Almond and tomatillo beef tongue (lengua almendrada)
A typical meal from Mexican neighbourhood restaurants or comida corrida, where bistro classics of yesteryear were offered. Serve with hot tortillas or rice pilaf.
- 3 lbs beef tongue or 2 veal tongues
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 cloves
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 4 pasado chiles
- ¼ cup raisins
- 4 cups cooked or canned tomatillos
- 4 green shallots
- ¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped (opt.)
- ½ cup white almonds
- ¼ cup roasted sesame seeds
- 4 Tbsp lard or olive oil
Put the tongue in a pan of cold water and soak for 15 minutes. Discard the water.
Refill with a generous amount of cold water. Bring to a boil and skim.
Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, cloves, oregano, bay leaves and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook slowly until the tongue is tender when a small knife is inserted (2-3 hours). Turn off the heat and let rest for 2 hours.
Place the Pasado chilies and raisins in a bowl and barely cover with warm water.
Remove the tongue and discard the rough skin. Strain the broth and set aside.
Drain the cooked tomatillos and put in a blender with the drained chilies and raisins. Add shallots, fresh coriander, almonds and ¾ of the sesame seeds. Pour 1 cup of broth and reduce to a creamy sauce. If needed, add more broth to achieve the desirable consistency for coating. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Heat a pan on medium. Pour in oil and then the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. Taste and correct for salt.
Cut the tongue into attractive slices then poach in the sauce for 5 minutes to reheat.
Place the tongue and sauce in a large dish, garnish using the remaining sesame seeds.