Friday, January 07, 2011

Beef Tongue, Yum?

Beef tongue is such an old skool dish, I decided to run most of these pics through Photoshop's black and white (with blue preset) filter. It gives quite a film noir look. Not necessarily the greatest thing for a post on cooking beef tongue, but I was feeling artsy-fartsy.

This is a cow's tongue. It is somewhat visceral. A steak is a steak, rather dissociated from its origins but this is most definitely a large tongue from a large animal.

After looking at a few recipes online I decided to just wing it. Boil it on low with plenty of salt.

And Garlic (I know garlic's not supposed to be capitalized but it is almost like a deity for me so I sometimes forget).

Bay leaf, tarragon, I think that was it.

Simmer, simmer, simmer. On super low for 2-3 hours.

Peel off the skin. Yum. This is not perhaps the most appetizing photo ever, but we are all adults here, right? It was even worse in film noir B&W, believe me.

Yes, those are bite marks
Left with a very soft but not especially tasty hunk of meat. Sort of like paté but without the yummyness. Spam comes to mind. I wasn't really crazy about the texture or the flavor. The water it was boiled in, along with all the garlic, etc will make for some good soup base, of course.

The solution: fry it up with some green onions, a can of jalapenos and carrots. The liquid is from the can of jalapenos.

I boiled off the juice then added some lard and cooked until the meat was nice and crispy and the flavors had suffused. Pretty good actually.

Dobrou chut'!


  1. I have the tongue from the cow we bought half of last June (the heart, too) and have been wondering how to cook it. This has possibilities - thank you!

  2. If I were to do it again I would put a lot more salt in the water, although I suppose that would make it too salty for soup base.

  3. My Mother regularly served liver, kidney, boiled tongue and boiled tripe. I still adore liver, kidney and ( now unobtainable) sweetbreads but avoid tongue and tripe.

    Of course Ma would never have sauted tongue with spices - that would have made the difference!

    I might try it this way - thanks for post.

    Tripe? Not even a la mode de Caen!

  4. my husband likes tongue since his mother used to fix it but I find it difficult to get in the U.S.? Do other people find it hard to get also?

  5. @Leon I agree about the tripe. Dršťkovka polívka, tripe soup, is a pretty popular pub food here. I tried it once and now give it a miss.

    @Anon I've no problem getting tongue or liver or even brains here in Prague. When we were visiting the States I was surprised to find all sorts of unusual cuts at an upscale butcher. (
    A bit more pricey but they were typically grassfed or at least organic (whatever that means).