Braised Pig Tongue

This dish just shouts Spring! Even if you live some place like Chicago, and Spring takes a while to come along, you can make this dish and get in the mood!. It might not be easy to find tongue to work with, but just ask you butcher to order it for you. It is fun to try some parts you have not cooked with before!

Serves: 4
Ingredients:

2-3 pig tongues (about 1 1/2- 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup diced pineapple
1 cup dry sherry
1 cup white wine
4 cups veal stock or dark chicken stock
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 pound sunchokes, peeled and sliced very thin (or shaved on a mandolin)
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup lightly packed mint
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions:

Rinse the tongue under cold water and pat dry. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sweat them for 3-5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the strawberries and pineapple and sauté for a minute. Pour in the sherry and wine, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Reduce the liquid by a half, simmering for about 10 minutes. Add the tongue and the stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer the tongue until tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

When the tongue is soft and tender, remove it from the liquid and set aside. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by about 3/4 to create a rich sauce. Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Keep the sauce warm until ready to use.

Combine the vinegar and the sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the shaved sunchokes in a medium mixing bowl. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes to pickle the sunchokes. Strain the liquid.

Shave the Brussels sprouts on a mandolin or slice them very thin by hand. Tear the mint leaves and toss with the shaved sprouts. Add the pickled sunchokes to the mixture, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the tongue very thin and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with the warm sauce and then pile the salad on top.