Tacos de Lengua (Beef Tongue)

Before I start today, I want to say a quick congrats to my rival Macheesmo for getting his new design implemented over the weekend! Looks great man! If you head over to his site today you will notice something weird. WHOOPS! It’s like we both wore the same tongue to the prom! (what?) Anyway, don’t hold your tongue (I’m here all night folks), let him know what you think of the new site!

Now back to MY tongue. I was walking through the farmers market last week, and noticed beef tongue at the Chestnut Farms stand. I didn’t have any specific plans for dinner, so I asked about the tongue. The nice girl seemed reluctant to give me the last tongue of the season, but I told her it was going to a good home and not to worry. Convinced, she finally slipped me the tongue. (hehe) So now what? Tacos are the only tongue dish I know of, so I decided to go for it. Now if I could just find that green fruit to make some salsa with… what’s it called again? It’s on the tip of my tongue… oh yea, tomatillos! My roommate is going to give me a tongue lashing when he realizes what’s for dinner! Ok, I’ll stop.

To get the tongue tender enough to be pleasant while eating, you need to cook it for awhile. Most boil it for 3 or so hours, but I used the slow cooker. Just add the tongue to these veggies and spices and pour water to cover.

Ok people. If you make this, just remember one thing. There is NO MISTAKING that you are dealing with a tongue here. It actually even creeped me out a bit and I have dealt with some pretty serious meat related situations!

Yep, it’s a tongue.

In to the bath it goes. I went to work dreaming of tongue all day.

Tomatillos for the salsa.

Hot peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro, and lime finished the green salsa.

I had a nice crumbly fresh cheese for the tacos.

Tongue is out of the slow cooker and it’s looking pretty… tonguey.  Fist step is getting rid of that skin.

Thin slices against the grain.

Then cubes. This was pretty tender and starting to shred, but I let it cool down enough to cut it nicely. You don’t really want shreddy beef tongue cause the grain is very tough and you would be chewing forever.

Fry up the chunks to add some sear to the meat. At this point you could spice it up a bit, but I really wanted to taste the tongue!

The bottom one is just some radishes and scallions.

This tongue was about to be in cheek. HA! I had to get one more in there.

Very beefy flavors, with a nice tender texture that still had a little chew to it.

I will definitely cook with beef tongue again, but I will add a little more spice to hold up to the strong tongue flavors. Not to COVER the flavors, but to pair with them.

Would you guys ever cook with beef tongue?


  1. I honestly never will cook with Beef Tongue, mainly because the way it looks uncooked. After you cooked it and got rid of the skin, it looks delicious, though…

  2. This is one of the times I’m not jealous. Sorry, I don’t think I could eat this if I knew what it was. I’m sure in the end Dan it was delicious.

  3. I love lengua but have never cooked it myself (for the same reasons you mentioned – it just looks so… weird). In the Philippines it is served sliced in thin fillets, with a mushroom or tomato sauce. So good…

  4. Beef tongue tacos are my favorite…especially super late night from some taco coach in NYC. Those were the best I’ve ever had.

  5. My mom used to make tongue on occasion. Dunno how it ultimately was cooked, but we’d have it sliced up and she’d make some sort of creamy horseradish sauce/gravy for it. As a kid of course I hated it, but I could go for some now.

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