Today while browsing through my Facebook feed I came across a graphic photo that caught me by surprise. A woman in one of my Facebook groups had posted a picture of a large beef tongue in a stockpot of liquid with the caption: "I'm getting food ready this morning for all week long. My husband has to work all week. So I'm boiling a beef tongue for him to have tongue sandwiches." Intrigued, I took a peek at the comments and was pleasantly surprised to see how many other people had tried and loved the meat. After a bit of scrolling, however, it seemed a lot of people (including me) all had the same question: How do you cook beef tongue?
Cooking beef tongue isn't that different than cooking deer tongue, or for that matter any other kind of organ meat. The important thing is to clean it well first, and then since most organ meat tends to be on the tougher side, cook it low and slow. Here's our guide on how to cook beef tongue.
What is Beef Tongue?
Also known as ox tongue, beef tongue is the tongue meat of a cow. It's very high in fat and can be found in grocery stores by the butcher department.
While it is not a popular item in America, in other places beef tongue is a regular part of a flavorful diet. Mexican cuisine uses cow tongue, also known as lengua, in tacos and burritos. Lengua tacos are a popular Mexican recipe. In Belgium and France boiled beef tongue is usually served with a wine mushroom sauce. And in Ashkenazi Jewish households boiled tongue and horseradish is a popular dish during the holiday of Sukkot.
How To Cook Beef Tongue
Beef tongue, like most offal, require different cooking techniques than that of popular cuts of meat like flank steak and tenderloins. But before you can start cooking beef tongue, you first have to prepare the muscle by removing the outer skin and tastebuds. The easiest way to do this is to simmer the beef tongue with enough water to cover along with onions, crushed cloves garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and kosher salt for flavoring. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce to a simmer for about 3 hours of cook time for a 3-4 pound cut of meat.
You can also prepare the tongue in a slow cooker, Crock-pot, pressure cooker or instant pot. Most people like to pressure cook because it is the fastest total time.
Once the tongue is cooked, remove it from the water and let cool to the touch. Using your fingers and a sharp knife, remove the white skin outer layer from the tongue and discard.
How To Make Beef Tongue Tacos (Tacos de Lengua)
Here's an easy beef tongue recipe to get you started if it's your first time trying cooked tongue. Once the tongue is cooked, it's time to slice the tongue thin into 1/4 inch slices. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan with a little bit of oil over medium-high heat. Saute the tongue slices until browned. Dice the cooked beef tongue and add it to a warmed corn or flour tortilla, then top the diced tongue with cilantro, white onion, salsa verde, and radish slices. Yum!
This post was originally published Aug 28, 2019.