Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

How to Eat a Beef Tongue (and What Not to Say to Your Husband)

May 5th, 2011 · 98 Comments · Recipes

Beef tongue fajita recipe

An observation: When you cut grains, there’s still something else that takes their place as the “eat it at every meal” regular. Suddenly eggs are popping in multiple times a day, potatoes become a staple, and almonds are needed for just about everything, including a handful for a snack.

Since one of the theories about the increase in gluten intolerance is that we eat it too often, I have to admit that I was surprised to realize that if we didn’t consume gluten/grains, we would be eating something else too often, perhaps.

For some variety during our grain-free Lent, I decided to cook up the beef tongue that’s been in my freezer since December.

Okay, variety might not have really been my motivation. Honestly? I felt the pressure to give it a go since writing this organ meats challenge (in a good way), and I had it around because it was free with my 1/16 of a cow. (Friendly beef buying tip: ask your farmer if there are extra organs lying around. Most people don’t want them, so you can snatch them up with your purchase, making it a frugal deal!)

I was really lucky that a house showing messed up my meal plan, after I had completed the first step and posted on Facebook that I was going to cook the cow tongue. I had planned on making a sort of stir fry with sliced tongue, but I was so glad I got to read how others cook tongue first. (See the conversation here.) I went with fajita style, an excellent choice if I do say so myself.

How to Make Beef Tongue Fajitas

Cook’s note: you may not need to follow every single step included here. It’s possible that I may have inserted some opinion and jest into these instructions. Reader beware…

  1. Open the package of tongue.
  2. Stare at the tongue.beef tongue (3) (475x356)
  3. Imagine it in a cow’s mouth…then quickly smack yourself and don’t ever think about that again.
  4. Hold up the cow tongue and ask your kids what part of the cow they think it might be from. (Mine guessed “ear” first and then “head”.)beef tongue (4) (475x356)
  5. Offer to them the opportunity to feel the cow tongue. They will be fascinated and take you up on it for sure. It’s very bumpy and a little slimy. Super cool if you’re a 5-year-old boy or his sister who follows in his every footstep. Winking smile
  6. Pretend to eat your children with the tongue. This will cause the 2-year-old to scream, but you and the older brother can have a good laugh.beef tongue (5) (475x356)
  7. Rinse the tongue. That just seemed like a good idea.
  8. Wash your kids’ hands.
  9. Boil the tongue for a few hours until it’s done. I made beef stock at the same time and simply chucked the tongue in there, then took it out and let the stock continue cooking (it goes for 1-3 days!). “Done” tongue looks like this:beef tongue (6) (475x356)
  10. Allow the tongue to cool. If you can plan it so that it has time in the fridge before you have to address it, all the better.
  11. Peel the tongue. This is nothing like peeling an orange, nor a potato, and a little like peeling the dead skin off the bottom of your feet after a long, moist day…except that it’s thicker and bumpier. Don’t eat the taste buds. Peel the tongue. It’s not difficult at all.
  12. Slice the tongue into fajita sized pieces as shown above. Do this before your husband comes home. Do not let your husband see the tongue in its entirety. Ever.
  13. Saute sliced peppers and onions in fat as you would for fajitas. Add the sliced tongue and an appropriate amount of taco seasoning (or fajita seasoning, or chipotle, adobo…whatever floats your boat).
  14. Shred the tongue as well as possible. I have a cool Pampered Chef doo-dad that does a great job of this in the pan, but you may need to use two forks, a mini food processor, or some other ingenuous invention to shred the tongue.
  15. This is a really terrible photo of the meat pre-seasoning, but imagine it looks less washed out and quite tasty…albeit a bit gray-ish:beef tongue fajitas (2) (475x356)
  16. Serve in homemade tortillas, or, if you’re on a grain-free or gluten-free or low-carb kick, just make it a fajita salad with spicy dressing and salsa like so:

    beef tongue fajitas (5) (475x356)

Here is the most important step: know when to keep your mouth shut!

I knew my husband wouldn’t be exactly receptive to the idea of eating tongue. He knew it was down there in the freezer, and he made awful faces whenever I mentioned it. I had told the kids that we weren’t going to tell Daddy exactly what we were eating until after the meal, but we had a little joke that included wiggling our tongues with a “blablabla” sound. The 5-year-old thought it was hilarious; the 2-year-old immediately ran to tell Daddy what we were having for dinner!

Luckily, she is not the most reliable messenger, and to my great delight, he did not understand what she was trying to tell him.

After he hungrily devoured the salad for a few minutes, I couldn’t bear it any longer. I asked him what kind of beef he thought we were eating. It took him a while to get the “blablabla” thing while our son laughed his head off, but when he did, he slammed down his fork and pushed the bowl away.*

Uh-oh.

