Keel Hernestega is a quintessential Estonian appetizer of spiced boiled beef tongue. Serve the boiled tongue in thin circular cuts cooled or at room temperature accompanied by beans or peas. The dish has a rich, salty, and herbal flavor as a result of its lengthy cook time. Recipe Servings: Serves 6–8
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
- 1 beef tongue
- 2 onions, halved
- 2 or 3 bay leaves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 blades of vürtspipart
- 1 tsp (5 g) salt
- Wash the tongue and place it in a pot. Pour in enough cold water to cover the tongue by about 2 inches (5 cm). Heat gently until the water is boiling, skimming off any resulting foam.
- When the water is boiling, add the halved onions, bay leaves, and spices. Simmer the tongue for 2–3 hours, until it becomes soft. Check with a sharp knife. When the tongue is done, rinse it under cold water and then remove the skin.
- Slice the tongue and serve it cool.
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