By MYSTERY RANCH Brand Ambassador, Eduardo Garcia
Oh, the tongue, you noble muscle you. Functional in every breath, taste and experience ,the tongue is unavoidable. And yet little celebrated and rarely seen is the tongue on our modern fare. For me, Tongue is royalty amongst the big animals I harvest. Only one per animal. Versatile and equally toothsome eaten raw as a tartare, smoked, pickled or slow cooked as I do here. Tongue is downright on par for its unctuous mouthfeel as Bluefin tuna belly in my humble opinion.
Elk Tongue Sliders
- 2 Elk tongues, or any other ungulate tongue
- 1 ½ gallons water, divided
- 8 oz Montana Mex Habanero sauce, substitute with 8 oz tomato puree
- 1 white onion, halved laterally between top and tail
- 1 head garlic, smashed and most loose paper discarded
- 1 Tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 4 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly cracked
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Sauerkraut and chimichurri to finish
Ensure the tongue is clean and free of debris, hair etc. I prep a half gallon of boiling water and blanch the tongue by adding it directly to the water. Agitate the tongue for 10 -5 seconds and witness small dirt and particulate coming to the water’s surface. Remove the tongue and discard the water.
In a fresh pot filled with 2 quarts water add the tongue along with the remaining poaching ingredients, water, Montana Mex Habanero sauce or tomato puree, onion, garlic, oregano, bay leaf, black pepper, sea salt, stir this together briefly and bring to a simmer over high heat. Once simmering reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pot. Cook on low heat for 4 hours or until the tongue is very tender and the skin easily slips from the muscle when pressured or pinched. All tongues are different so some may be ready before others or require more time.
When the tongue is tender and the skin or sheath slips when pinched and pulled, remove the tongue from the poaching liquid. Carefully remove and pull off the sheath. This will take some time and come off in pieces. I pay attention to not tear into the tender muscle by pulling the sheath off slowly. At this point I cool the tongue and wrap for later or for immediate use I slice across the tongue or on a slight bias to achieve medallions. I typically slice ¾ inch thick pieces for sliders.
In a skillet over med-hi, melt the butter. Once the butter becomes fragrant add the tongue medallions and cook without moving for 2 minutes or until a dark brown crust has formed. Flip the medallions and repeat on the other side.
I serve these with a dollop of chimichurri and a pinch of sauerkraut. Buen Provecho!
- 5 pounds red/purple cabbage, about 2 small heads
- 2 pounds green cabbage, about 1/2 a large head
- 2 large carrots
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbages and reserve. Scrub the carrots but do not peel. Finely shred or chop the red cabbage, green cabbage, garlic and carrots. Add the vegetables to a bowl and season with the salt. Start with 3 tablespoons and taste after the next step. You can always add more but you can’t take it away when it comes to kraut. Massage the cabbage mixture roughly with your hands. You want to soften the texture and start to release the juices naturally from the vegetables. Taste the cabbage here and see if it needs more salt. Massage in the caraway seeds. When the cabbage is soft enough that it releases juice like water from a wet sponge, you are ready to pack your jars. Pack the vegetables into jars, pressing down firmly to extract the water. Pour any remaining liquid over the top. Press the cabbage down to remove any air pockets and to cover the cabbage with its own liquid. Fold one of the extra outer leaves to fit the jar snuggly. Press it on top of the chopped cabbage to keep it submerged in the liquid and place a heavy object on top of the leaves. Cover the jar with a clean towel and set aside in a cool dark place.
Allow the cabbage to ferment for 5 to 6 days and then give it a taste. If you like your cabbage lightly fermented, you may want to stop it at that point by placing a tight fitting lid on the jars and storing it in the refrigerator. If you like it a bit more fermented, you can store it at room temperature for a few weeks or months.
Yield: about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Montana Mex Jalapeño seasoning
To a small food processor or blender add the parsley, lemon juice and olive oil. Puree to combine until bright green and almost smooth. Add the cilantro, oregano, capers and salt and pulse just to combine. Remove the sauce to a medium bowl. Taste and season with more salt if desired.