It was a case of mind over matter, and his mind was winning. And he was a little bit perturbed with me.

With much cajoling, he choked down his dinner (I played the “good example for the children” card and everything). But there was no way he was touching the leftovers, which, unlike leftover liver which tastes more “liver-y” by the day, were excellent.

Let this be a lesson to you: even if your husband will eat fireflies on purpose to show off for his friends, that doesn’t mean he can wrap his mind around tongue and embrace the idea of it on his plate. Unless he asks directly, don’t fess up until the leftovers are completely gone. It’s just beef, and that’s not a lie. Winking smile

Now I wonder what I’m going to do with the other slices that are in my freezer!?!

*Author’s note: my husband is a very mild-mannered, easy-to-get-along-with, mellow man. He is a great father who rarely raises his voice and usually provides good examples for our kids. He is not violent and typically only slams things down when the Michigan State Spartans are playing pathetically. I may have been a little zealous with the whole “slamming the fork down” thing, but it makes for an awfully good story, right? I just wanted to clarify so no one worried about the psychological health of our family. Believe me, I throw more “adult fits” than this man. He just wasn’t happy about tongue. And I’m okay with that.

Slow Cooker Adaptation

To cook a tongue in a slow cooker, think about it like a roast. If you have a favorite roast recipe, just do it with tongue – but remember you have to peel the tongue, so you might need to adjust when you put in the seasonings so you don’t peel them all off.

Here’s what I’ve done:

  • Place the tongue with a cup or so of water in a slow cooker.
  • Cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
  • Remove tongue, peel, and slice/shred.
  • Return to slow cooker with desired amount of taco seasoning or cumin/chili powder blend. Use the amount of taco seasoning you’d need for the weight of your tongue – two packets or equivalent homemade blend for a 2-pound tongue, for example. If your seasoning is unsalted, adding salt is a good idea too, at least a 1/2 teaspoon or more.
  • Add a sliced onion and some sliced peppers (for fajitas if desired) and stir it all up, then cook on low another 1-3 hours. If it seems too watery, you can serve with a slotted spoon, toss it in a frying pan for a few minutes to sort of crisp it up, or add some arrowroot starch (1-3 Tbs.), stir and wait 15 minutes to thicken a bit.
  • Serve like any fajitas…and mum’s the word on origin. It’s called “beef fajitas,” remember? ;)

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98 Comments so far ↓

  • Janelle

    I happen to have scored some tongue recently. Now I know what to do with it. Loved this post. Hilarious! And I’m not in the least concerned about your family’s psychological health. Although we only get worked up here if the Spartans are winning. That being a Spartan fan thing might be a small reason of concern. ;)

  • Kirstie

    My husband loves tongue – so I get him to cook and peel it! I’m not a huge fan (need to eat it regularly to get over the mind factor).

    I prefer it as a cold meat (the taste certainly improves overnight in the fridge). We cook ours in a pressure cooker for an hour – comes out very tender and melt in your mouth.

    Not a pretty meat to prepare (blame my first pregnancy’s all day sickness for putting me off organ meat preparation :)) but it is tender and tasty, and versatile!

  • sandra

    loved your post! Laughed my head off – thanks for that :) Never had tongue before but consider trying it by someone who has practise preparing it (and if enjoyable – try to do so myself afterwards!).

    The only scary thing about it is that you felt the need to justify/clarify/whateverfy for a very normal reaction.

  • Rebekah

    Haha. My husband is one of the most gentle, even-keeled men I know, but I’m pretty sure that if I served him tongue fajitas he would flip out. I do what I can. ;-)

  • Jill

    OK this was so funny, and for this family we would have to reverse the tables a bit. Before I met my husband the only meat this gal had was from a store and was either hamburger, chicken, pork. Now I have tried Squirrel (my husband at that time my boy friend told me it as chicken and I believed him) that led to wild turkey, deer, elk, cougar, fish (yeah I was not big on fish either) but I draw the link on Brains, livers, tongue etc etc but he eats it all even heart.. sorry but it is mind over matter here…

  • jennifer

    I find that peeling the tongue warm is much easier. I make it in the crockpot every other week or so.

    My 4 year old will pick it for dinner over almost everything else. Even on nights he declines to eat it, if there is any on my plate he will reach over and help himself.

    We eat it plain–just sliced and warmed up with a little salt.

    It is also good with cilantro and salsa.

    My experiment last week with pork tongue was less successful but only a $3 failure.

    My husband eats dinner after the boy goes to bed (he gets home too late) and he seems to eat a lot of hummus when there is tongue in the fridge. I don’t know why!!!

