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Special Beef Tongue, Veracruz Style

1 whole fresh beef tongue
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup salad oil
1 cup chopped white onion
28 ounce can peeled Italian style tomatoes, crushed
1 tablespoon mashed garlic
1 bay leaf
1 cup of the broth the tongue was cooked in
Salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 potato, peeled and cubed
6 to 8 pickled serrano chiles

Scrub tongue and simmer in 2 quarts water seasoned with 2 tablespoons
salt, peppercorns, 2 bay leaves and vinegar. Cooking time is normally
3 to 4 hours. Allow to cool in its own cooking liquid. Remove from
broth, peel and slice thinly. Reserve broth. Place sliced tongue
in a bowl and pour 1 cup of its own cooking broth over it to keep
it soft and moist.

In a Dutch oven, heat oil and saute chopped onion for 30 seconds.
Add crushed tomatoes, garlic, 1 bay leaf, and the cop of tongue
broth. Cook covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring
often. Season as needed. Prepare vegetables. Parboil peas and
carrots for 3 minutes in salted water and drain. Peel potatoes and
cut into large cubes. Blanch potato cubes 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange
drained tongue slices in large oblong baking pan, spoon peas and
carrots over tongue, add potato cubes, and cover with tomato sauce.
Cover dish with thick foil and bake in a 325 degrees oven for 20
minutes or until potatoes are done.

Serve with steamed, buttered white rice, a green salad and hot
French bread.

Note: The pickled serranos that this recipe calls for are best
served in a small bowl with their own pickling liquid. It is not
a good idea to cook the Veracruz sauce with chiles of any kind in
it. Also, though many recipes call for stuffed green olives and
capers in this sauce, these two ingredients are definitely classified
as luxury items and are optional.

If you use pressure cooker in your household, by all means choose
it to cook the tongue and follow pressure cooker booklet instructions;
perhaps the size of the tongue will decide the cooking time. Cool
pressure cooker under cold running water and test tongue for
doneness; if not ready, return to cooker and try 10 or 15 more
minutes. I normally cook a 2 1/2 3 pound tongue 45 minutes.


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