A typical Bahamian Saturday or Sunday morning involves recovering from the previous nights’ festivities and one way to do is to have a heaping bowl of souse (rhymes with house). Souse is a very simple Bahamian soup made with meats like chicken, turkey, pig’s feet or sheep’s tongue in a clear broth made of lime juice, onions, carrots and potatoes. Goat peppers or bird peppers are added for the extra kick. Whole all spice and bay leaves add an aromatic flavor. Souse can be served with johnny cake, grits or even toast. Although I’m currently on a year-long vegan journey, I bought frozen sheep’s tongue so that I can learn to make it for my fiance and buying a bowl can range $10-$16 depending which island and restaurant you get it from. I also feel that it’s important for young Bahamians to learn how to make out traditional dishes and make them at least once in your life but I digress. Anyway, finding a recipe for sheep tongue souse on the internet was harder than finding a chicken souse recipe because sheep’s tongue has a few additional steps in the cleaning and preparation process. Since I could not find a legit recipe, I decided that I will write and post my own recipe. Please bear with me because I honestly don’t like writing recipes.
- 4-6 sheep’s tongue
- 1 medium onion
- 2 medium potatoes
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 1-2 tbsp. whole all spice
- lemon juice and/or limes
- optional ingredients: carrots, celery, goat pepper
Begin by heating a pot of water with lots of salt until comes to a boil. Add the sheep’s tongue and let it boil or scald for 10-15 minutes. You can use this time to prepare a johnny cake or bread to go with it or peel and dice the potatoes and onion.
Drain off hot water and run the tongues under cold water. You’ll need to be able to handle them with your fingers so allow to cool for a few minutes. With a filet knife, remove the rough, white external layer on the tongue that has the taste buds. Try to cut as close to the skin as possible to avoid throwing away meat. Dice into small bite size pieces and set aside in a bowl.
Return the pot to the stove with fresh water and allow to come to a boil. Add potatoes, onions, all spice, bay leaves and optional ingredients. Add the sheep’s tongue and continue cooking until potatoes are done. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Serve while hot.
Note: For my first time, it came out pretty good. My fiance said it was decent. The meat needed a little more salt during the scalding process so that it could begin absorbing some flavor and not just be surrounded by the flavor of the souse water. The next time I make it, I would even throw a few of the all spice balls and a bay leaf in the pot during step 1. Of course, soups and stews always taste better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld together. If you’ve made sheep tongue souse before, do share your experience!