Sitting on a tall black stool across the kitchen sink, my daughter watched me in dismay as I was cleaning the lengua (beef tongue).
"Joey come watch Mum clean the lengua, I'm sure you will never like it again," she urged.
"Lengua? Yum!" my son said. "I love lengua but how am I going to eat that without rice?" My son has refrained from eating rice since he left home for college last year. How to eat lengua without rice was more of a concern for him than the dismal look of the lengua itself.
Lengua is definitely not for everyone. Some are intimidated by the look and the texture. You should have seen the squeamish face my daughter had on her face when she saw me cleaning it. But if you are an adventurous eater, well you are in for a wonderful surprise.
I cooked the lengua my usual way: Lengua with Creamy White Wine Sauce, (a recipe I shared back then) but over dinner my son said:
"But Mum how can you make lengua aesthetically appealing?"
With that in mind, plus the fact that my son doesn't eat rice anymore, I was inspired to make Lengua Linguine. Don't you love the way the name rolls off your tongue? No pun intended :P
(The lengua sauce was inspired by Mama Bess' Lengua Estofado. Mama Bess is Dick's (my brother-in-law)mom. Dick cooked this dish while we were there in Orlando over the holidays and it was raved by family and friends).
I shared some necessary steps on how to clean the lengua in my previous post so I suggest you click here for the instructions.
Beef tongue , cubed
1 chorizo, cubed
bell pepper, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 can of tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp maggi seasoning (you may use Worcestershire sauce as an alternative)
salt and pepper
capers ( i love capers but this could be optional)
3-5 tbsp red wine
On a skillet, add olive oil. Brown the cubed chorizos. The fat rendered from chorizos will add a rich flavor to the dish. Then add and brown the cubed lengua (make sure to do the necessary steps in prepping the lengua, and it should be tender at this point). Add the cubed ham and mushrooms. Deglaze the pan with red wine.
On a different pan, saute garlic and onions and bell pepper. Pour the skillet with the brown chorizos, lengua and ham deglazed with red wine. Add tomato sauce. Let it simmer until all the flavors fuse in. Season with maggi seasoning, oregano, italian seasoning salt and pepper.
Continue to simmer the sauce over low-medium heat. While the sauce is simmering, cook the lenguine according to the package instructions.
Serve immediately. Garnish with capers, cherry tomatoes and grated Parmessan cheese.