Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lengua in Mushroom Sauce

Lengua (ox tongue) is a popular food here in the Philippines. The love for it started during the Spanish occupation. As one might notice, a lot of traditional Filipino food is highly influenced by the Spanish culture, since they occupied our country for four hundred years!

I have nothing new to blog, unfortunately. However, I would like to share this simple recipe with you, as shared to me by one of our company caterers.

You need to source out the best lengua that you can find, that's the secret to this dish. I personally prefer the New Zealand organic meats from S&R because they seem to taste better and are more tender. Not sure why though. Butter is also very important in rounding up all the flavors in this dish.

Lengua in Mushroom Sauce

1 pc Lengua
2 White onions, quartered
2-3 Laurel leaves
Whole peppercorns
2 Cans cream of mushroom soup (I like using Campbell's)
1 to 2 Tablespoons Knorr liquid seasoning or soy sauce
1 Large can whole mushrooms, drained
1/2 Stick of butter

1. In a large stock pot, place the lengua and cover completely with water (do not season), boil until the white filament becomes more visible and easy to peel. This would probably take 30 minutes to 45 minutes depending on the size of your lengua.
2. Remove the lengua from the boiling liquid. Discard the liquid.
3. Cool the lengua but never, ever, immerse in cold or running water. It will toughen the meat because it will abruptly stop the cooking process.
4. Once the lengua is cooled, peel off the white filament. Discard filament. This is a very important step, please take time to do the first four steps before proceeding.
5. Once the filament has been removed, boil water, onions, laurel leaves and peppercorn in a large stockpot or pressure cooker. Add the lengua to the boiling water. Season with a little salt.
6. If using a pressure cooker, it will take about an hour to an hour and a half. For a slow boil in a regular stockpot, it will take maybe three hours or so, depending on the size of the lengua. I like it very tender so I tend to boil it longer.
7. When the lengua is tender. Turn off heat. Remove the lengua from the broth, cool and carefully slice in discs, set aside. Do not discard the broth yet.
8. In a separate pan, mix two cans of cream of mushroom soup and the equivalent of one to one and a half cans of hot broth from the lengua. Mix well until there are no more lumps. Simmer.
9. To the mushroom mixture, add Knorr seasoning or soy sauce. Mix well.
10. Carefully add the lengua to the mushroom mixture.
11. Add the mushrooms and simmer in low heat. If the sauce is too thin disperse a tablespoon of cornstarch in cold water and add to the sauce while simmering. Do not simmer for too long, the sauce might burn.
12. Add butter and turn off the heat. Mix slightly until the butter melts.

Other variations of this dish include adding water chestnuts and/or cashew nuts, in lieu of the mushrooms.

For Pastel de Lengua variation, just add diced carrots and potatoes after you have added the Knorr seasoning to the cream of mushroom soup, simmer until the vegetables are tender and ONLY THEN, will you add the sliced lengua. Place the above mixture in a pie pot, cover with pie crust, seal the edges, poke a few holes in the pie crust to let out steam, brush with egg wash and bake until golden brown.


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