The inspiration for the tongue came from various stories of witches putting together their brews and potions (eye of newt is surprisingly hard to come by). The witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, for example, call for the “tongue of dog” … I couldn’t bring myself to go quite that far and had never cooked tongue before, so we used Danny Bowien’s cow tongue recipe. We also liked that this tongue was braised in Coca-Cola: A nice nod to the sugar of Halloween, and why not? These are young, modern witches after all!
Grilled Coca-Cola Braised Beef Tongue
1 BEEF TONGUE (ABOUT 3 POUNDS)
1 ½ TABLESPOONS KOSHER SALT
2 TEASPOONS FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
2 TABLESPOONS EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
4 CUPS BEEF BROTH
4 CUPS LIGHT-STYLE BEER, SUCH AS A PILSNER
1 (12-OUNCE) BOTTLE COCA-COLA
½ CUP SOY SAUCE
2 DRIED BAY LEAVES
1 SHEET KOMBU
3 hours, 15 minutes (plus overnight salting and 1 hour to cool)
- Set the tongue on a cutting board and rub with the salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 275°. Set a large pot on a piece of parchment paper. Trace a circle around the bottom of the pot and cut out the circle; set the parchment circle and the pot aside (if you don’t have parchment paper, substitute aluminum foil).
- In a large pot set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and then the beef tongue. Cook until the tongue is browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
- Cover the tongue with the beef broth, beer, Coca Cola, soy sauce and bay leaves. Place the sheet of kombu over the tongue and cover with the parchment circle (or aluminum foil). Cover the pot (using a lid or doubled aluminum foil) and braise the tongue until a paring knife easily slides into the thickest part, about 2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the broth, about 1 hour. Use tongs to remove the tongue from the braising liquid. Use a your fingers to peel the outer membrane away from the tongue and set the tongue aside.
- Set the braising liquid over medium-high heat and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until the consistency is thick and glossy and the liquid has reduced by about three-quarters, about 45 minutes.
- Set a grill pan over high heat and heat for 2 minutes. Place the tongue on a cutting board and slice it on a bias and into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Use tongs to dip a few pieces in the reduced braising liquid and then set them on the grill (you’ll have to cook the tongue in 3 to 4 batches).
- Cook until marked, about 21⁄2 minutes. Turn the slices over and cook on the other side until marked, about 90 seconds longer. Serve.
Foraged Weed Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Find some edible weeds (We asked a local farmer, who was more than psyched to give us a small load of chick weed that had been growing near her beds)
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons, white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Whisk together all the ingredients and drizzle or mix well with your weeds. Serve.