Filipino celebrations have an unwritten rule to include at least one classic stew on the menu. After all, what's a Pinoy party without a saucy dish to pair with heaping servings of rice? Among the regulars on the handaan table are beef caldereta, menudo, and kare-kare. But don’t discount a creamy lengua estofado!
Are you deciding between cooking the dish yourself or having it delivered? Over the years, fewer families have been trying to prepare stews using beef tongue. Although this cut is relatively inexpensive, it has a reputation for requiring a long cooking time.
But ordering a ready-to-eat tray of lengua might lead to more problems. You won’t know if the meat is tender enough until it’s eating time. You also have no idea how clean it is. Even reheating is a challenge! Plus, you won’t get to tweak flavors to your liking anymore. Where’s the fun in that?
The holidays are about coming up with a special dish to surprise loved ones, even if it goes through laborious prep work. When done right, you can make melt-in-your-mouth lengua that can rival those from Spanish restaurants. Want to know some cooking secrets? Read on and start taking notes – you’ll be making this estofado for every celebration from now on.
How to Cook Lengua Estofado
The key to serving a terrific beef tongue stew is ensuring the main ingredient is fork-tender. If it’s your first-time cooking lengua, here is how you can clean and tenderize this beef cut.
Preparing the ox tongue
- 1 whole ox tongue, washed
- water, for boiling
- ½ cup calamansi juice
- Combine ox tongue and water in a pot. Bring to a boil. Discard water and refill the pot. Make sure there's enough water to cover the meat.
- Add calamansi juice, then bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the ox tongue is tender, about 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Drain liquid and allow tongue to cool. Using a sharp knife, remove the skin and slice the meat into ½-inch-thick pieces.
Other ways to tenderize ox tongue
Lengua estofado is notorious for its laborious cooking time. Other than boiling it on a stove, a few ways can speed up the process.
- Pressure cooker – helps cut the cooking time in half. Remember to let the pot cool before removing the lid to avoid accidents.
- Slow cooker – helps get the job done with minimal effort. Contrary to belief, the small appliance does not consume a lot of electricity. It’s also simple to operate! Just fill it with your beef estofado ingredients, set the timer, and leave it to cook while you work or sleep.
Making the estofado
Many like their lengua in a rich red sauce. But to set it apart from mechado or afritada, why not give it a creamy twist? Don't worry, this version is easy on the wallet. You don’t even need all-purpose cream for it!
- ¼ cup oil
- 4 pcs onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 pcs bay leaves
- 1 cup vinegar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- ox tongue, cleaned and sliced
- 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
- ½ cup green olives
- 4 tbsp Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise
- 3 pcs potatoes, cut into wedges and fried (optional)
- Heat oil in a pot. Sauté onions and garlic until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add water, bay leaves, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, and ox tongue. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the tongue is very tender.
- Add mushrooms and olives. Simmer for another 6-8 minutes.
- Add Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise. Mix well and simmer over low heat until the sauce is thick. Season to taste. Serve with fries on the side.
Easy Lengua Stroganoff
The primary way to enjoy lengua is to pair it with rice and a side of buttered corn and carrots. Others opt for mashed potatoes or potato wedges in place of grains. Alternatively, you can use this creamy recipe to create a delicious pasta stroganoff. This dish is perfect if you’re looking for creative ways to serve leftovers.
- prepared lengua estofado
- cooked linguine noodles
- Heat leftover lengua estofado. Adjust sauce and seasonings, if needed.
- Pour stew over noodles.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
The next time you host a party, wow your guests with homemade lengua estofado. Don’t forget to prepare extra pots of rice because diners will want extra servings. Ready to start?
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