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 HEREServes 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
Notes: Cook potatoes or carrots & peas to serve (optional)
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.
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.
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.
Have you tried beef tongue?