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?
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, other places beef tongue is a regular part of one's diet. Mexican cuisine uses beef tongue, also known as lengua, in tacos and burritos. 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 salt for flavoring. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 3 hours for a 3-4 pound cut of meat.
You can also prepare the tongue in a slow cooker, crockpot, pressure cooker or instant pot.
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 from the tongue and discard.
How To Make Beef Tongue Tacos (Tacos de Lengua)
View this post on Instagram
Tacos three ways tonight! @papavalleywagyu beef brisket with salsa verde, black refried beans, white onion and cilantro, @kowsteaks Wagyu beef tongue with chipotle sauce, refried beans, white onion and cilantro and Pulled pork with refried beans, spicy salsa and cilantro. Excellent eats tonight! These meats were previously cooked so I warmed them up in 8 inch Lodge Cast Iron skillets on the large Big Green Egg for about 15 min at 350. All three seasoned with @fiestaspices Mesquite Fajita. #papavalleywagyu #wagyucross #wagyubeef #wagyubrisket #brisket #briskettacos #kowsteaks #cowtongue #lengua #lenguatacos #tonguetacos #beeftacos #pulledpork #porktacos #tacos #tacotuesday #biggreenegg #bgenation #bge
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 sliced tongue until browned. Dice the meat and add it to a warmed corn tortilla and top with cilantro, white onion, salsa verde, and radish slices. Yum!
This post was originally published Aug 28, 2019.