Monday, October 28, 2013

493. Iraqi Beef Tongue

My fellow compatriot Nawal Nasralllah has done a major service towards Iraqi culture and I hope Allah compensates her time, patience, efforts, and all she has lost with the best rewards.
It has been a while since I discovered Delights From The Garden Of Eden, a cookbook-encyclopedia that was first self-published until people grew hungry for more, then it was re-published by a company for a broader audience. You should know Nawal Nasrallah is a scolar, and to dismiss her writing as that of a home cook is criminal. All her stories are culturally and historically substantial. She captures everything from everyday things we tend to dismiss as void of importance, to world-changing influences stemming from Iraq. I thank her for the favor she has gifted the name of Iraq.
Beef tongue is a delicacy none comprehend save those who have tried it, so do not rule it out of your life before trying it. It is a tough cut, so I used my pressure cooker to cook it (otherwise it would take a good three hours of boiling). It is advised to beat the tongue by slapping it against the counter top to tenderize it.
The tongue can be served simply as an appetizer with a squirt of lemon, or in a salad, or in a sandwich.


1 beef tongue (about 1 kilo)
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup vinegar 
1 tsp dry thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt


Beat the tongue on a hard surface several times until it looks limp and a little longer. This is done to break the muscles. Wash it very well. 
Mix marinade ingredients in a glass bowl, and let tongue stay in it, a few hours to overnight.
Put the tongue in a pressure cooker with its marinade
Add cold water enough to cover it well. 
Cook safely according to pressure cooker method for one hour after the whistle starts blowing.
Add salt about 10 minutes before it is done.  
If cooking without a pressure cooker, the tongue will require a good 2 to 3 hours boiling.
Take the tongue out of the liquid, and let it cool completely. 
Peel off skin and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
With a thin sharp knife cut it into thin slices and serve simply garnished with fresh lemon.

صحة و عافية

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