Many meat recipes begin by marinating raw meat in seasonings and spices before cooking it. The opposite is true when making South American lengua a la vinagreta.
The beef tongue is boiled with minimal seasonings until tender, cooled, chilled then peeled and cut into the slices. The vinaigrette is mixed and poured over the cold tongue slices. The meat is left to soak up the flavors in the dressing and served either cold or at room temperature.
About the vinaigrette… The first time I made this dish, I used parsley. But I retained my secret ingredients. Lemon pepper seasoning in lieu of plain black pepper and cilantro lime pepper salt in place of plain salt (no, this is not a sponsored post). But I had to rethink the parsley. Since lemon and lime both go so well with mint, I ditched the parsley and substituted chopped fresh spearmint.
I also added a little bit of sugar to the vinaigrette to cut down the extreme acidity. The result was terrific. The vinaigrette mellowed beautifully after several hours. The mint gave the dish such a bright flavor that parsley could never have accomplished.
Beef tongue in vinaigrette
- 1 beef tongue - about one kilogram, cooked until tender, chilled, peeled and sliced
- ¾ cup neutral-tasting oil - like canola or soya oil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic - roasted, prefrerably
- 1 sprig rosemary - leaves only, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup chopped mint - spearmint is used here
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cilantro lime pepper seasoning
- 2 pinches white sugar
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes - or more for a spicier vinaigrette
- Arrange the beef tongue slices in a tray.
- Make the vinagrette by whisking all the ingredients together.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the beef tongue slices making sure that every slice catches a generous amount of the mixture.
- Cover the tray tightly and stick in the fridge for two hours or up to overnight.
- Serve your beef tongue in vinagirette cold or at room temperature.