Step 4: Peel tongue

Next I removed the tongue and peeled off the skin. Since this is the discolored yucky-looking bit, things started looking up after its removal.

The tongue itself is a big chunk of almost solid mustle, with a bit of connective tissue in the middle that requires prolonged heat to melt. Without the skin it looks far more like a more traditional meat, albeit in a strange shape.

The skin came off quite neatly; I only had to use a knife to coax some thin bits underneath to come off without tearing too much. There are some ancillary bits (blood vessles, fatty glandular bits, etc) attached to the lower sides of the tongue's base that can easily be removed at this point; they'll feel different, squishy and decidedly non-meaty, and thus can be easily separated from the good parts.

The Joy talked about removing roots, small bones, and gristle; I found none of these things. Perhaps a differently-cut tongue would have small bones attached? They didn't give any pictures or diagrams.
<p>That was a great write up with helpful photos. I found it because I, too, had long felt compelled to try tongue but like you, had avoided it until about two weeks ago. I did mine just slightly different, but very similar to yours. I put my 3 pound tongue in a crockpot. I cut up one large onion and added salt and peper and one finely chopped garlic bulb (small one, about 4 sections). I first cooked it on high for about an hour and a half. On high my pot actually boils the contents, so the tongue was safely cooked (but NOT finished) by then. I took the whole tongue out and cut a good sized slice off the end (about 2 x 3 inches). IT WAS TOUGH AS LEATHER!!!! Basically so tough it was inedible. I was very disappointed. I put in back in my crock pot, switched it to low, and cooked another 7 (SEVEN!) hours for a total of 8.5 hours. When I tried it this time....I WAS IN LOVE!!! It was a soft, unbelievably tender piece of what I can only call &quot;meat butter&quot;! I'm sure its quite unhealthy, but the extremely high fat content gave it incredible texture and taste. &quot;meat butter&quot; really is a good description! It tasted very much like roast beef (in terms of taste) but the texture was about 100 times more tender and juicy and just wonderful. In the end, I cut it up (actually, I mostly just tore it apart with my hands like you would do pulled pork) and put it in a container for refrigeration, with the intended purpose being tacos (which is what I bought it for). And sure enough....the &quot;Tacos de Lengua&quot; were hands down the best tacos I've ever tasted in my life. WOW! And my recipe called for VERY simple tacos--nothing but a soft corn tortilla, this tongue, fresh chopped onions, cilantro, and lime juice, topped with some medium salsa (optional) made the best tacos I'd EVER EVER tasted. Later I added some sour cream, tomatoes, and cheese, but this more Americanized version is just different, not necessarily BETTER than the simple aforementioned tacos. So.....as for the tongue, it blew my mind and taste buds so much that I not only gobbled it up in just a couple days of eating the tacos, but I went back to the store and bought and cooked a whole new tongue. Trust me, when something is so good that I make it twice in one week, its good! This time I made it closer to what you did. But I added even more veggies. I actually made pretty much a classic vegetable beef stew using tongue. Again, all the fat that cooks out probably clogged my veins up overnight and fattened me up too, but it also made the most incredible stew of all time. I put a 3 lb tongue, and chopped up almost everything in my garden- carrots, squash, okra, corn, green beans, tomato, and potatoes. HOLY COW. Desperately wish you could all have tasted my stew. After 8 hour (probably didn't need that much time), I let it all cool down. This did 2 things. One, it allowed me to gently reach in and pull the whole tongue out with the major fatty sections on the bottom (which the author of this thread mentioned) still in tact. That way I was able to trim off all the completely useless fat away, and was also able to just peel the &quot;skin&quot; off the whole tongue by just using my hands. Its amazing how after 8 hours the skin just slides off. The other adventage of letting this beef stew cool was that I was able to take a ladle and just dip a large amount of fat that had cooked out of the meat and floated to the top. But even after trimming the tongue and dipping out the liquid fat, there was still more than enough fat to give the stew great taste and body. Not real healthy, I suppose, but OMG it was good!!! I know this is a crazy long post, but I just discovered beef tongue and as you can tell, I'm more excited about it than I have been about almost any new food item I've tried in years. SO next time you see that rather gross and strange looking hung of meat at the butchers (my walmart even carries it, believe it or not!!!) do yourself a favor and pick it up. I promise you will not be sorry! Kevin</p>
<p>It's fairly expensive in the supermarket here in Minnesota, but is sometimes pretty cheap at the Farmers' market if you look at all the venders. Since lengua tacos are common at the authentic Mexican restaurants here, you might look at your Mexican market for it.</p>
