Sunday, October 30, 2011


boiling tongue

Sometime last year, a group of us went in and bought a quarter of a cow (affectionally named Happy Cow) while it was still a calf (and alive).

Happy Cow spent a year wandering around rural Washington, eating grass and breathing clean (rainy) air, and then, as things go in that whole circle of life metaphor, Happy Cow was slaughtered on our behalf.

boiled tongue. look at all that muscle! that is one strong tongue.

Around slaughtering time, the butcher called to ask how we wanted our quarter cow butchered. Joe spent hours looking at cuts of meat, trying to figure out how to cut things apart so that we could split a quarter cow five ways and all get some good stuff, and then at the end of the list of cuts and requests, he asked for the tongue.

I mean, it's not like anyone else wanted it, right?

skinning the tongue.

We promised our fellow cow-buyers that we would host a party where we cooked up the tongue (and the brisket too).

It finally happened, dear readers. Joe soaked Happy Cow's tongue, skinned it, and braised it in red wine with a medley of fall vegetables and spices. He reduced the braising liquid until it was strong and flavorful, purreed the vegetables from the braise, and then added the puree to the liquid to make a delicious sauce.

He then chopped up the tongue, pulled apart the brisket, and doused it all in the amazing sauce.

We toasted sourdough hoagie rolls and made dripping, delicious sandwiches.

We invited twelve people into our tiny condo, who all brought sides and booze, and we dined and dined and dined.

And it was good.

after braising. (that's the tongue in the foreground and the brisket behind it.)

But, as it would always seem to go...I did not take a single picture of the delicious tongue sandwiches. I did not take a picture of the delicious tongue and brisket beautifully laid out as a festive spread on the countertop.

In short, I did not get any "after" photos. And for that, I am deeply regretful.


But, alas, the lights were dimmed and the candles lit, and anyhow, it's October now so the sun was long set by the time we sat down to dine. Clearly, there wouldn't have been enough light to take photos anyhow...and one wouldn't want to ruin the mood by sliding the light dimmer switch up to the top and making my guests squint while I photographed their food.

So you'll have to put on your imagination caps and think about toasted, buttered mini-hoagies and dripping, beautiful braised meat.

OR, you'll have to make your own tongue. (Not your OWN tongue, but your own cow's tongue.)


Julie said...

love,love,love it....definitely one of those moments where i wish we could live closer and share such fun...then there would have been 14!! XO

Jene said...

So glad you're bold. I just can't do tongue! If anyone could do a good job, though, it would be you and Joe!

Pamela said...

A tongue is NOT a beautiful thing, but your braised meat looks and sounds wonderful. Sounds like a fun party!