Tongue!


We eat a lot of meat. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner all have some sort of animal based component. We’re healthier than ever, so it’s clear this is a good way for us to eat. As former vegetarians, though, our high meat consumption weighed on our conscience and lightened our wallet.

When we decided to commit to our meat-eating ways, TinyHands and I figured we’d better get serious about putting the whole animal to good use. So… from tail to tongue we eat what we can. This week we thought we’d show you what to do with beef tongue!

Force thawing a beef tongue in the sink

Force thawing a beef tongue in the sink

The tongue is just a muscle – a great big one, with no bones and very little fat. It does have quite a bit of connective tissue, though, and so requires slow cooking or pressure cooking. It’s actually a very manageable hunk of meat, once you get past the squick factor.

In The Whole Beast: nose to tail eating, Fergus Henderson has a few recipes for tongue. He suggests brining the tongue for seven days then boiling it.

We were in a hurry, though. TinyHands force thawed our beef tongue in the sink, and rinsed it really well. There was actually saliva coming off it. Slimy!

pressure cooked beef tongue

Pressure cooked beef tongue

Most people simmer the tongue for 50 minutes per pound. You can add onion and bay leaf to the water and end up with a good broth as well. This time, for quick cooking, ours met the pressure cooker, with just a couple inches of water and some salt. You can add seasonings at this point if you like. TinyHands cooked it at 10 pounds of pressure for 45 minutes, and, while done, wasn’t quite as tender as I like it. That’s ok if you’re going to cook it a bit more in whatever dish you make.

Let it cool a little bit so it’s warm but not piping hot before you try attempt to skin it – TinyHands burned herself a couple of times as you can see in the video. If the skin doesn’t peel off easily, it needs to cook longer.

Here’s a video of TinyHands peeling our beef tongue:

Now all that’s left is to slice it up and use it like you’d use beef! Ours got cubed and put in stew this time, but my favorite way to eat it is sliced thin (1/4-1/2 inch slices, cut against the grain) and served mexican style with cilantro and lime… or with salsa… or in a sauce with chili peppers… mmmmmm.

This blog is part of Monday Mania, Made From Scratch Monday, Weekend Gourmet, Make Ahead Monday, Make Your Own! Monday, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Teach Me Tuesdays, Offal & Odd Bits Challenge.

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