<p>The sauce my mom used was mayonnaise, mustard, chopped chives mixed.</p><p>-------------------</p><p>Mexicans call in lengua and chop it for tacos.</p><p>------------------</p><p>Famous in the Bakersfield Basque restaurants --Google Noriega's.</p><p>Slice it in 1/4 inch slices. Drop into a plastic bag. Pickle overnight by adding red wine vinegar, ex virg olive oil, chopped parsley, crushed garlic. Put the bag into the fridge and flop it from time to time. </p><p>-----------------</p><p>There is a wonderful tongue stew in &quot;Frugal Gourmet Our Immigrant Ancestors&quot; in the Basque Section. </p>
<p>I made this a few years ago and again today. It's amazing how the meat is so tender and no visible fat! It's great with kugel and a salad</p>
<p>Just tossed my 3.5 pound beef tongue (from the local Asian supermarket) into the pressure cooker, covered it with water and added some peppercorns, herbs and garlic. The pressure cooker's instructions say 75-90 minutes for a 2-3 pound tongue, so I'll leave it in for a few minutes longer. I haven't had tongue in years, but I liked it in my twenties, so I'm sure I'll like it now. I'm not squeamish about organ meats. My favourites are chicken hearts (my Brazilian friends season them with garlic salt and grill them on skewers like kebabs... OMG delicious!) and lamb liver. I really like beef heart, too. I know the dog will devour the skin of the tongue and the gristly bits. She's not picky!</p>
Tongue is a cold appetizer in Russian cuisine. We boil it and serve chilled and sliced very thinly or you can use gelatine to create a clear liquid and pour over sliced tongue. It is delicious and expensive dish that you can find in Russian restaurants.
I woke up to the sound of hissing this morning - Beef Tongue for dinner tonight! :-)
I have heard many times now hat it tastes like roast beef. I know a few people who will be found eating it from time to time and I think I might have to take them up on the offer to try it.
how about... Barbuqeueqeuequeue it? Give it to Tim to turn into jerky? hey, you ever eaten eel sushi? As sushi goes, its not very adventurous, i'll admit, but it tastes great!
Unagi is pretty tasty! Especially with avocado. We just had some last night. I don't think barbeque is the way to go, unless it's very slow- you've got to break down LOTS of cartilage and tendony bits.
Eel, avocado and cream cheese hand roll: my favorite!
i have been eating tongue for a long time as a kid in n.y.city, not jewish either. i love the consistency of it and the flavor is like nothing else. it is hard to find in a grocery store setting tho. you're spread looks fantastic i am going to try it next time i do a tongue.i usually have to find a butcher to order it, but as the world gets smaller ethnicly it has been easier to find. thanks
I agree; the flavor is like nothing else. It's the most tender, delicious meat; I'm boiling one right now. My grandmother cooked this - nothing in the water, just boiled beef tongue salted at the table. I can't wait! Skinning it can be a pain, but so worth it!
Awesome! We get tongue all the time from our local authentic mexican restaurant. But we just bought a cow and when we had it butchered I requested the tongue. My 10 year old is so excited to try it, my 4 year old I already know loves it. I will definitely do as you did in boiling the tongue this weekend. A show we were watching gave it a final sear before serving. Thanks for posting this! :)
<p>Tongue is so tender.&nbsp; I prefer corned tongue.&nbsp; If you steam it in a pressure cooker it only takes a half hour to cook.&nbsp; Remove the skin while it is warm as it is removed easy. I steam mine with onion carrot and peppercorns with and vineger.&nbsp; I do not use the stock, I make a rich gravy and serve it with boiled fresh veggies.&nbsp; Most of my Aussie friend do not eat it, coming from England I had it as a meal very often.&nbsp; I have also served it with a white sauce.&nbsp; I have sliced it very thin and made sandwiches with it.&nbsp; People that would not normally it,, enjoy it as they do not know what it is with a little chutney.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p>
My mom used to boil a beef tongue and remove some kind of skin from the outside. Then she'd slice it from the tip to the base in about 1/2 thick slices. We'd have some for dinner and the rest would remain in the refrigerator for other uses. I remember having leftover tongue fried in bacon grease and served with fried eggs and grits. Sometimes I'd have it cold, plain with mustard or between slices of bread with lots of mayonnaise and thinly sliced onions. It's very delicate and delicious, and I don't understand why I haven't prepared one for myself. Not ever. I love the thick, fatty part of it, best of all. I can't begin to describe the texture. Much nicer than brains and eggs!
Today bought a pair of shoes nobility and beautiful is very cheap. In beautyclpumps.com
I tried this alternative to the traditional tongue dish. I boiled a tongue for about 2&frac12; hours, cleaned it and cut it into slices about 5mm thick. I simmered a mixture of 1 cup of tomato ketchup, 1 cup of mustard sauce (restaurant type) and a handful of brown sugar. The tongue slices were left to simmer in the sauce for 20 minutes. Just before serving, I added a 250ml tub of fresh cream to the tongue and sauce, stirred the concoction one more time and plated. Serve with fresh corn bread. Goes down deliciously as a starter.
