Ox Tongue (Lengua) with Mushroom Sauce
Whenever we get the chance, our family goes to either Darra or Inala, both suburbs of which are known for Asian shops and delis. On the last occasion that we were in Inala, we were in a meat shop recommended by our delightful couple friends Pinky and Keith and we decided we haven’t had ox tongue for quite some time (actually we just had some a couple of weeks ago but my daughter says it’s been “awhile”. And so we bought a couple of medium sized ones.
Ox Tongue. Reactions could either be Eeeeeewwwwww or Yummmmmm. My daughter’s reaction would be: “Can’t wait for dinner!” and my husband’s would be: “Do we have enough rice?” LOL.
If you reaction is the first one, then either skip this recipe or give it a go — you might change your mind after trying it! Warning though, this takes some time to cook.
I decided to cook both the tongues because I knew one would not be enough for the three of us, and if there were leftovers, I can always freeze them for later consumption. Of course, there were no leftovers.
Ox tongue (1 large or 2 medium, make sure you buy from a reputable meat shop of course)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
juice of 3 calamansi, or 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
about 7 pieces whole peppercorns
1 medium sized onion, quartered
1 dry bayleaf (or laurel leaf)
butter for frying
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced (I had some that were in my fridge for 2 days already lol so they are not purely white anymore)
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
Boil the tongue for 1 1/2 hours — yes that long. After this long boiling time, the tongue’s outer layer will then turn white — this white covering is NOT for eating. Drain the tongue, cool down a bit, but while warm, peel off the white skin from the tongue either with your fingers or with a knife, and take out the gritty parts (or those parts that don’t look attractive to you somehow). Throw out the water used to boil the tongue and rinse clean your pan.
Return the tongue into the same pan, add the soy sauce and lemon juice. At this stage, you can leave the tongue to marinade overnight if you want to stagger the steps and prepare it for the following day. Just cover your pan with its lid to prevent drying.
Add the peppercorns, onion, laurel leaf, and enough water to cover the tongue. Boil for the second time and simmer for 1½ hours (yes that long) or until your desired tenderness. Some like their tongue super tender, some on the other hand like my father, doesn’t like it too soft. Drain but do not throw the broth.
Slice the tongue about ¼ inch thick and fry lightly in butter by batch and arrange the pieces on a plate. Add butter as needed while you fry the rest of the tongue pieces. After all pieces are fried, remove the pan from fire, add the flour and stir until you make a paste. Add ½ cup of the broth and the cream of mushroom sauce and stir until combined. Return the pan to the fire, still stirring constantly until mixture boils. Add the mushrooms and cheese. Let simmer until thick, the mushrooms are cooked and the cheese is melted. At this point, you can add some more of the broth if you want your sauce runnier. Pour the mushroom sauce over the tongue.
Serve warm with steaming rice. Watch your family eat in silence with the occasional “mmmmm” 🙂