A simple beef tongue recipe that results in tender, melt in your mouth beef tongue. Beef tongue is not just a delicacy, it’s also very nutritious!
This beef tongue recipe is my favorite way to prepare this tasty cut of meat. I learned it from my good friend Irina, a wonderful cook who makes many traditional recipes.
Is beef tongue really tongue?
Yes! Beef tongue (lengua) is a dish made from the tongue of a cow. I can see why some people find this difficult to accept. I suppose there is a yuck factor, unless you grew up eating internal organs.
But for someone who’s used to eating the entire cow, not just steaks, it’s really no more “yucky” than a piece of steak. It’s just meat. And it’s wonderful!
In fact, the modern Western culture is the first human culture to shun organ meats. Eating just the muscle meat is not just an irresponsible, wasteful way to consume meat, it is also far less nutritious.
Where can I buy beef tongue?
If you’re in the U.S., this can be quite a challenge. You’ll probably need to ask your butcher to special order it for you. Or go to a hispanic market, where it’s always available. Lately I’ve been able to find frozen beef tongue at Whole Foods, so that’s progress.
Is beef tongue tasty?
Oh yes. Properly cooked beef tongue is tender and very flavorful. I consider it a delicacy, especially when served with my friend Irina’s delicious onion-mushroom sauce (see it below in the recipe card). In fact, I often think to myself that it’s just as good as ribeye roast – and so much cheaper!
What is the best way to cook beef tongue?
The tongue is a muscular organ that works hard, so it’s very tough when uncooked. Much like beef heart, you have two options when cooking beef tongue. Either slice it very thin and cook quickly, as they do in Korean barbecue. Or cook it low and slow, in a saucepan in water or in your slow cooker.
I like the second method, because it results in meat that literally melts when you put it in your mouth. So wonderfully tender! And despite owning a slow cooker, I prefer to cook beef tongue in water. This is mostly because then I get a wonderful bonus – rich, flavorful homemade beef broth!
Is beef tongue healthy?
I believe it is. But it depends on your definition of “healthy.” It is certainly very high in fat. Around 70% of its calories come from fat. But if you’re on a low carb, ketogenic, or the paleo diet, that likely doesn’t scare you.
Beyond the basic nutrition info provided below, according to fitday.com, a 4 oz portion of cooked beef tongue has 60% of your vitamin B12 needs. It also has 20% – 30% of niacin, phosphorus, selenium, iron, riboflavin and zinc. So yes, beef tongue is very nutritious.
What to serve with beef tongue?
What to do with leftovers?
You can keep cooked leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. You can gently reheat them, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. But I really like them cold. Sliced thin and served with quick pickles, mustard and fresh cut veggies, cold slices of leftover beef tongue are one of my favorite lunches.
More offal recipes
Beef Tongue Recipe
- 1 beef tongue, 2 -3 lb.
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
- 2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, optional
- Rinse the tongue and place in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil. Skim off the foam from the top.
- Lower heat to a simmer, add the bay leaves, peppercorns and allspice, and cook, partially covered, 3-4 hours, depending on size, turning the tongue every hour to ensure even cooking on all sides.
- Remove the cooked beef tongue to a cutting board. Allow to cool until easier to handle, then remove the skin, slice and serve, with or without sauce.
- To make the sauce, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl to coat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 10 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft.
- Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the sliced tongue, cover it with the sauce, lower heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
- If you wish to thicken the sauce, 5 minutes before it’s done, stir in 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with a little cold water.