OK, if you are new to this blog , then you are finding out I’m adventurous and pretty fearless in the kitchen. Here is a little back-story on how I came to the post. A few months ago Certain Someone and I were at Russian Banquet and we were served the most exquisite thinly sliced pieces of beef tongue. I asked what it was, and the waiter announced tongue with a smirk that assumed the non Russians would be disgusted . Au Contraire.While I haven’t had tongue in ages I do remember my mother going through a phase and feeding me it as a kid. I loved it! Then suddenly it stopped (I have no idea why). Perhaps I finally realized what I was eating? Who knows. She used to serve me chitterlings too, until I formed my own mind and remember declaring I wouldn’t eat those any more. Certain Someone blanched a bit at the thought he just ate tongue but admitted it was good,but the thought of what it was disturbed him. Anyway flash forward to this past week. I don’t know how, but my Iraqi co-worker and I on the discussion of Halal meat and that segued into lamb tongues. I was curious. I loved lamb , so why not revisit the tongue? Adventurous culinary types are dining on it in some very popular eateries. So I hightailed it to the Indo Pak corridor of Devon where Halal butchers are everywhere you look. For $3.99 a lb I racked up about 6-7 lamb tongues. I do admit the site of them raw made a bit queasy. But I persevered on my mission. I decided to go French style with a aspic based a terrine, I’m fascinated by pates and terrines and have always had the perfect aspic on my culinary to do list.
So how was it you ask ? The tongue was very good, tender and flavored as I braised it for hours in a stock consisting of beer, carrots, herbs , and beef marrow bones. What I loved most was the flavor of my stock which later turned into a prefect aspic. So what was I disappointed with? I wasn’t happy with the final presentation on my terrine. The aspic seeped through the cling wrap layers and I didn’t get the smooth surfaces I envisioned. But that’s easily remedied. What I’m most proud of is my crystal clear aspic. I used one of my favorite bargain basement cookbooks as a guide for the aspic Brockhampton Terrines and Pates . My next terrine will have more meat . I really do feel aspic is underrated these days and can envision a lot of great uses for it . Plus it makes a gorgeous presentation.
|Lamb Tongue Terrine in Aspic|
- 2 lbs lamb tongue
- 3 beef marrow bones
- 8 cups water
- 1 bottle of beer
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 2 carrots , chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 1/2 oz powdered gelatin
- 2 egg whites
- 2 washed shells of eggs
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- In a large stock pot add the lamb tongues and cover with water only.
- Bring to a boil until a foam appears, and drain and change water.Adding another 8 cups cold water.
- Add beef marrow bones, water, beer, bay leafs, carrots, celery seeds,garlic, salt and peppercorns to the pot with the lamb tongues.
- Bring to a boil again.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
- Remove the lamb tongues and bones.
- Discard the bones and let the tongues cool down. Store in fridge for overnight or several hours.
- With the stock strain off the vegetables and stock with a wire sieve. Refrigerate the stock as well overnight. You want the stock to chill and the fats to rise to the top and congeal.
- Remove the fat from the stock and gently reheat if needed ( if not congealed) and strain the stock through a fine doubled cheese cloth to catch any particles. etc
- Set aside.
- Peel the thick outer layer of skin off the cold tongues with a paring knives. You should have a fine tender meat. Slice into pieces and set aside.
- For the aspic…
- In a large stock pan, boil and scald cheese cloth, whisk, and metal sieve.
- Drain hot water and keep equipment ready.
- Soften gelatin for several minutes.
- Using a double boiler add the softened gelatin and gently dissolve some more liquified but not boiling. Remove from heat.
- Place the cold stock in the stock pan .
- Add the egg whites, shells, vinegar and gelatin ( the clarification ingredients).
- Whisk together and bring to a boil.
- The egg whites will rise to the top of the stock as the ingredients boil forming a raft. Stop whisking and let continue to boil for a minute.
- Remove from heat and let the raft and stock sit undisturbed.
- Bring to a boil again, remove from heat and let settle for a few minutes again.
- All the impurities will cling to the raft and a crystal clear stock will be formed.
- Gently strain the stock with the raft in a double cheesecloth lined sieve without disturbing the raft much.
- Line a terrine loaf pan with plastic wrap.
- Layer the cooked lambs tongue.
- Gently pour the aspic into the terrine.
- Cover and let set for several hours.
- Remove and unwrap from terrine.
- Slice with a serrated knife and serve cold.
You will need fine cheese cloth, a metal sieve, loaf pan, or terrine pan.