In earlier times, including not so long ago in California and Sonoma County, it was essential to glean as much food as possible from whatever source was available. But with the advent of supermarkets and meats cut in such a manner that it is hard to tell they come from animals, Americans grew squeamish. But all that seems to be changing back to a more sensible, responsible and delicious practice. Tongue is one of the most tender and flavorful parts of any animal, like the cheeks of larger fish and the head of beef, both acknowledged delicacies.
Lamb’s Tongue Vinaigrette
One of the myriad benefits of the new butchery movement and accompanying desire to honor the whole animal by using all of it is the increased availability of good innards, including tongue.
- Serves 2 to 3
- 6 poached lamb or goat tongues (recipe here)
- 18 very small fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons B. R. Cohn Champagne Vinegar, or other high quality white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley
- Kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper in a mill
- 2 or 3 handfuls of young fresh mache or other young salad greens
First, cook the tongue, let it cool in its cooking liquid until it is easy to handle and then pull off and discard the skins. Set the tongue aside.
Put the potatoes into the cooking liquid, bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 12 minutes. Use a small strainer or tongs to transfer the potatoes to a wide shallow bowl. Discard the cooking liquid or strain it and reserve it to use in soup.
Meanwhile, put the shallot, garlic, vinegar and parsley into a small bowl, season generously with salt and set aside for 20 minutes.
Cut the tongue in ¼-inch slices and remove the little bones at the back edge. Add the tongue to the potatoes.
Whisk the olive oil into the vinegar mixture, taste, correct for salt and season with several turns of black pepper. Pour the dressing over the tongue and potatoes and toss gently.
Divide the greens among individual salad plates or bowls and top with the tongue and potatoes.
Enjoy right away.
You can use any variety of radish in this dish but whenever I can I use two kinds, familiar round red radishes for the vinaigrette and delicate French breakfast radishes, ...