    Katie Reply:

    Good to know about peeling warm! I was really making it up as i went along… :) Katie

  • Pam M

    I don’t think my 10 year old would touch dinner after seeing the actual tongue itself! I’m curious about it now. Is it better than liver? I made some liver and onions a while back and we all really struggled with that meal – it was so strong.

    Katie Reply:

    Pam, Yes. Way better. Totally tastes like…beef. Other commenters are correct, very tender. Liver is certainly strong; nothing like this baby! :) Katie

    Krissy Reply:

    Pam, I too wanted to let you know it is much milder than liver. I’ve never tried beef tongue; however, we eat bison tongue and love it–I posted more on bison tongue below as well.

    Sana Reply:

    The way you made liver sounds just like my Grandma’s recipe. I made it once. I normally enjoy liver but I never made the mistake of repeating that style again. I like to cook it with spices so it doesn’t taste so “livery”. I cook it with onion, tomato, a few slices of chopped jalapenos, salt, and garam masala (a Pakistani spice mix). I squeeze lemon juice over the top when it’s done cooking. My family and I like it this way.

  • FarmgirlCyn (Cindy)

    Ah, Katie!
    This was too funny! Especially in light of the fact that I cooked beef tongue for the 1st time ever last week! We are getting to the bottom of the barrel of our grassfed beef, and that tongue had been staring me in the face for 8 months. It was time…..I did mine in the crockpot for 8 hours with appropriate seasonings. Peeled, then shredded it. Put it in some freshly cooked pinto beans with some peppers left over from last seasons garden. Lots of cumin and garlic, too. Served it over rice with salsa. We were amazed at how good this was. SO tender, full of flavor, and once you got over the mental picture, it was delicious! Husband knew all along but 18 yo daughter still doesn’t know. she had 2nds…

  • Local Nourishment

    I braise tongue and serve it over noodles. SO yummy! It’s also super tender, something the very old and very young can eat easily. My teenaged son calls it the “meat that licks you back.” Sure can’t beat the price!

  • Kristi

    This was too funny! Thanks for sharing! My husband freaked at the bag of chicken feet I brought home for stock, but since it’s not actually eaten, he’s alright. Then I got some beef liver and he said that he doesn’t even want to smell it cooking and WILL NOT eat it. LOL We’ll just see about that. But tongue? I don’t think I could look at it and then eat it. That’s gross. I’m not at that point yet. But good for you!

  • Naomi H

    I currently have many replies to a fb status I wrote the other day – “blood pudding for lunch.” I admit that I wrote it for the shock value :) The squeamishness about eating certain parts of an animal seems to be a largely North American trait – which I find slightly ironic seeing as how the animal is raised is mostly of no concern. Many families in Slovakia keep a pig, and every part but the eye, ear canal, toenails, and contents of intestines are used. Brain gets ground with other meat so you’d never know it was there. Blood pudding, head cheese, rice and organ sausages that you would never guess contained organs…yum! Did I gross anybody out yet? :)

    Sheep tongue is my favourite, sliced cold with a bit of salt. I never even thought of fajitas, looks great!

    Katie Reply:

    Awesome! My Polish grandparents and father ate “blood soup” often, and my dad loves to throw around the Polish words and ask, “Do you know what that means?” for the shock value. ;) Katie

  • Christi S

    It concerns my family that I am the adventurous one in the kitchen because they never know what I will come up with next. And if I told anyone in my family that I cooked beef tongue (or any other tongue) than no one else would eat.

    My daughter (11) went to bed hungry because she thought ground turkey and lean ground beef in the same dish was gross. I would say theat everyone would go to bed hungry but my husband would put his foot down and say that something else had to be available for dinner.

    We have a don’t ask, don’t tell policy with our food. They don’t ask and I won’t tell them what they don’t want to hear.

  • Joke

    I object to the second part of step 3! Thinking of and being grateful for the animal you can eat is important :) That’s why I think it’s great you’re eating tongue, instead of it getting thrown away :)
    When I was a kid we would have beef tongue at my grandma’s house as charcuterie on our bread. It was a local specialty where she lived. I hope your husband will change his mind :)

  • Katie

    My mom always made a great home made lunch meat out of the cow tongue. It was very tasty!

  • Suse

    This was too funny! However, I will admit I squirmed at the pictures of processing the tongue and they are quite stuck in my mind. The comments on peeling the cooked tongue and not eating taste buds kinda grossed me out too. We had poorly made tongue (by accident) in Russia and it is still a negative memory in our minds.

    Don’t think I’ll be attempting this one with the family (they are already picky eaters) – the food that tastes you back!

