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LENGUA ESTOFADO (Stewed Beef Tongue)

In the early days, my mother served this recipe during important gatherings.  Most Filipinos also considered this a menu of choice during such occasions.  Today, Lengua Estofado, still gains a prominent place in the hierarchy of choice menus, most especially among Filipino baby-boomers. FilAms or other non-native palates may also want to try this sumptuous recipe.
Ingredients:<W0>
2 beef tongues
vegetable oil for sautéing
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup soy sauce
salt to taste
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 pieces bay leaves
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into serving chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into serving chunks
10 pieces pitted olives
1 red bell pepper, julienned
Methods:
1.  In a big pot, cover the beef tongue with water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until medium tender.
2.  Remove from pot, rinse the tongue with cold water and peel the skin off with a filleting knife.  Rinse thoroughly.  Remove unwanted or visible fat, then cut into slices crosswise, approximately 1/3 inch thick.  Larger slices should be cut in half for uniformity.
3.  Sauté the onions until transparent, then add the tongue slices.  Continue to sauté for another minute or two, then add water just to barely cover the meat.  Season with soy sauce and salt.  Stir in the wine, tomato paste, sugar and bay leaves.  Simmer uncovered and add water if needed.  Stir occasionally to prevent the tongue from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4.  Continue to cook the tongue until very soft, but not breaking apart.  Add the potatoes and carrots and cook until tender.  Stir in the olives and red bell pepper.  Simmer for another minute. Note:<D>  Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Good for 12 – 15 people.
Household Hints:
1.  Winter may find you shoveling the white stuff off your driveway, deck or patio, or you may just want to play with your children in the snow.  Work and play in winter time.  Fine.  But a caveat goes a long way.  During cold and snowy days, especially if the wind chill factor is 18° Fahrenheit or below, do not stay out for more than 15 minutes.  Any longer will expose you dangerously to frost bite.
2.  And if there is no way you can avoid being outside for an extended period of time, take the most logical step, which is to protect yourself the best way possible.  To avoid frost  nip, which precedes frost bite, wear a face mask, ear coverings and mittens, which are better than gloves.  And most important of all, wear layered clothing and stay dry.
Editor’s note:  Mrs. Evelyn S. Bunoan is Owner/Master Chef, Philippine Oriental Market & Deli (with more than 25 years of  service to the  Filipino-American community) – 3610 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia;  (703) 528-0300;  Master Chef (French cuisine), Le Cordon Bleu, London, UK; recipe creator, improviser, and food stylist and writer;  kitchen-tested and mastered more than 300 recipes.  <D>

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