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Pork Tongues with a Piquant Sauce

Aficionados suggest that there is nothing to beat ox tongue for flavour but they are large and expensive. For a weekday supper shared with friends this was a much cheaper alternative. It is as well to check out that they will enjoy tongue before putting it in front of them!

I spiced it up with star anise and have used the spare liquor as stock for a vegetable soup and a leek and potato soup. This attractive dish is a mouthwatering combination of very tender meat with a tangy sauce that has a hint of aniseed. It is tolerent to being kept warm.

Serves 6

The pork

  • 3 pork tongues, soaked in cold water overnight
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp Sichaun peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

The sauce
  • 1 oz duck/goose fat or butter
  • 1 ½ oz flour
  • 6 pickled gherkins, chopped
  • 3 dsp pickled capers
  • vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Remove any fat and fatty tissue from the pork tongues.

Tie the star anise and peppers in a piece of muslin, old sheet etc. Put all the braising ingredients into a pan and almost cover the tongues with cold water, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 1 ½ hours, until tender.

Lift the tongues out and allow them to cool a little until you’re able to handle them comfortably. Remove the skin and return them to the cooking liquid to keep warm.

Make a roux with the fat and flour.

Add a little of the pickling liquid from the jar of capers to the strained cooking liquor to create a tangy stock for completing the sauce, to a coating consistency.

Add the capers and gherkins and season with salt and pepper and additional vinegar if necessary. If you need to prepare in advance put a layer of cling film over your sauce to avoid a skin forming.

You can reheat the stock and sauce a few minutes before serving and slice the tongues immediately before taking the combined dish to table.

The cooking liquor can be reserved with the carrots and onions for making soup later, but you need to remove the spices when you lift out the tongues for slicing as the star anise has a strong flavour. Refrigerate when cold until required.

About Gabby

Gabrielle Hall has written 32 posts on this blog.

We live in the French Basque Country in  a house with about an acre of garden/woodland allowing us to continue, in retirement, a life focussed on self sufficiency. We both love cooking and always try to give our family and friends food that we have produced.

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