Nearly every Saturday morning, year-round, I visit our town farmer’s market. A few hardy souls will come out during the “off-season” from post-Christmas to March to sell meat, eggs, and baked goods. My beef and egg farmer is the kindest, no-nonsense southern woman. Miss Judy is always ready with a hug and a sincere, “how ya doing?” I was her first customer in Salem a couple years ago, on Holy Saturday. We were Lent-starved and they had convenient family packs of the best grass-fed meat I’ve ever had the joy to set taste-buds on!
In November, she put up a new item on her sale list – tongue! Our friends had raved about how tender and flavorful beef tongue is – they swore it was just like melt-in-your-mouth roast (ha!). Miss Judy brought out the frozen item and we both broke out in giggles. She had never cooked it before. I was willing to take a gamble and the tongue came home with me. I tucked it away in the freezer for after Nativity.
The dear Hobbit was, let’s say, a little squeemish about the idea of a cow’s tongue on his dinner plate. He made me promise to “surprise” him with it at dinner. Last Thursday seemed optimal for meaty dinner surprises. I followed the directions here for boiling. Here is what the tongue looks like in the pot:
After three hours of simmering in the oven, the tongue is ready to be peeled. Yes, I said peeled. The cow has a prickly, tough layer in order to grab grass yummies, much like a cat’s tongue on a grander scale:
I trimmed off the gristly bits underneath and sliced it in rounds. The broth made an excellent gravy. That evening I also tried another new recipe, Pumpkin Risotto. Risky, that, trying two new things at once. Glory to God, both new things were a success!
The Hobbit Husband liked the tongue! He was clued into what was coming because I left out the peelings on the platter. It really does taste like a tender roast. We might have to revisit tongue again in the future.