1 cow or calf tongue, approximately 3 pounds
2 onions, one (1) quartered and one (1) finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5 large tomatoes, skinned and diced*
1 sprig of fresh thyme, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon), if using dried thyme, decrease to 1 teaspoon and crush well
1 sprig of fresh oregano, finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon), if using dried oregano, decrease to 1 teaspoon and crush well
1 or 2 long green (Anaheim or similar) chile peppers that have been roasted, peeled, seeds removed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces**
1 (6 ounces) can of tomato paste
3 tablespoons finely chopped capers or green olives (optional)
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Learn How To Peel Fresh Tomatoes. Once the skin is off, dice the tomato into small pieces and set aside until ready to use.
** Learn how to roast and peel chile peppers.
Scrub the tongue thoroughly with water and place in a large pot with enough water to cover the top of the tongue. Add the quartered onion.
Bring just to a boil over medium high heat; lower temperature to medium, and allow the tongue to cook for approximately 3 hours, covered with a lid, until no longer pink (cook approximately 50 minutes per pound of tongue). Check for doneness by piercing the thickest part with a knife. It should enter easily when the tongue has cooked.
NOTE: I prefer to use a pressure cooker to do this. If you are using a pressure cooker, secure the lid and bring the pot up to temperature so that it begins to steam. Lower the temperature to medium and let it cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, but do not release the steam. Allow the steam to come down slowly.
Remove the tongue from the pot, and allow to cool until it is just able to be handled without be burning yourself. While the tongue is cooling is a good time to go ahead and peel the tomatoes:
The tongue needs to be skinned while it is still warm. If you allow too much cooling, it will be difficult to peel the skin off. When the cooked tongue is still very warm, but not hot, the skin will almost fall from the meat. Once it is peeled, slice the tongue diagonally against the grain into 1/2-inch slices.
In a different pot, or a deep skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the onion and saute until translucent. This can be tested by placing the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. When hot, the oil will begin to boil around the spoon handle. Add the garlic and continue to sautapproximately 1 to 2 more minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, oregano, thyme, and long green chiles that have been diced. Reduce the heat to medium/medium low and allow this to simmer approximately 15 minutes (this will cook the tomatoes and increase the amount of liquid in the sauce).
Add the tomato paste and mix well to incorporate into the sauce. Add the chopped capers and stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the sliced tongue into the sauce and gently cover over. Decrease the heat to low/medium low so there is only a slight simmer and cook this approximately 20 to 30 minutes so that all the ingredients can heat through and the flavors can meld. Remove from heat.
Serve with potatoes, Spanish Rice, or some Corn Tortillas or Flour Tortillas to make Burritos.
Makes approximately 5 to 6 servings.