I came up with this dish when I was serving several dozen people — but only had one little venison tongue to go around. (Yes, I had lots of other things, but I wanted everyone to get a taste) Tongue — of anything — needs slow cooking to make it tender, plus you need to peel the skin off the outer layer to get at the savory, dense meat underneath.
You could use lamb tongue and it’d work great, or even a calf’s tongue. Beef tongue might be a bit too large for this recipe.
It’s super-easy dish. Drop the tongue in some broth with a couple bay leaves, a few juniper berries and one dried chile. Let this simmer for several hours, peel and put back in the broth until you are ready to serve.
Slice thin, coat with a little olive oil, then serve atop some homemade horseradish cream on a cracker. Simple and delicious — so good even tongue-haters will like it.
Serves 8-12 as a little, one-bite appetizer
- 2 to 4 deer, lamb or calf’s tongues
- 1 quart beef or venison stock
- 6-10 juniper berries (optional)
- 1 dried chile, broken in half
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or a 4-inch piece of horseradish grated into a bowl with 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon water and a large pinch of salt.
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Dijon or brown mustard
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Olive oil
- Put the broth, juniper, bay, chile and the tongue into a pot and simmer gently for 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the horseradish sauce. Mix the horseradish, mustard, sour cream and chives together well. Taste for salt and add some if needed. If you want it more horseradish-y, add more. Set aside in the fridge until the tongue is ready.
- After about 2 hours, take the tongue out and let it cool a few minutes. Peel the skin off with your fingers or a paring knife and put the tongue back into the stock. Simmer for another hour, or until the tongue is easily pierced with the point of a knife.
- Take the tongue out and slice it thin. While it is still warm, coat the slices with olive oil and set aside to cool.
- When it’s cool, spoon a dab of the horseradish sauce on a cracker and top with a slice ot tongue. Serve cool or at room temperature.