Mexico in my Kitchen: How to Make Beef Tongue Barbacoa Tacos Recipe / Receta de Tacos de Barbacoa de Lengua de Res|Authentic Mexican Food Recipes Traditional Blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Make Beef Tongue Barbacoa Tacos Recipe / Receta de Tacos de Barbacoa de Lengua de Res

Tacos de Barbacoa2
As a food blogger I have a lot of pictures stored in my external hard drive waiting to be published. Like these pictures, they have been sleeping there for more than 2 years. I went in search of them after reading an article in CHOWHOUND about how cooking beef tongue is becoming a trend among Chefs in upscale restaurants across America. I decided it was about time to get them out before this humble low cost delicacy that is usually eaten in a taco in so many places of my country becomes a forbidden fruit. I mean in case this trend picks up and the price goes up. In Mexico we also serve them in stews, where the cooked meat is sliced and then slowly simmered with different types of sauces. But that is another story. This recipe is super easy, no rocket science here.
This recipe is using the Crock pot; it is a good idea to do it overnight and have your barbacoa ready for breakfast, specially Sunday like we do in northern Mexico. If you do not have a crock pot, cook in a large pot in your stove for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. This will depend also in the size of the beef tongue. A faster way will be using the pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes after the valve starts whistling.
If you have never tried Beef tongue, this is the easy way to go. The texture is soft that almost melts in your mouth. The leftovers if any, are great for sandwiches, flautas,  scramble with eggs, etc. It also freezes well.
Serves 4 servings per pound, a medium size beef tongue is about 2-21/2 pounds
  • 1 beef tongue
  • 1/4 of medium size onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Water (enough to cover the beef tongue)
  • To serve: warm corn tortillas, 1 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 cup of chopped white onion and salsa of your choice.
NOTE: When buying the meat make sure it is coming from a trusted source. Since not a lot people buy this type of cut very often, chances are you will find it frozen. I am lucky to have a Grass Fed source and the quality can’t compare to the one found at regular supermarkets from my personal experience. Beef tongue is still very affordable; buy it in a place that you trust for their quality.
1. Rinse the beef tongue with water and place in your crock pot, add onion, garlic, salt and water.  Cover and set the crockpot in low for 8 hours. Cook until tender. If after 8 hours the meat is not tender enough to shred cook a little bit longer. Not all Crockpots work alike.
BArbacoa de Lengua04Tacos de Barbacoa5Tacos de Barbacoa1

2. Remove the Beef tongue from the crock pot and place in a large dish, remove skin using a knife to make a cut at first and discard. Trim off any  fatty tissue at the bottom end. As you can see from the pictures above it is mostly meat.
3. Shred the meat using 2 forks and place in a serving bowl with some of the cooking broth that has already been degrease and strained.
The way we serve it at home is buffet style with the tortillas,chopped onion, cilantro, salsa, some lime wedges and salt. Everyone prepares their own tacos.
¡Buen provecho!

MelyRed heart         

This post is featured in Simple Lives Thursday & Full Plate Thursday



  1. I'm sure it's good, but I've never eaten beef tongue before. I remember my Dad loved it and he also loved rabbit. I don't care for the taste of it and when I think of eating rabbit I see their beauty and just can't. Give me tamales, menudo(tripe), taco de res, chili's rellenos and I'm in heaven.:)) I'm sure your dish is very good Mely, thanks for sharing. Looks super!

  2. Hay eres mala, mala, mala!! porqué me antojas ésta delicia??? me encantan los tacos de lengua, a ver si la semana que entra compro y hago!! qué ricura!!
    Saludos querida amiga

  3. wow lengua is one lean meat and it surely tasty I love this recipe.

  4. Tacos looks delicious Mely, even though I won't eat meat it is tempting for me.

  5. Amazing! My mom used to cook tongue when I was very young and this reminds me of it, great post
    Take care..

  6. Mmmm...those tacos look fantastic. We make tacos de lengua every once in a while around here. I do love the tender, melty texture of tongue. Fantastic!

