Buttermilk-fried pork tongue on carrot-cumin-current crudite

This salad has been a favorite at Le Pichet since we first served it in 2006.  We recently brought it back to the menu this Fall.  I slightly different version of this dish, but still featuring buttermilk-friend pork tongue, is currently on the Fall menu at Cafe Presse as well.

Don’t be afraid to try pork tongue…cooked this way, it is one of the richest, most flavorful cuts of pork you can imagine.


Buttermilk fried pork tongue on carrot-cumin-black currant crudite


  • 2.5lb whole pork tongues
  • buttermilk
  • 8 carrots
  • 1 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

Tongue brine

  • 4 cups water
  • .75 cup salt
  • .25 cup sugar
  • 1 bay leaves
  • 5 white pepper corns
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 5 whole cloves

Seasoned flour

  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • .5 tablespoon salt
  • .5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • .5 teaspoon paprika
  • .5 teaspoon pimenton
  • .25 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 shallot (peeled)
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1 cup black currants
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar


1. For the Brine: Combine the water, salt, sugar and spices except in a pan. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes then cool complete.
2. Wash the pork tongues in a lot of cold water. If there are bones at the tongue root, trim them out. Put the tongues in the cooled bring leave overnight.
3. The next day, remove the tongues and discard the brine. Put the tongues into a large pot and cover with cold water to 1 inch above the level of the tongues. Bring to a boil, skim, reduce heat and simmer until the tongues are tender, about 3 hours. Remove the tongues and cool on a sheet pan.
4. Cut the cooled tongues into escalopes. Cover them with buttermilk that has been seasoned with salt and a big grind of black pepper.
5. For the vinaigrette: Put the brandy and half the black currants into a saucepan. Cook over high heat until the brandy is reduced to 1/4 of its original volume. Add the orange juice and cook over high heat until the reduced to 1/2 its original volume. Cool. Toast the cumin seeds and cool.
6. In the blender, make a vinaigrette with the reduction, mustard, cumin, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Emulsify with soy oil and correct the seasoning. Add the remaining whole currants
7. Peel and finely julienne the carrots using a mandolin. Chop the Italian parsley roughly. Toss the carrots, parsley, vinaigrette to taste and salt and pepper. Arrange the salad on a plate.
8. For the seasoned flour: Combine the flour, salt, ground cumin, paprika, pimenton and black pepper. Stir well.
9. Dredge the pieces of marinated pork tongue in the seasoned flour. Fry in hot peanut oil (350 deg F) until crispy and golden. Serve immediately on the carrot salad drizzled with a bit more vinaigrette.
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