Clay's Kitchen : Offal Recipes

Offal Recipes

© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <clay@panix.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA

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Confit of Pork Tongue

Recipe from: Adapted from The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert

2 pig's tongues, about 8 ounces each
scant 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, or 2 teaspoons per pound of meat
1 onion, cut into 1-inch dice
¼teaspoon dried thyme
½ head of garlic, cut crosswise and studded with one clove
3 to 4 cups rendered fat (duck fat or lard, or a combination)
salt for sprinkling

Rinse and dry the tongues. Place the tongues in a bowl along with the salt, onions, and thyme. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours or so.

The following day, briefly rinse the tongues with cold water to remove the salt. Set aside. Using a heavy pot, preferably enameled cast iron, melt the fat under low heat. Slip the tongues into the fat and slowly bring to the fat to 190°F to 200°F, using a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. It should take an hour or so to bring it up to this temperature. Do not let the temperature get much higher than 210°F, or the texture of the tongues will become stringy. Slip in the half head of garlic. Cook the tongues for a total of 2 to 2½ hours. The surface of the fat should be barely simmering. The tongues are done when the meat is easily pierced with a skewer.

Alternatively, preheat the oven to 300°F. Melt the fat over the stovetop as directed; then slip in the tongues and garlic. Cover the pot and cook for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Remove the pot from the oven and allow the tongues to cool in the fat.

Let the tongues cool for an hour in the fat. In the meantime, set out a glass jar or casserole dish capable of holding the tongues. If using a dish, make sure it has a lid that can seal the edges. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of salt into the bottom of the dish to prevent the meat juices from turning sour during storage. Transfer the tongues to the jar or dish. On the stovetop, bring the fat to a a very slow bubbling point and skim off the foam that rises. Let the fat bubble for about 5 minutes. Very carefully pour the fat over the tongues, covering the entire mass. Let cool, uncovered, to room temperature. Seal with the lid and let the fat congeal. Refrigerate, or store in a cool cellar for several months or at least 1 to 2 weeks. The tongues may be kept for up to six months in their jars.

When ready to use, slowly melt the fat in the jars, allowing for the removal of the tongues. Slice the tongues thinly, about ¼ inch per slice. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a bit of duck fat or lard and brown the tongue on each side for a minute or so. Serve immediately.


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