Lately, I have felt like my creativity has been lacking in the kitchen. I guess you could say I am in a food rut. Life has been a little more busy and I have resorted to quick and easy meals instead of trying new foods or even combinations of foods. I got excited, while doing our weekly grocery shopping at our local food co-op, when I spotted grass fed beef tongue. In fact I was quite fascinated with it. I picked it up and put it back twice, unsure if I could get over the idea of eating tongue. One of the Mexican men who works at the meat counter was watching and he came over to encourage me to give it a try. He explained that beef tongue is a delicacy and in fact is used widely in Mexican cuisine. He convinced me to give it a try, so in the cart the tongue went.
There is no preparation required of the tongue, which makes it a relatively easy meal to make. It doesn't need to be soaked, like liver, to make it palatable. There was no hair to remove or feathers to pluck. I just took it out of the package and gave it a quick rinse. I will admit, it is quite gross, yet oddly interesting. The cow tongue is covered in very visible papillae and taste buds which simply captivated me (see Facebook for picture). I was so interested I even Googled “cow tongue anatomy”.
Anyways, my meat counter friend suggested I slow cook the tongue with onion, garlic and salt. I heeded his advice only instead of the Crock-Pot, I used the pressure cooker. I also added a bay leaf as well as beef bone broth. I've had great success cooking other tough pieces of meat in an hour or less using the pressure cooker, so I figured why not give it a try.
There is no doubt, cooked tongue, right out of the pot is just plain disgusting to look at. Although I did take some pictures, I decided not to share them. The skin loses it's pink color and the tongue swells. You can't get caught up in the ick factor, or you'll miss out on this delish dish.
I read on a few different food blogs, that there are two textures of finished beef tongue, sliceable and shreddable. My tongue turned out the former. I suspect I could have cooked the tongue even longer to get to the shreddable texture. Next tongue cooking adventure I will use the slow cooker to compare.
Once the tongue is cooked you have to peel the skin. Yes, I know, ick. With the aid of a sharp knife it goes quick and is quite easy. All that's left is slicing, dicing and spicing and you'll be ready to plate your tacos.
If you can get past the mental hurdle of preparing and eating tongue, you are in for a nice surprise. It is actually quite tasty, similar to any other red meat. It is not rubbery or chewy but almost melts in your mouth. I am anxious to try this again only instead of a Mexican spin I am going to make a meat salad of sorts. I heard from my South Dakota farming relatives it was a family favorite.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
- 1 Grass Fed Beef Tongue
- 1 Organic Onion, Sliced
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
- 6 c. Beef Bone Broth
- 1 Bay Leaf
Recipe is the equivalent to one packet of commercial taco seasoning, which is enough for 1 lb. of beef. If you make this in a large batch, approximately 3 Tbsp. is what you would use per pound of meat. I do not add any water to the mixture, instead, when draining the meat I reserve about a tablespoon of fat and drizzle that back over the meat along with the seasoning.
- Rinse tongue and place in pressure cooker or slow cooker
- Add onion, garlic, bay leaf and bone broth, enough to cover tongue.
- If using pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and then cook for 1 hour. If using slow cooker cover and cook on low 8-10 hours.
- While tongue is cooking, mix up a batch of taco seasoning.
- Remove tongue from pot and with a sharp knife make a slit down center of tongue. Peel skin.
- Slice and dice or shred tongue and mix with taco seasoning.
- Serve with lettuce wraps, taco fixings and Mexi “Cauli” Rice on the side.