Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lamb's tongue

Rye bread, lamb's tongue, beetroot & horseradish spread
Homemade Estonian rye bread, sliced lamb's tongue and horseradish, beetroot and cream cheese spread.

There may have been a time when I was (at least occasionally) a kind of culinary trendsetter among Estonian foodbloggers, introducing exciting new flavours. Not any more - being stuck at home in a suburb without a car and two little kids means that I am the last one to visit newly opened cafés, I miss all the exciting restaurant review events and am the last one to hear about the best source for exciting ingredients. Take lamb's tongue. There were several local foodbloggers singing praise to this humble delicacy (first Piret, then Tuuli, followed by Zoozi), and I spent days restlessly dreaming about those little tongues. Finally, on Saturday, I demanded a trip to a new (and currently the best) market in town and returned with a whole kilogram of lamb's tongue (it's _very_ cold here and our little son turned 1 month old only today, hence the reluctance to venture out earlier). What a delight (if you like tongue, that is)!

Lamb's tongue / Tallekeel

My dear K. was kind enough to take a nice photo of them (above; apparently inspired by the movie "Saw III" that he saw recently - I cannot comment, as I refused to join him and watch this), and then let me proceed with the dish. Well, preparing lamb's tongue for use in other dishes (like the open sandwich on top and below) is the easiest thing ever. Here's what you do.

Lamb's tongue
(Keedetud tallekeel)

1 kg lamb's tongue (I had 17 pieces)
cold water
1 large onion, halved (no need to peel)
1 large celery stick (break into 3-4 pieces)
2 bay leaves
10 whole black peppercorns
5 whole allspice berries
few parsley sprigs
1 tsp salt

Rinse the tongues under cold water, place into a large saucepan and cover with fresh cold water. Bring it to a slow boil, skimming off any froth that emerges on top.
Then add the onion, celery, bay leaves and seasoning. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 50-60 minutes, until cooked (test with a sharp knife).
Cool a little, then peel the tongues (as the tongues are quite small and there are many of them, it will take a bit of time).
Serve as they are (sliced thinly, on top of an open sandwich) or use to make salads or whatever else you fancy.

Rye bread, lamb's tongue, beetroot & horseradish spread

Have you had lamb's tongue before? And what's your favourite way to prepare/eat it? I'm already looking forward to buying and preparing lamb's tongue again, so any cool suggestions are welcome.

Other foodbloggers writing about lamb's tongue:
Ryan @ Nose to Tail at Home
Florian @ Food Perestroika


Zoozi said...

Super-lahe pilt keelest :))
Kui juba mädarõika ja peediga oli hea, siis need kaks kokku annavad kindlasti ülimaitsva tulemuse!

Maarja said...

See keelepilt mulle ka väga meeldib. Tervitused Kristjanile.

Ma tol päeval Skypes nägin su kirjutist, a siis hakkas Mia möllama, ja läks meelest.

Ühesõnaga iva oli see, et kui K. ära sõidab, siis me tuleks külla, mitte, et meil K. vasta miskit on :)

Anonymous said...

Kristjan on tõesti liiga palju Saage vaadanud!!

Pille said...

Kadri, ainult ühte ja sedagi korra. Aga ju jättis kustumatu mulje :D

Mann & Zoozi - tänud!

Anonymous said...

I love lamb tongues! Your recipe looks great, I've never tried them in sandwiches. I have a recipe for braised tongues here. I like serving them with sheep's milk cheese ravioli.

Ryan said...

Those tongues look amazing! Great job indeed.

Mari-Liis said...

õudusfilmist inspireeritud toidufoto:)

Väga julge ja naturaalne, tõesti ilus.

liisamarja said...

eww! i used to work summers in canteen kitchens, one summer i had to clean and prepare a truck-load (well, only 50 kgs) of tongues...needless to say, i've never eaten them since!

it's strange how i keep stumbling on your blog thru all sorts of detours...but it's always a nice surprise! now, i'm adding your blog to my "i visit these" -list.

happy cookings!

Anh said...

Interesting! I have never tried lamb tounge before, although beef tounge stew is my favourite!

Anonymous said...

I've only had lambs tongue in Armenian restaurants, but I adore beef tongue, which is easier to find at the butcher because people buy it for their dogs. That horseradish beetroot cream cheese sounds like the perfect condiment.

Gitte said...

What a great post. First I have to say that the picture of the tongues that your friend took is amazing, a little scary and very daring, I love it :) And your presentation of the tongue sandwich is wonderful, I love the soft pink topping for contrast. I really think this is an outstanding post.

Sara said...

I just got a new cookbook by David Tanis, in which he has a set menu called "bring back tongue." His intro is all about how tongue is underappreciated. I am quite intrigued, but have a feeling I'd be the only person in my house who would touch it. I love your presentation of this, it looks fantastic. I have a feeling tongue is not too expensive so perhaps it's just worth diving in, all in the name of culinary exploration!

Herkkusuun lautasella said...

eipä ole tultu tehtyä muuta kuin sian- ja häränkieltä vaikka kannatankin kaiken talteen ottamista ja hyödyntämistä. on tosi herkullisen näköinen kuvakin.