$9.67 for a 2.5lb beef tongue from the local Shoppers(East coast multicultural grocery store)<br /> <br /> However I went to the local Mexican market and got a better quality one for $2 for 3lb<br />
Can I recommend giving this peeled part to your cat or dog?&nbsp; Nothing to waste, and a good source of easy digestible protein.<br />
Nice idea!&nbsp; <br /> <br /> Unfortunately most of the animals in my neighborhood are raccoons and possums, so I prefer to put it in the city compost.&nbsp; Not as good as a direct use, but it still turns into something useful.<br />
You bet!&nbsp; Gives it back to the earth, nothing wrong in that :)<br />
I ran across a tongue and heart combo in a little discount grocery story a few days ago. It was the first time I'd ever seen one, and I had to stop and stare at it for a few minutes and try to decide the level of ick I felt at the idea of eating a tongue. I decided it wasn't food. After reading this, though, I'm tempted to go back and get one. I've only recently stopped being the pickiest person I know and I'm trying to catch up on everything I've missed. I'll try anything I classify as food at least once, and now this has to go on the list.
Been having magnificent boiled (beef) tongue for years -- usually cook it in a slow cooker, then the "skin" pulls off in seconds when plunged in cool water. It's very good, we even buy tongue now in "quantity" from a restaurant supply house and freeze them individually (less expensive this way). That which makes it perfection is the use of Louisville's Famous Mustard Sauce on it (available in the Southern Heritage cookbook). Okay, that's my "secret"! Makes all the difference in the world. Probably the most used recipe (for me) in that whole good sized book.
I got an unpickled tongue from my butcher last week. I lightly seasoned it with a small amount of salt and pepper, placed it in a roasting pan covered tightly with aluminum foil. Put it in the oven at 200 degrees at 10:00pm and took it out at 8:00am. It made its' own wonderful gravy. I let it rest an hour before it was easily peeled. My tongue loving guests were in meat heaven! I wouldn't know, I don't eat it!
Whats a beef tongue cost? I could see eating it if it was cheap, but if its as much as a decent steak, I'd just get that. Since you are buying the meat, its not like it's you that is wasting any particular part - although trying to make the most of an animal is a good practice in general.
Around 2 lbs, mine was originally $8, but on sale for about $6. I probably won't buy this again. Although it was tasty, there's still a tinge of gross factor going on and my husband wouldn't touch it. Peeling your meat just doesn't seem natural.
Parts in lower demand are ususally much cheaper. Heart is usually 1/10 the cost of a decent steak (or less), I haven't seen tongue at my supermarket yet, but am willing to bet that it's around the same price range.
Your instructable was very easy to follow! Thank you. Started my (roughly) 2 lb. tongue (on sale for under $6 at Kroger) at 1pm and sliced 'er up a little after 4pm. Changes I made: After boiling, I left the temp at 3.5 for a whole 3 hours and added garlic, basil, lots of peppercorns, sea salt, carrots, celery, onion and chicken boullion. My 85 year old Czech mom said her mom used to make a German or Russian recipe with a brown, sour cream-type gravy - something like a stroganoff, I imagine, and said it was delicious. I tried tongue once before as a teenager and remembered that it was tender and tasted like beef, but couldn't get more than one bite down, thinking about what it was. Today, however, I enjoyed it - very tender, seasoned nicely. It tastes like a mild pot roast to me. I can definitely see this with horseradish (alas, I have none), or chopped up as a BBQ sandwich. My 4 year old niece, Kaitlyn, LOVED it and is taking the rest home to her mom, who said unenthusiastically, "Oh. Gee. Thanks, Aunt Mary. You shouldn't. Really."
Boil 3 hours? OH DEAR, you need to learn about pressure cookers.
Anthony Boudain's cookbook includes a maderia tongue recipe; it's what esscoffier recommends also. I'm trying it as I type (well, boiling)
"Is this rabbit?" "No! It's not Rabbit" (a while later) "Is it horse?" "NO!" (another while later) "I know! It's tongue!" (sheepish look and no reply) "It's tongue."
i am from deep south louisiana, we eat most everything on all animals. we eat most animals. i prepare beef tongue by boiling it down for about 3.5 hrs,remove the outer skin, cut it in the middle of it and stuff it with garlic,onion,celery,bell pepper and cayenne pepper. cook it down in a black pot with oil and water. about half cooking oil and half water half way up the tongue. when the water i gone,thats when its done. you have a little gravey for rice. not much but some you take the tongue out of the pot and put your rice in and stir it around for best results. best eaten warm side dishes down here are smothered potatoes with sausage,smotherd okra,smothered green beans,or snap beans with eggs.
