Beef Tongue In Tomato Sauce Recipe / Receta de Lengua de Res Entomatada

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The flavor and texture of the beef tongue is widely praised in Mexican cuisine. It is usually cooked first in water with garlic, onion and bay leaves. Afterwards, it can be prepared in a stew with tomato sauce or served cold with a vinaigrette-like dressing. Beef tongue used to be a cheap cut of meat a couple of years ago, but nowadays the price has risen, reserving this dish for special occasions. Some markets in Central Mexico sell beef tongue already pre-cooked, a convenience for many cooks.
This recipe is very similar to those prepared in the southern parts of the country, like in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Veracruz. There are some variations in which raisins, capers and olives are added; still others add local and seasonal vegetables. The star of the dish is the beef tongue, which melts in your mouth after tasting it.

Here in the USA, Tacos de Lengua are widely sold at  Taquerias in the large Hispanic neighborhoods. You can find that recipe HERE
Serves 6
  • 1 beef tongue medium size (average weight 2 ½ to 3 Lbs)
  • 4 quarts of water to cook the tongue
  • ½ medium size white onion
  • 8 medium size garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon black peppers corns
  • 1 spring fresh thyme
  • 2 Large Bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon dry mexican oregano salt to taste
  • For the tomato sauce:
  • 4 large Plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Jalapeño or Serrano peppers sliced
  • 1 medium size white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of the beef cooking broth
Salt to taste
Notes: Cook potatoes or carrots & peas to serve (optional)
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1. Place the beef tongue, whole, in a large stock pot, cover with water and add the onion, garlic, black pepper, thyme and oregano. Cook at medium high heat for about 3 ½ hrs. until tender. If you prefer, cook in a pressure cooker for 45 minutes or in a crockpot over night for 6 hours in low setting. Check for doneness with a fork, the meat has to be very soft but not to the point of shredding. Cool the beef tongue and remove the outside skin. Once cooled cut in slices.
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For the sauce:
1. Place the tomatoes and garlic clove in a blender and process until you have a fine puree. If needed, add a few tablespoon of water.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over a low-medium heat, add the chopped onion and sauté until slightly golden brown. Add the Jalapeño peppers slices if using.
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3. Pour the tomato puree from the blender and keep cooking until you have a thick sauce; add the beef tongue broth and stir.
4.  Season with salt, add the sliced beef tongue to the sauce and keep cooking for about 15 minutes more. The sauce will be slightly thick.
Server with rice or corn tortillas.

 ¡Buen provecho!

Have you tried beef tongue?


  1. if anyone can cook tongue you can :-)

  2. A mi esposo y a mi nos encantan la lengua y preparada de esta manera debe quedar riquisima, tomo nota no soy tan buena cocinera y siempre aprendo algo de cada uno de ustedes Mely, mil gracias besitos linda semana.

    Norma Ruiz

  3. Yeah, that is one I'm not in a hurry to try. I've seen it in the stores, just can't get myself to try it yet.

    1. tongue is fantastic. My mother used to make tongue stew. When my father made stew with a typical non organ part of the cow, it tasted weird to me - no flavor. I also found beef cheeks really tasty. That was a first for me the other day.

    2. Hello,

      So glad to know other people like tongue stew. The cheeks are really tasty indeed, but hard to find here where I live. Thank you for you comment and happy cooking!

  4. Mely, se me antojó demasiado! =P Hace mucho que no cocino lengua, yo la hago en salsa de tomate almendrada y le pongo aceitunas, como el pollo en almendrado.

  5. Mmm, that looks delicious and reminds me of a beef tongue dish we used to get in a Basque restaurant. I cooked deer tongue last year for the first time... we loved it!

  6. Hi Mely,
    I LOVE beef tongue! It is served cold as a mezze with drinks here in Turkey. Just boiled and sliced thinly when cold. We love to squeeze lemon on it when eating!
    Your recipe here is new to me and I like the tomato sauce in it! A must try recipe for me!

  7. Qué rico Mely!

    Me llevo la receta!

    Salu2 regios!

  8. We see beef tongue for sale often at a Latino store near us. Now I have a recipe to try. I will have to get past the unappetizing look of the raw tongue, though!

  9. Mely, donde andas? Te extraño!

  10. Hi there, Carole's Chatter is collecting recipes for dishes using all kinds of offal today. This is a good one. I do hope you pop over and link in. Cheers


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