Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Screen shot 2011-08-30 at 3.08.15 PM.png Bite-Your-Tongue Tacos

Photo by Jennifer May

We like to use the term "nose-to-tail," meaning we use every part of the animal. But one of the least popular yet most delicious cuts we always want folks to bite is our tongue.

If you can't quite deal with the idea of eating sliced tongue, try this recipe for tongue tacos (which comes from The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat, by Fleisher's co-owners Joshua and Jessica Applestone and their co-auther Alexandra Zissu). Your dinner guests will rave and you’ll lap up the praise.

For the meat:
1 tongue (about 2½ pounds)
1 tablespoon salt

1. Rinse the tongue under cold water and make sure it is clean. Put the tongue in a large stockpot with enough room so that it doesn't touch the sides. Cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to low to keep a good, solid simmer. Let simmer for 3 hours; the tongue is done when a sharp knife pierces it easily and the outer membrane looks ready to slide off.

2. Remove the tonge from the pot and let cool on a plate for about 15 minutes. It should be cool enough to touch but not so cold that the membrane sticks. Peel off the membrane and remove any rough bits from the underside of the tongue, using a sharp knife if necessary.

3. Put the tongue back in the stockpot, add the salt to the water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low to keep at a simmer. Simmer about 1 hour, until the meat is tender and can be pulled apart easily.

For the salsa verde:
1 pound fresh tomatillos (11 or 12), husked
2 to 3 jalapeƱo peppers, to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
1 ripe avocado, diced
½ cup finely chopped white onion
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Put the tomatillos, peppers, and garlic in a medium saucepan and add ½ cup of water. Set the pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, until the tomatillos are soft and have lost their vibrant green color, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid, and let the vegetables cool.

2. Transfer the cooled vegetables and liquid to a blender. Add the salt and puree on high speed until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir in the avocado, onion, and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, then adjust the seasonings if needed.
Add the shredded meat to warm tortilla shells, top with a bit of the salsa verde, and garnish with some thinly sliced radishes. Serves 4 to 6.

Screen shot 2011-08-31 at 11.17.16 PM.png

Beefsteak Bargain: Remember Monday's post about the old New York tradition of the beefsteak? The organizers of this Sunday's Brooklyn Beefsteak event are offering a $5-per-ticket discount to readers of the Butcher's Case. Enter the code "SIRLOIN11" when purchasing your tickets.

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