Your piece of meat there looks a lot ... ickier than the tongue my dad prepared occasionally as I was growing up (though that was always boiled as well.) I don't recall having to peel it, for instance, though I wasn't paying a lot of attention to cooking at that time. Maybe it came pre-peeled? IIRC, our tongue had a range of textures ranging from normal meat to "disconcertingly soft." You can get "smoked tongue" as a lunch meat at some better delicatessans. Escargo is a convenient (?) vehicle for eating garlic butter. Yum. (um. You're not going to go through the rest of the unusual pieces of a cow, are you? In some ways it would make an interesting series, but...)
Hm... I did see a &quot;beef pizzle soup&quot; advertised on a chinese restaurant menu once (in Albuquerque, NM, of all places...). Never worked up the ecourage to try it though.<br/><br/>And yes, that <em>is</em> what you think it is. I hear they make great doggie snacks as well...<br/>
It's quite easy to peel post-boiling, so it probably happened and you just didn't notice. Yes, the texture varies widely- you can see the variation in some of those pictures.<br/><br/>I probably haven't had properly-prepared escargot, but so far haven't found it terribly interesting. Garlic butter goes well on everything.<br/><br/>No plans currently for a cow series- this was the only bit mocking me at the grocery. I've at least tried most of the other parts (hooray for chinese and vietnamese restaurants!) so they're not on my to-do list. I suppose it could be considered a companion piece to the <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/EJH7BAI6I1EUHSVI7S/">giblet gravy</a> instructable.<br/>
Re: (hooray for chinese and vietnamese restaurants!)<br/><br/>Yup, that's how I crossed off:<br/><br/><ul class="curly"><li>Beef Tripe (Pho: chewy, was pretty tasteless)</li><li>octopus (Sushi piece: chewy, with little suction cups inverted to hold the soy sauce)</li><li>sea urchin (Sushi piece: about the most disgusting meat I've ever eaten)</li><li>squid (in a vietnamese Hot Pot: quite cute and tasty)</li></ul>
Baby octopus salad -- super chewy, but yum!
taste gooood
I always had boiled tongue sliced to about 1/4 inch and dipped in a 1:1 mix of soy sauce and vinegar. I think mom would put a fair amount of garlic in the pot for boiling, but not much else. The part that always grossed me out was when we peeled it after boiling.
You can also boiled tongue into a tasty barbacoa(chopped tongue or cow's head) dish with serrano chiles, onions and cilantro.
<em>That</em> sounds great- I'll wait for the Instructable!<br/>
My family used to eat tongue rather frequently. It is good with a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and soy sauce. Very good cold.
I pride myself on being able to eat damn near anything. I've eaten cow brain, pigs knuckles, shark, gator -etc., etc. I grew up eating cow tongue, and never liked it. Flavor tastes fine, but the texture was just odd. Question of the day - WHO'S TASTING WHO!
I'll try anything once, and most things twice if you can convince me the first test wasn't representative. I've had some nice alligator, guinea pig, squirrel, and frog; pretty much anything I've had the opportunity to try seems to be tasty when done well. If you ever find yourself at an Ethiopian restaurant, try the kitfo- it's a really good spiced beef tartare. Cow brain is off my list due to prions, shark for toxin concentrations. Odd texture doesn't bother me; I've become a big fan of tendon in my pho, though I don't really see the attraction of chicken feet. Who's tasting who? I think I win in this case.
If your're ever in San Francisco, try looking up a restaurant in China Town called Yuet Li's (or Lee's I cannot remember). Order the Beef Tendon. You will not be disappointed (Are you listening ewilhelm and the Instructables crew? It's right across the bay bridge from you). I've since moved to the Midwest and miss the Bay Area's culinary offerings/diversity greatly. Never tried Chicken Feet. Not enough meat, too much work.
Next company lunch!
How were the cow brains prepaired? I have a vague impression of some beef oddity scrambled with eggs. It was either brains or sweetbreads (pancreas). It may be why I like my eggs over easy.
It was cow brain soup, so I guess it was boiled. Imagine scrambled egg soup, and you're pretty close to the flavor. Brains have no "grain", so they just fall apart in your mouth like semi-meaty tasting scrambled eggs. Oh, speaking of oddities, I forgot to mention tripe. Now this stuff I love. Mom cooks it in a Spanish dish called Callos (pronounced: cal-yos), very similar to Mexican menudo. Garbanzos are used instead of hominy. YUMMY!

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