This week's recipe is one I'm quite excited about. People are always surprised when I tell them that beef tongue is one of my favorite cuts of meat. Despite its widespread popularity outside of the United States, a lot of people here still get squeamish at the idea.
If that's you, I'd invite you to expand your horizons and give it a try. There's so much to love about it– it's cheap, it's easy to cook, it has amazing flavor, and it's got the tender texture of filet mignon.
I spent two years living and cooking in Mexico after college, and this is the way that I learned to prepare beef tongue there. It's super simple– put the beef tongue in a dutch oven, add in a bunch of herbs, spices, and aromatics, cover it in broth, and cook it for a few hours. It's forgiving and customizable. I've listed the herbs and spices that I use, but you don't need to be dogmatic about it. Use whatever you've got laying around.
I'm guessing this will be the first time cooking tongue for many of you. If you've got any questions, feel free to hop into the Telegram chat and ask away!
- 1 beef tongue
- 1 yellow onion, cut into big slices
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp allspice
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 small stick of cinnamon
- several dried chiles
- 3 bay leaves (or avocado leaves)
- beef broth
- corn tortillas, your favorite salsa, cilantro, and diced white onion for serving
Start by pre-heating your oven to 325.
Rinse the beef tongue under cold water, and then place it into a dutch oven.
Add in all of the onion, garlic, and spices. Add in enough beef broth to fully cover the tongue, and then season the whole mixture generously with salt.
On your stove over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil and boil it for a couple of minutes.
Then, place the lid on top of your dutch oven to cover, and place the whole thing in the oven.
Cook for 3 hours, turning the tongue over a couple of times throughout in order to ensure it's mostly submerged.
After 3 hours, pull it out of the oven, remove the tongue, and allow it to cool.
Once it's cool enough to handle, peel off the thick outer later of skin that covers the tongue. Once it's been cooked, the skin will peel off quite easily.
Cut off any sinewy parts from the bottom of the tongue where it attaches. Then, cut the tongue into slices of an inch or so in thickness.
Heat up a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add in a few tbsp of ghee, tallow, or avocado oil.
Briefly sear the pieces of tongue for a minute or two on each side, until they've developed a nice brown exterior.
Once the tongue is seared, transfer it to a cutting board. Chop it up into pieces– you can go for a uniform dice like I did, or just use a cleaver to break it down into chunks.
Now, you're ready to assemble your tacos. You can get creative here. These pair well with both red and green salsa, plus some cilantro, chopped white onion, or pickled red onion. I even added a layer of smoked onion jam underneath the tongue, and it was amazing.