  7. Sure you can try without oil,but you need to add some fat, may be tablespoon of butter or ghee (Clarified butter) gives more taste.

  8. My mom used to make tongue tacos way back when, probably because it was cheap. Que delicioso! I should probably make them for my guys at least once.

  9. Hola Mely

    Mmm qué delicia de tacos, ideal y típico en un domingo por la mañana!


  10. looks really tender but i bet you know just how to cook it

  11. Hi Mely,
    These look like awesome Tacos! Sure wish I had a couple right now. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back soon!

  12. Thanks everyone for your kind comments. I hope you have a great time cooking an a blessed week.


  13. It sounds wonderful. Where can a girl buy beef tongue?

  14. Hello Yolanda,
    You can find it at the supermarket, well at least here where I live some, not all supermarkets carry beef tongue. Grass fed groups also offer it.

    Have a nice day,


  15. De lengua me como un taco.
    No, la verdad es que me como de cabeza, de buche, de oreja, de cachete, pero de lengua, es algo que mi estúpido paladar no le entra, y no sé porque. Todo mundo me dice que es deliciosa y no, la verdad es que no le encuentro el gusto Mely. ¿Cómo ves?
    Te mando mucho mucho cariñito

  16. Hola Carmen,

    Aqui apenas he encontrado buche aparte de la lengua. Y te entiendo si no te gusta la lengua, a mi en particular no me gustan las criadillas. Dicen que son muy ricas pero la verdad no me animo a comerlas.

    Un abrazo,


  17. Mely, a mi también se me antojó. Te dejo el enlace de mi receta en español. Besos


  18. Mely.
    que divino se ven los tacos de lengua, My cousin makes me peel the tongue. she finds that part me antojaron mucho.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Pues yo sí; de lengua me como un taco y hasta dos!
    Que rico Mely y se ve muy fácil de preparar. Yo nunca la he preparado porque, ya sabes, en casa se come muy poca carne, pero me encanta. Así que me voy a comer lengua a casa de mi mamá cada vez que ella la prepara. Ay, pero esos tacos me están sacando el hambre!
    Un beso.

  21. Your tacos look delicious and I would definitely give beef tongue a try. I have an adventuresome palate. It's nice to know grass fed places have it. There's one near us. Besides, we like ris de veau and it's certainly not for everyone.

  22. Absolutely scrumptious, Mely. Que delicia se ven estos tacos, como todo lo que compartes en tu blog. Y por cierto Happy Halloween!

    Hugs <3

  23. Hace tanto tiempo que no como lengua! mira que rico lo presentas..
    besitos Mely :)

  24. How is it that I just discovered your blog?! It’s a treasure mujer! WOW!!!
    Lengua is so yummy and tender and so easy to make. LOVE Lengua!
    I’m still in awe, so happy I found your blog!!! We need to figure out how we can work together! We have a Mexican food blog too and I feel as if I just stepped into la cocina de mi abuelita.

  25. Mely, por donde andas? Regresa que ya te extrañamos.

  26. Hola Prieta,

    Lllego el Otoño y me distraje viendo la belleza que nos da esta epoca del año. Sun duda alguna una de mis favoritas.

    Gracias por acordarte de mi.



  27. Hola Muybuneocookbook,

    Thanks for you nice comment. Sorry for the late reply. I had been busy lately and some comments where left unpublished.



  28. lengua is ez to cook, put it in teh crockpot over night and its done

  29. Here goes nothing!! Tonites my first time making it!! Wish me luck!!!

  30. I remember my dad making this when I was very young, I'm planning on making it for him!! Wish me luck(:

  31. Turned out fabulous! I had always boiled the tongue first, took the skin off, then finished cooking. I like your way much better:) Much less time consuming!

  32. Thanks for posting this recipe! Turned out GREAT. Just like my Grandmother made all those years ago. :)

    1. Hello Dustin,
      You just made my day!


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