Lengua estofada is my favourite dish, because it brings me so much joy and satisfaction to work with what is basically a very ugly piece of meat and transform it into a succulent dish with a rich sauce of sherry and carrot. I also get great satisfaction when people tell me, ‘I don’t eat tongue’ then they go and eat a whole plate and say ‘that wasn’t tongue, that was great!’
Soak the tongues in a large bowl of salted water overnight in the refrigerator. Drain well.
Put the tongues in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add two of the carrots, the onion, eight of the bay leaves,
Remove the tongues from the dish, allow to cool slightly then peel while still warm. Remove any rough pieces of connective tissue at the root of the tongue. Cut the tongues into 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) thick slices.
Heat the olive oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium heat and cook the diced onion, remaining bay leaves and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the capsicum and
Increase the heat to high. Add the sherry, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any cooked-on bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil then add
Add most of the chopped parsley, reserving a little for garnish. Put the remaining peppercorns and cloves in a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), tie off and add to the casserole. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the tongue slices and enough extra stock to make sure all the slices are covered. Remove from the heat and cover with the lid.
Put the casserole dish in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Remove the cover, increase the heat to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and continue cooking for 20 minutes. The tongue is done when almost falling apart. Discard the peppercorns and cloves.
The sauce should have a light, coating consistency. If necessary, remove the tongue and reduce the sauce over medium–high heat until thickened slightly. Serve on a plate then spoon over a little sauce and sprinkle with the reserved parsley and sea salt flakes.
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.