My first post was about Pork Lengua Empanadas or more rightly Quesadilla Fritas. I purchased a few of the often maligned pieces of tasty meat and will cook them in green chile. Another episode of Ugly Food follows.
There were more in the butcher case, but the line was long so I got these 2 in the prepacked section. These are trimmed more than I usually like, without the heavy back part of the tongue. Some do not like that part with it’s extra fat and sinew but I personally think it is the best part. On the other hand, I can only buy what is available to purchase and each butcher trims as they will.
The first task is to boil the tongues for 5 minutes, one at a time, in heavily salted water. This makes it easier to remove the tough outer membrane. For me, It is a toss up each time as to whether I do this or not. While cow tongue cannot be eaten with the skin, the porcine version is thinner and will cook to a edible state with long cooking. That said, if removed, the over all tenderness is better.
As I have previously stated, my verbal instructions as to how this is safely accomplished are woefully lacking. The videos I managed to find online were fairly rough. Suffice to say, use a sharp knife and be very careful. I find a boning knife works well. You will lose some meat but each time you repeat the process you will get better.
Once blanched and skinned, cut the tongue into small pieces, perhaps ½ inch. Chop one small or half large onion into medium dice, smash and skin 2 cloves of garlic, add one large or two small bay leaves and fresh cracked black pepper. If you like it hot, add one habanero split or a serrano chile pepper. If not, just leave it out.
My basic go to green sauce is Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce. It is an easy way to avoid making your own and it is pretty tasty if doctored up. I can and do make my own, but that is another two hours I just don’t feel like taking all the time. For these two smallish tongues, I use a bit over half a can of the Las Palmas. The rest goes in the fridge in a sealed container for the next dish.
Add the sauce, meat, and veg to the pan. Sprinkle in the pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, a pinch of dried oregano bay leaves and for me, some Chipotle Molido ( ground smoked Jalapeno) for it’s smoky quality. You can use smoked Spanish Paprika for a similar taste.
Make sure your sauce covers the meat and bring to a simmer. Lid the pan and let it stew for at least an hour and a half or two until it is as tender as you like it. You can add hominy near the end to get Posole, or use fresh sweet corn if it is in season. It is, so I will today.
I hesitate to call this a Posole though for several reasons. Posole is usually considered a soup and this is fairly thick and stew like. Also, sweet corn changes the taste quite a bit from the starchy chewy hominy. Let’s just say it is Pork tongue in green chile with corn stew and call it a day. I do like to serve it with shaved cabbage, cilantro, and a splash of lemon or lime juice to brighten things up at the end.
It is good served with rice or just a tortilla or two. Use it to make tacos or Empanada Fritas. Please try this tasty offal. If you see pork tongues in your butcher case take some home and you will eat well. Ugly food strikes again.
Pork Tongue in Green Chile with Corn
- 2 or 3 Pork Tongues, 1-2 lbs
- 1 Can Las Palmas Green Enchilada Sauce
- 1 Ear Fresh Sweet Corn, Kernels cut from the Cob
- 1 Chile Pepper of Choice, Habanero, Serrano. Jalapeno
- Fresh Ground Pepper, Cumin, Coriander, Oregano, Bay Leaves, Chipotle Molido all to taste
- For Garnish-Chopped Cabbage, Cilantro, and Lemon Juice
- Boil Tongues one at a time in salted boiling water for 5 minutes
- Using sharp knife, remove tough membrane from the meat
- Cut meat into 1/2 inch pieces
- Pour Green Sauce into the drained saucepan
- Add chopped Onions and Garlic
- Place tongues into sauce
- Add Spices and stir
- Heat to simmer and cook to desired doneness, 1.5-2.5 hours
- Serve with Chopped Cabbage, Cilantro, and a squeeze of Lemon Juice
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