What you first must do again is consult ancient wisdom. My sensei in this matter is Mellissa Sevigny over at I Breathe I’m Hungry. Click wisely. Her world is epic enough to get lost in with only keto wings to fly you out. She guided me through my initial keto journey with open food arms and gave my mouth tastes it had never known. The thing about primal/keto living is it makes sense to your body and eventually, after it has adapted, it will create the best tastes your brain can make.
When you’re a wee lad or lassie your mother/father/animal that raised you was in charge of expanding your tastes. They gave you spinach and you flung it back as your body alerted there was potential poison in your mouth. Your mouth eventually learned that spinach is actually delightful for you and full of iron for your mind sprog so it decided to create a taste you enjoy.
Well now it is time to grow up and adapt those taste feels yourself. Starting with beef tongue.
The jalapeno popper casserole was one of the first dishes I made on keto. It uses cauliflower as its base. I have always liked cauliflower. Mostly out of respect to its opponent. Broccoli. Someone told me to pretend broccoli was little trees and we’re slowly becoming friends. Now it sometimes makes me sad to eat little trees though.
So this beef tongue casserole recipe is going to draw on her ancient wisdom for the cauliflower creamy layer and then grab some ideas from Sonia yet again. I followed her pickled beef tongue recipe and then found her casserole as well for guidance.
I know organ meat sounds scary but more primitive cultures (cultures that listen to their bodies more than media) actually consume organ meat and throw out the more lean meat to the dogs. I have news to break to you and it might just shatter your reality. It did mine. Companies own/control the food pyramid and it turns out they were wrong. Low fat is actually horrid for you. This is why there is so much sugar in every low fat product. They have to mask the taste and then use sugar to addict you to it. Your mind makes taste and they knew if they gave it just the low fat one your body would reject it.
If you’re scared though you could use ham. 😉
The first thing you’ll do is find beef tongue. I found mine at the farmer’s market here and if you can get in touch with a butcher I’m sure he’ll slip you some for some money. You could also use some ground beef in this or even other organ meat. Chicken hearts are incredible.
So first let’s prepare the cauliflower. We’ll basically do exactly what Melissa says to and trim the cauliflower/break it into medium sized pieces. Now don’t throw out that leftover bottom layer. Put it in a large ziploc/whatever brand you desire bag to put in the freezer. You can turn leftover vegetable moments into broth later.
Then you’ll put the cauliflower, 2 T (tablespoons) of heavy cream and 1 T of butter on top of your cauliflower and then microwave it uncovered, on high for 10 minutes. You might want to accidently leave the cauli leaves in there to microwave because they wind up being delicious soaked in those fats.
While that’s cooking we’ll start on the sprouts. Now these things are incredible but your mouth most likely does not know them. I also found these at Trader Joe’s and don’t know how hard it is to find sprouts where you live. You could substitute broccoli, a few carrots or just go mad and throw in daikon radish. Just don’t go putting any potatoes in there. That ruins the whole point of it being low carb =/
These things are pretty tough veggies, which is what we want for this dish, but they need to soften up a bit first. Go ahead and pop a raw brussels into your mouth though. Add some cheddar cheese to get that familiar going. Yes it is going to be bitter and you’ll hate it at first. It’s for your future mouth.
So go ahead and drop those onions pieces into your cast iron with a T of oil and set them over medium high. Garlic may have been a good idea here. After a minute drop in the sprouts. Occasionally move them around. Maybe sing to them a bit. Now don’t cook them too much. They’re going to be sitting in an oven soon and still need to look their best. About five minutes over medium heat should do.
Once the cauliflower has had ten minutes you’ll take it out then stir to moisten up the whole dish with the cream and butter. Then put it right back in for six to eight minutes or until tender. Then pour that into a food processor with your ½ cup of sharp cheddar cheese, ½ a teaspoon of salt. One teaspoon of rosemary and ½ a teaspoon of thyme and some cracking swirls of pepper. This is also where you can do whatever spices you want. Make it smokey with paprika and salt or you could even turn it into a dessert with pumpkin pie spice and some cloves. That might be too far…I might try it anyway.
Then pour in ¾ a cup of beef stock (or broth or chicken broth or veggie broth).
A note on cheese. Get a block of it and a high quality one. You can just break it off and put it right in and avoid the starch they put on packaged cheese/all those icky killy things they put on there. It also tastes like mouth melted bliss vs…okay still kind of bliss but a scouring one comparedly.
Now it is time to put it all together. Start with a layer of beef tongue. Then lay a layer of vegetables on top.
Finally cover that with some shredded cheese. You’ll use another ½ cup of cheese in the process. Or even more if you love cheese. I used about 2 cups in all.
Once you’ve done the layering you’ll go ahead and pour the caulimash right over it. and spread it out to cover everything.
Put the whole thing in the oven at 375 for thirty minutes and go read a book. Or whatever you want really. Just don’t leave the house.
Let that rest for 10-15 minutes then serve. You can garnish with some fresh rosemary or thyme and maybe even another cracking swirl of pepper.
Food Items You will need
2.5 Pounds beef tongue
For the Mash
1 head cauliflower
2 T Heavy Cream (try for organic)
1 T Butter (grassfed Kerrygold if available)
2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese
¾ cup beef stock (or broth)
teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ a teaspoon of pepper
2 cups brussels sprouts
Half an onion
2 cups kale sprouts
How to Turn the Above into a Casserole:
1)Clean and trim the cauliflower into medium sized pieces. Place those in a microwave safe dish with 2 T of HWC and 1 T of butter. Microwave uncovered on high for ten minutes.
2) While that’s softening heat up your cast iron or other heating device and pour in a T of oil. Add ½ of a chopped onion and let that soften then add in your brussels and kale sprouts. Cook for about five minutes over medium high heat then turn to low and just leave them there.
3) Once cauliflower has cooked for ten minutes remove from microwave and stir to coat in those delicious fats and return to the microwave for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
4) Pour the cauliflower into a blender and add your spices. Drop in a ½ to a cup of your cheddar cheese (preference based). You can just drop cubes right in. Pour in ¾ cup broth and blend until smooth but still slightly chunky.
5) Lay chopped up beef tongue at the bottom of your casserole dish then layer that with veggies. Cover that with cheddar cheese and repeat until your ingredients are finsihed. Pour the culimash over the top.
6) Bake at 375 degrees for thirty minutes or until bubbly. Let rest for 10-15 and serve.