When I was at Shop Rite today in Bound brook I saw something that made me very happy. They had calf brains, calf tongue, and calf heart. I got all three and cannot wait to cook them soon. I have eaten heart before at Uproot, but I have never eaten brains or tongue. I am looking through the French Laundry Cookbook and The Complete Robuchon to get tips on how to prepare them. So far I think I am going to pair the brain with scrambled egg. I might pickle the tongue and make a play on corned beef. I might do heart two ways. I will use some for a tartar (Chris Cosentino of Incanto makes this) and them I will braise some with aromatics and stock.
How do you think I should prepare them?
Brains ... I like to use an egg wash, some flour, and bread them w/ Panko and deep fry them. Then serve them with a garlic aioli, or a Sriracha mayo.
Tongue ... clean and de-vein, soak in some buttermilk for about an hour, then pan fry them and use in a sandwich with a nice crusty french baguette, some mustard, escolar and caramelized onions.
Heart ... we usu. just stir fry them with some minced ginger, diced garlic and rice wine and maybe a bit of chicken stock. Or you could just deep fry them as described above with the brains.
I'm puzzled about the tongue instructions. How do you clean and devein it? Do you soak the whole thing in buttermilk, or slice it first?
I simmer the whole tongue (sometimes I cut a cows tongue into 3 large pieces) till tender (2-3 hrs), then skin and chill it. At a later time I slice some of the tongue, rewarm it, and serve it with an interesting sauce. The latest sauce was a Spanish sherry and pomegranate recipe.
The clean and devein instructions sound more like liver recipe.
The brains, I've made in days of yore with a sherry vinegar, brown butter and caper sauce and it was Dear Departed Dad's (hereafter known as DDD) favorite thing I could put in front of him.
The tongue, I've always poached and then skinned, and done it up with (again) a sherry and beef stock sauce enriched with mirepoix, and brought up at the last with diced carrots, celery, tomatoes and fresh (or frozen) corn kernels til veggies are tender, tongue sliced thinly and laid back into the sauce. Delicious. Not many ever guessed what they were eating, or cared if they found out.
The heart, my dear friend Jan's mom would hammer the hell out of it, bread it, and chickenfry it. She always served it with Harvard beets and rice and gravy and veggie/tofu stir-fry. (She was from Manila, and I think her table was where I first saw tofu or came to believe that vegetables could be prepared in a way other than boiling them to the death!)
Whatever you do with those brains - do it quickly. They're highly perishable, along the lines of seafood-perishable.
I bought 1/2 of a cows tongue a few weeks ago; it's in the freezer but I'm thinking I'm going to try cooking it like Ma Peche restaurant does on their Beef 7 Ways offering: Xà lách de langue or Tongue Salad