Lingue di Vitello in Salsa di Ciliegie Marasche

Calves’ tongues with morello cherry sauce

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Honey from a Weed

By Patience Gray

Published 1986

  • About

This recipe derives from growing morello cherries in the garden.


  • 2 calves’ tongues each weighing about ½ kilo (1 lb 2 oz)
  • sea salt


    Rub the tongues with sea salt and put them in an earthenware crock for 24 hours packed with a little sea salt above and below.

    Next day: rinse the tongues and put them in a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer with the aromatics for 1½ hours, covered, on a low heat. Leave to cool in the broth.

    Take them out of the pan, peel and trim them, then replace them to keep hot in the liquor which you have quickly heated and reduced.

    If you have made the morello cherry jam or have managed to buy some (Romanian, German or Bulgarian) prepare the sauce:

    Put the butter in a pan large enough to take the tongues, add several spoonfuls of morello jam, melt it stirring on a low heat with the butter, then add a wineglass of red wine and very little of the hot broth, passed through a strainer. Put the tongues into the sauce, still on a low heat, to absorb the colour and the flavour; after a few minutes turn them over and simmer for another few minutes.

    Set the tongues on a white flat dish and pour the scarce sauce complete with cherries over them. To carve: slice them horizontally, in thin slices. Very simple and delicious.

    In spite of my lack of enthusiasm for veal (vitello) and older veal (vitellone, you can hardly call it beef), and may anyone Italian reading this forgive me, I must include the Milanese bollito misto and the Venetian lingua salmistrata, both recipes belonging to ancient tradition, medieval memory and peasant origins, dishes which throw a beam of light on eating habits which persist in the face of the most blatant modernity in the harsh winter climate of northern Italy.