August 2, 2008

Veal tongue stew with Kalamata olives- Mancare de limba cu masline

I have been pretty busy this week, and did not have too much time for posting. A lot of work at the office, yesterday Clara had a Tea Party with her friends, but I still made time to cook and take some pictures, now I just need the time to post them.
This post is about tongue indeed, and I know there are not too many fans of tongue and/or other organs, but I belong to the group that really likes this and even crave for it.
This is one of my favorite foods that my mom makes and I cannot get enough of it. When I got married, we were still students and my mom would sometime send us packages with homecooked food when my dad was coming over; she would cook and freeze this stew and send it over to us. This happened too often, and it was all Gabriel's fault- he told my mom how good it is. It was one of those compliments that even though they were true, they were more polite than anything else. Gabriel payed the compliment as any good future-son-in-law would, not because he wanted to eat this once a month for the rest of his life. And although he could have confessed this to my mom, it's not like they don't communicate really well, he did not want to hurt her feelings. In the meantime, I was enjoying it because I really like this dish very much and even once a week would not be too often.

Since we live here, because I am the only one craving for it, I make it probably once a year or even less. I cooked it once for a dinner with our neighbours at the last place we lived, Carina and Keenan, and Carina, who is Swedish, really really loved it.
The recipe could be made with beef, pork, veal or lamb tongues, they are all very good. But this time I was lucky to find veal tongues, which are so very tender and taste amazing, so I could not rezist the temptation and buy them, even though it meant I will be eating this for about 3 days by myself, if my sister doesn't come over for dinner to help.

Now, my post is nowhere as fun as Carol's Tongue in Cheek, nor as complex, not even the same dish actually, but since I have the French Laundry Cookbook as well, and because I keep saying someday I will start making the recipes at home, not just drool over them, I thought this is a good time to use at least part of Mr. Keller's recipe, the one about the veal tongue, of course. I read it, and there is no big difference between the Tongue in Cheek recipe and the way my mom tought me to make this (aren't we modest... this is like the Ratatouille movie, everyone can cook, I find that we are cooking like Thomas Keller.....) But see how easily I digress ....we use bay leaf instead of thyme, no garlic, and if there are no leeks (like today), use white onion. And the cooking process is different. I keep cooking the tongue on the stove, simmering for about an hour and a half over low heat (cook it longer if it is beef tongue, and only about an hour if it is pork or lamb, since they are smaller), I've never braised it in the oven.

Veal tongue stew with Kalamata olives

2 veal tongues ( a little bit over 2 pounds)
2 medium white onions ( or use one white onion and one leek) - one onion is to be used when boiling the tongue, the other onion/leek, julienned, to be sauteed with the tomato sauce
2-3 carrots, cut in big chunks
1 parnsnip root, cut in big chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in about 3-4 pieces each
2 bay leaves
one teaspoon peppercorns
one 14 oz can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
two handfulls Kalamata olives

side dish - mashed potatoes

Horseradish cream sauce
5-6 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
Mix all ingredients together, put in a small jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the veal tongue in a pot with about 3 quarts of water, with one tablespoon of salt, the carrots, one whole onion, the parnsnip, the celery, the bay leaves, and the peppercorns, bring to a simmer and cook, covered, over reduced heat until the tongue is tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
Let the tongue cool in the liquid. When cool enough to handle, remove it from the stock, peel off the skin, cut away the fat from underneath and cut it into half an inch slices.
Strain the stock and refrigerate or freeze to use it later for whatever dishes you want.
Saute the second onion or leeks in 2 tablespoons of oil until soft and golden. Add the olives and after another two minutes the tomato sauce. Let it come to a simmering point over low heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and the tongue slices. Simmer it for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Serve over mashed potatoes and with horseradish sauce.


