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Langue (tongue) de Boeuf in Paris


jml3
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My wife and I are in Paris from today (August 31) through the evening of Tuesday, September 4. She has expressed a taste for good beef tongue. as a main plat. Any suggestions?

Edited by jml3 (log)
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My wife and I are in Paris from today (August 31) through the evening of Tuesday, September 4. She has expressed a taste for good beef tongue. as a main plat. Any suggestions?

Well, I immediately went to my "One dish" book by Emmanuel Rubin but it's not specific enough, so myself, I’d think first of here at Ribouldingue + Aux Zingots see here and here for the Caves Petrissans. An 2006 article on abats can be found here. Report back please.

John

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Congratulations for your wife's good taste, langue de bœuf is a great dish. Used to be my Norman grandmother's favorite dish and is not far from being mine.

It is most often prepared à la sauce piquante (a sauce made from a light roux, the cooking stock from the tongue, onions, a bit of white wine or madeira, tomato purée, herbs and a final addition of chopped gherkins and capers).

It may also, more rarely, be served en tortue. The sauce is similar but heavier in tomato and madeira, and there's quite a lot of fresh herbs infused in the wine, including basil, marjoram, savory, and sage. No gherkins or capers.

Slightly less common than sauce piquante is sauce madère: similar to the former with more madeira, less herbs and no pickles.

Langue de bœuf has become very rare in restaurants. Not elegant enough. Some bistrots will sometimes propose it but they're few and far between. More likely, you will find some at corner cafés as a plat du jour (look on the chalkboards) and, even more likely, at charcutiers-traiteurs around lunch time, the last refuge of plebeian dishes.

Edited by Ptipois (log)
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We ran out of time this trip for a plate of langue de boeuf. Maybe on the next trip. (This my 100th visit to Paris over 33 years.) My wife did have a starter Saturday at Benoit that purported to have tongue as first ingredient, layered with foie gras. But the foie gras was the main ingredient and overpowered the tongue. The meal overall at Benoit was disappointing, by the way. We should have heeded John's low rating of the place.

We did have a thoroughly enjoyable 95 euro lunch at Gagnaire yesterday. We added the cheese course (at 38 euro - but price there has nothing to do with cost) to make the meal just the right amount of food.

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