Lengua Estofado

Lengua Estofado Recipe

Lengua Estofado is a type of ox tongue stew. The tongue was made very tender and cooked with tomato, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. This recipe is a hybrid of Spanish and Filipino estofado. The latter makes use of  soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, while its Spanish counterpart utilizes diced tomato. White wine and olives are added, along with bay leaves to make the dish stand out. This is a recipe is a keeper.

If you have not tried cooking ox tongue before, you should know that there is a process to follow to tenderize it. The skin or outer layer of the tongue should also be removed completely  before cooking. I use a pressure cooker to tenderize the lengua (tongue). Cooking it for 45 minutes should be enough. Once tender, it is recommended to let the lengua cool down and then you have the option to remove the outer layer or put it in a freezer and remove the layer as you thaw it.

As for the other ingredients, you can use either of the two white wines for this recipe: Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon blanc. The green olives should be pitted so that it will be easier to eat. Adding dried bay leaves is also recommended to add a nice aroma and taste to your lengua estofado.

This is my favorite lengua dish next to lengua in mushroom sauce. I enjoy it best with rice. Make sure that the lengua gets very tender before serving. Enjoy!

Lengua Estofado is the perfect addition to your holiday or special occasion menu. With melt-in-your-mouth tender ox tongue, meaty mushrooms, and flavorful sauce, it’s sure to be a crowd favorite.

Table Of Contents

  • Ingredient notes
  • Cooking tongue
  • Peeling and slicing
  • How to serve and store
  • More lengua recipes
  • Lengua Estofado

Lengua Estofado, which translates to tongue (lengua) stew (estofado) in Spanish, is a Filipino delicacy with heavy colonial influence. Adapted from Andalusian-style cooking, it’s a type of braised dish where ox tongue is cooked low and slow in a rich tomato sauce seasoned with vinegar, soy sauce, and aromatics.

If you haven’t tried lengua before, this is the perfect recipe to get your first bite! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how the the tough muscle turns to a velvety-soft, flavorful meat with none of the off-taste or smell you’d expect from an offal.

Add a generous smothering of the luscious red sauce plus hearty mushrooms, and creamy mushrooms, and you’re in for a treat!

Ingredient notes

  • Beef/ox tongue– you can substitute pork tongue which are usually smaller and thus cook quicker
  • Aromatics onions, garlic, and bay leaves infuses the meat with additional flavor
  • Broth– reserved from pre-cooking the beef tongue
  • Potatoes cut into 1/2-inch rounds or quarter into cubes
  • Mushrooms– you can use fresh or canned button mushrooms
  • Tomato Sauce– you can use ½ cup tomato paste and ½ cup water to replace tomato sauce.
  • Soy Sauce– adds umami flavor
  • Sugar balances the sour notes with sweetness
  • Carrots, bell peppers, and/or green olives– feel free to add these vegetables for extra color and texture

Cooking tongue

Lengua is usually served for special occasions as it can be pretty pricey and takes hours to tenderize. By following the simple hacks below, you can enjoy this magnificent cut of meat for everyday family dinner fare.

  • You can cook the tongue in advance, portion the serving slices in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers, and store them in the freezer until ready to use in your favorite dishes like tacos de lengua lengua in mushroom sauce and of course, this lengua stew.
  • You can also use an Instant Pot or pressure cooker to save time. From the usual 4 to 5 hours to tenderize, it will take about 50 to 60 minutes to pressure cook the lengua depending on weight.

Peeling And Slicing

  • Allow the cooked tongue to just cool enough to touch and peel before it’s completely cooled. The skin is easier to pull off while still warm.
  • If the tongue is cold,  a vegetable peeler is the best tool to shave off the skin cleanly and without a lot of waste.
  • While it’s easier to peel while slightly warm, it’s easier to cut into neater slices when chilled. After peeling, refrigerate for about 1 to 2 hours until cold before slicing.

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