Mancare de limba cu masline
Mancarea de limba este una din preferatele mele de cand eram copil. Cand ne-am casatorit, eu si Gabi eram inca studenti, iar mama, vrand sa ne ajute, ne trimitea cateodata pachete prin tata cand venea la Bucuresti, cu mancare gatita. Si de mult prea multe ori a facut mancare de limba, o congela seara si ne-o trimitea a doua zi prin tata, si asta numai pentru ca Gabi i-a spus cat de mult ii place. Adevarul e ca lui Gabi nu i-a placut niciodata atat de mult. De fapt, a fost unul din complimentele alea politicoase, de complezenta, prea putin adevarate, cum orice viitor ginere se simte obligat sa faca viitoarei mame soacre. Si desi Gabi ar fi putut recunoaste ca mancarea de limba nu ii place deloc, pentru ca el si mama mea sunt f.f.f. apropiati, nu i-a spus decat dupa ani de zile, ca sa nu o supere. Intre timp, eu m-am bucurat de toata afacerea asta, pentru ca si daca imi dai mancare de limba o data pe saptamana nu e prea des.
De cand am venit aici, pentru ca sunt singura care pofteste dupa asa ceva, nu am gatit felul acesta decat o data pe an sau si mai rar. Am gatit-o fostilor nostri vecini, iar Carina, suedeza de fel, mi-a spus de nu stiu cate ori cat de mult i-a placut (si a fost un compliment sincer, nu ca cel al lui Gabi).
Postul meu nu e deloc haios precum cel scris de Carol - "Limba in obraz"( ce aiurea suna in romaneste), nu e nici complex ca al ei, nu e nici macar acelasi fel de mancare, dar pentru ca de cand am primit cartea "French Laundry Cookbook" am zis ca o sa ma apuc sa gatesc cateva din minunatele retete de acolo, am decis ca macar de data asta pot urma cel putin partial reteta lui Thomas Keller, in ce priveste limba de vitel. Am citit reteta lui, si nu sunt mari diferente in prepararea limbii (nu ma refer la restul retetei) fata de cum am invatat eu sa fac mancarea asta de la mama. Noi nu folosim cimbru si usturoi, ci punem foi de dafin, daca nu avem praz ( cum s-a intamplat de data asta) folosim ceapa, si fierbem limba pe aragaz, la foc mic, nu in cuptor. (vedeti ce usor apare infatuarea, noi gatim precum Thomas Keller, parca suntem in filmul Ratatouile, oricine poate gati....)
Mancarea se poate face cu limba de vitel, vita, porc, sau chiar miel, depinde ce aveti sau gasiti. Eu de data asta am fost norocoasa si am gasit limba de vitel, si desi stiu ca o sa mananc singura trei zile din ea, daca nu vine sora mea sa ma ajute, nu am putut rezista poftei.
2 limbi de vitel, cca un kg impreuna
2 cepe potrivite sau o ceapa si un fir de praz ( o ceapa se fierbe intreaga cu limba, a doua ceapa sau prazul se toaca solzisori/fideluta si se caleste pentru mancare)
2-3 morcovi taiati in bucati mari
un pastarnac, taiat in bucati mari
3 lujere de telina
2 foi de dafin
o linguritza boabe de piper negru
o conserva de 400 ml suc de rosii sau de rosii zdrobite
masline negre Kalamata ( o cana)
garnitura - cartofi
Sos de hrean cu smantana
5-6 linguri hrean ras proaspat
2 lingurite de otet
o lingurita zahar
o lingurita sare
2-3 linguri smantana
Se amesteca toate ingredientele, se pun intr-un borcanel la frigider pana e gata de servit.
Se pune limba in 2-3 litri de apa, cu o lingura de sare, morcovii, ceapa intreaga, telina, pastarnacul, foile de dafin si boabele de piper si se fierb la foc mic timp de o ora si jumatate. Se lasa sa se raceasca limba in zeama in care a fiert, si cand s-a racit suficient, se scoate din supa, se curata de piele si se feliaza in felii de 1.5 cm grosime. Supa se strecoara si sa pastreaza la frigider sau congelator pentru alte mancaruri.
Se pune ceapa taiata solzisori sau prazul la calit in doua linguri de ulei, si cand a devenit aurie se adauga maslinele. Dupa alte 2 minute se pune sosul de rosii si se aduce la punctul de fierbere, apoi se adauga feliile de limba, si se mai tine pe foc 5 minute.
Se serveste cu garnitura de cartofi (sau orice altceva vreti voi) si cu sosul de hrean.

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