipe of this beef tongue in white creamy sauce that will go with pretty much any side dish, be it potatoes, pasta, rice or any other grains for that matter. For those that have never tried tongue meat you’re really missing out. I like it white sauce, but that’s definitely not the only way to make it. You can cook it until fork tender and then eat it cold or hot on a sandwich, you can serve it sliced as part of your cold meat platter, or even make aspic (холодец, заливное) out of it. Any choice you go with, is a great choice!
- 1 Beef Tongue
- 1 large onion, peeled, whole
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 peppercorns
- 6-7 stems of parsley
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 2-3 tblsp. sour cream
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2-3 tblsp butter
- 2 tblsp flour
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed/chopped or ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. ground pepper
- 3-4 stems parsley, rinsed and chopped
- Wash the tongue under cold running water.
- Place it in a large pot, cover with water and bring to boil.
- With a skimmer continually (for the whole duration of cooking) collect the foam and other things that come to the top, keeping the stock clear. (You can use this stock to make soup or reduce it and then freeze it in an ice cube tray to use for sauces later)
- Do not cover with lid.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours being vigilant to keep the meat submerged under water. You can place a smaller lid on top of the tongue to keep it submerged (by the weight of the lid). Add hot boiling water to the pot as it evaporates.
- After about 2 hours when the meat is almost fork tender but not there yet, add the onion, carrot, peppercorns, bay leaf and salt (to make the stock salty). Simmer for another 40 minutes to 1 hour.
- When the meat is fork tender, remove it from the pot into a different bowl. Let it cool.
- Add the parsley to the stock and turn the heat off.
- Once the meat is cool enough to handle, remove the outer tongue skin.
- Cut the meat into ¼ inch slices and then cut those slices into strips.
- Heat the skillet with the butter, add the onion and sweat it, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the flour and cook it in the butter, continuously mixing it with a spoon, about 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped beef tongue, heavy cream, milk and sour cream, salt and pepper. Mix with a spoon until smooth and creamy. Add the crushed garlic or garlic powder.
- Let come to a boil and cook for another 3-4 minutes, continuously mixing with a wooden spoon to prevent scorching.
- Add the chopped parsley. Mix.
- Serve right away.
The meat stock that's left over can be used to make a wonderful soup or reduced further to half it's amount, frozen in ice cube tray and used to add flavor to sauces.