Pig's tongue with green peppercorns and ginger
One tongue is enough for two people as a generous starter or main. You can buy fresh green peppercorns from good Asian supermarkets or otherwise use canned.
2 pigs' tongues
1 litre of chicken stock
100g root ginger
1 head of garlic
1 star anise
1 onion, halved
Mushroom and coriander stalks (see below)
tbsp sesame oil
4 spring onions, sliced on the angle
150g shiitake mushrooms (stalks removed and reserved) sliced
A handful of Chinese flowering chives or some chives cut into 6-7cm lengths
2tbsp fresh green peppercorns or canned
1tbsp thick catsup manis soy sauce
A handful of coriander, washed, stalks removed and reserved
Peel the ginger, reserve the peelings and put them in a saucepan with the tongues. Shred the rest of the ginger finely and put to one side. Peel and slice about 4 cloves
of garlic and put them with the ginger and put the rest of the peeled cloves in the pan with the tongues. Add the stock, star anise, coriander stalks, shiitake stalks and onion to the tongue, season, bring to the boil and simmer with a lid on for 2 hours or until tender, topping up with water if necessary.
Remove the tongues from the liquid and leave to cool for 5 minutes and remove the skin by just peeling it away, then return the tongues to the stock.
Heat the sesame oil in a pan and quickly fry the shredded ginger and garlic, then add the spring onions, shiitake, chives and peppercorns for a minute; next, add the soy sauce and a couple of tablespoons or so of the cooking liquid and remove from the heat. Remove the tongues from the stock and cut them in half.
Spoon some of the onion mixture on a serving dish, place the tongues on top, spoon some more of the serving mixture over with the juices and scatter the coriander over.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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