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Braised Tongue - Lingua Brasata

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A rich winter recipe for beef tongue; the pickles are a bit unusual for Italy, and are optional. But they are a nice touch. To serve 4:

Ingredients:

  • A tongue weighing about 2 pounds (900 g), soaked in cold water for an hour
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • A 1-pound (450 g) can plum tomatoes (about 3/4 pound drained weight)
  • A small bunch of parsley, minced with a few sprigs of thyme, some rosemary needles, and a few sage leaves
  • 4 pickled cucumbers, cubed (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Put the tongue in a pot of cold water, salt it, and bring the pot to a boil. Simmer the meat for 15 minutes, drain it, and when it is cool enough to handle skin it.

Heat the butter in a casserole large enough to contain the tongue and sauté the onions and the carrots until the unions have become translucent and are going gold, about 5 minutes. Put the tongue over them, reduce the heat, and let it braise gently for about 40 minutes. Sprinkle the wine over it, add the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours; about 10 minutes before the time is up degrease the sauce if necessary and stir in the cubed pickles if you're using them.

Remove the tongue, slice it crosswise, and arrange the slices on a warmed platter. Blend the sauce, heat it through, spoon it over the meat, and serve at once. You'll find the leftovers, served the next day, will also be quite good.

The wine? Red, and an Aglianico del Taburno might be nice here.

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