If you’ve never tried beef tongue, you’re missing out. This recipe is a nice introduction to tongue that you can modify and build on.
I admit that trying beef tongue took a bit of self-convincing. Let’s be honest here, cow tongues don’t look too appetising. The cows spend their days munching and munching on slimy grass and cow feed and frankly it isn’t too pretty. But I believe in not wasting any part of the animal; this cow gave its life to feed us, we must honour it and let nothing go to waste!
Although beef isn’t exactly an unusual source of protein, few people I know have ever eaten tongue and even those who have tried it, never dared to cook it themselves. I had never done either; this was a total novelty. So when I saw it on a grass-fed beef provider’s website, I thought I’d give it a try.
Let’s get this out of the way first: organ meats are actually very good for you. Not only are they generally cheaper than muscle meats like steaks and so on; they are also full of vitamins and other essential nutrients making them among the most nutritious sources of protein available. Add to that, it’s actually more environmentally friendly to eat all parts of an animal, especially a highly polluting one like the cow. Not to mention it’s just respectful to the animal not to let any of it go to waste.
Tongue is no exception to all this. It’s cheaper than the tenderloin or sirloin and it contains loads of important vitamins and nutrients. And, as I discovered through this experiment, it is extremely delicious.
The one downside to cooking tongue is that it’s a bit complicated and there are many steps to follow before the tongue is ready for use. However, once you follow the initial prep steps (which involve boiling/braising the tongue then peeling it) you can use it for a large variety of delicious recipes. Also, a cow’s tongue is huge. It’s enough to feed you and probably your whole family for a very long time. But that should be no problem because cooked tongue meat freezes very well. You can braise the tongue then slice it up and divide the slices into freezer bags or containers and freeze them until you need to use them. It’s a great way to have a quick, delicious meal on hand for when you need to fix something real quick.
As with all the recipes on this blog, my husband took some convincing to try beef tongue. He took one look at the raw tongue and screwed up his face in disgust and horror. But, since he’s the usual subject to all my experiments, he had no choice in the matter and had to plunge in! I can say it was an unexpected success! We were both pleasantly surprised. The tongue slices were crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside; a perfect combination of textures. They went great in hotdog buns, on pita bread with tahina sauce and in tacos (but that’s a recipe for another day!). I would rate this experiment as 8/10, the downsides are tongue isn’t easily available and it’s very time-consuming and labor-intensive to make.
Braised Beef Tongue Ingredients
- One whole beef tongue; if you bought it frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
- A huge pot. I mean enormous. Like, the biggest you can find and fit in your kitchen. You know, the huge stock pots? Yes, those.
- Lots of water, enough to cover the entire tongue.
- Plenty of salt.
- Herbs; you can use whatever you have on hand. I used rosemary, thyme, ginger and garlic.
- Place the tongue along with the herbs, spices and salt in the large stock pot.
- Cover with water and bring to a boil on the stovetop on high heat.
- Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and cover. Let it simmer for at least two and a half to three hours. Add any extra water along the way if necessary.
- Once it’s boiled and cooked, you can remove it to a plate or cutting board as in the picture above. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so and then peel the white layer off by hand. It should come off quite easily.
Now that you have a peeled tongue, you can slice it up into slices any thickness you want. Tongue is a very fatty meat which means it can be grilled and pan fried without any additional fat and it won’t get dry or burned or anything.
Pan-grilled tongue Ingredients
- 1.5 centimetre thick boiled tongue slices. You can make them as thin or thick as you like, but the thicker the better they will withstand high heat.
- Griddle pan or grill (either indoor or outdoor, depending on availability or preference) and cooking spray.
- Salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard or any condiments according to taste.
- Pickles, relish or chopped lettuce (optional)
- Hotdog buns or other sandwich bread.
- Preheat pan or grill on high. Spray some cooking or grilling spray onto the pan.
- Season the tongue slices according to taste with salt and pepper and place onto the hot pan.
- Sear the slices until they get browned evenly and crispy on all sides.
- Put them in sandwiches with pickles, chopped lettuce, or condiments like ketchup, chilli sauce, or horseradish sauce. Or serve them with a fresh, crispy salad. And enjoy!
For other adventurous recipes check these out:
© 2019, L.E.. All rights reserved.