  • Sarah @ Mum In Bloom

    Oh my gosh you had me laughing out loud! What a hilarious post! Good thing it was so funny because the pics of the cow tongue were making me cringggg! Our poor husbands always get the “best” of our food experiements, eh? Right now I’m making kefir and kombucha and I know I could never show him the “SCOBY” ;o)

  • Sarah @ Mum In Bloom

    Oh and you got my “Like” vote for the Babble awards. I’ve learned so much from your blog. It’s like going to Kitchen University!

  • Amy

    All four of my girls think that the tongue is one of the best parts to eat. We like to boil it and then slice it as you would roast beef. We place it on a well buttered piece of bread with a little ketchup! YUMMY!

  • Matt @ FaveDiets

    Ha, this post is great! I’ve loved beef tongue the few times I’ve had it. I’m a big fan of warm beef tongue sandwiches. My parents used to eat tongue all the time, but both are repulsed by it now. But then again I did grow up eating chicken liver pate.

  • Kathleen

    My mom made boiled cow tongue one time when I was growing up. She set the whole tongue out on a plate. She didn’t bother to cut it up or peel it. I tried it and was not impressed. I like the idea of putting it in something like fajitas.

  • Kari

    Katie, you are a hoot! My husband is Swiss and none of this stuff grosses him out, but I can’t get past the peeling the tongue part. Is it as good for you as other organ meats? If so, maybe I’ll have to try to get over myself. I do put chicken feet in my broth and I actually love liver and onions, but the thought of peeling a tongue gives me the heebie jeebies.

    Katie Reply:

    Kari,
    I know it’s good for you, but I’ve never heard it touted quite as much as some of the others. ??? The peeling part was actually pretty fun, mostly because for once, something was easier than I expected instead of more complicated. :) Katie

    Kari Reply:

    Katie! I did it! I “got over myself” and cooked beef tongue! It was actually my 9 year old daughter’s idea. She loves to watch Iron Chef America and coincidentally, shortly after you wrote this post, one of the Iron Chefs prepared a dish with tongue. My daughter said, “Oh! Mom! I want to try beef tongue!” It was also time for me to place my monthly pastured beef order so I just added one to my list.

    Something went wrong though: One of your readers mentioned using the crock pot so I looked online and found instructions. We cooked it on low for 8 hours and when my husband went to peel it, it was not easy at all. He had to cut it, sacrificing quite a bit of the meat. The texture was also very chewy and not at all tender like what I read it should be. We made tacos and the flavor was good, but I’m wondering what we did wrong. Cooked too long? Not long enough?

    Katie Reply:

    Kari,
    What fun to be inspired to tongue by your 9yo! So sorry it didn’t work out well – did you immerse it in water completely? I can’t imagine it would cook too long in a slow cooker, but I’m surely no expert. ;) All I know is 2-3 hours in the broth worked for mine…

    Good luck next time! :) Katie

  • Terri S.

    Re: beef tongue – even though I could never buy it or prepare it or eat it – and I prefer not even to look at it (I had to scroll past it really fast) because my stomach does a flip-flop at the sight of it,
    I just VOTED for you (#377) for Babble award – GOOD LUCK. I say, YES to real food (except beef tongue) and no to low fat skinny recipes. :-)

  • Kelley

    I voted for you on babble today…super shocked to see you are 5 ahead of the Pioneer Woman blog!! Even if you don’t get #1, you are really doing well! Congrats.

    Katie Reply:

    Kelley,
    Pioneer Woman already won one or more of the Babble editors’ awards, so I’m sure she’s not promoting her reader’s choice nomination! ;) I’m just honored that someone put my name in the hat. Thanks! :) Katie

  • shenna

    Hilarious post – LOL!! But – I will still Choose to NOT eat tongue or feet or lots of other odd parts. Since I have a choice – I’ll stick with the stuff I’m comfortable with….and get adventurous with new veggies and seasonings.

  • Freebies

    katie,

    you crack me up.. you are lamenting about gluten free, but you will do this :) You are a stronger woman than I, I don’t think I will be doing this anytime soon..

    but I would like to know, what does it taste like? texture?

    jenetta

    Katie Reply:

    Jenetta,
    Totally tastes like beef! It’s a little more tender, but not “mushy” or anything off-putting. He never would have known had I not opened my big mouth. ;) You’ll see some commenters mention cold on sandwiches and lunchmeat, and that’s a pretty good way to think of it, too – softer like lunchmeat. I’d go for it if I were you! :) Katie

  • Audrey

    I was laughing out loud reading this!! I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut sometimes– “Babe, guess what we’re eating!!” Ha! But I think with this I may be able to hold off. When we tried liver (in ground beef), I made meatloaf 4 times before I told my husband there was liver in it. After eating it 4 times (and after every time, exclaiming “Honey, dinner was delicious!”) I felt like we were at a place where I could tell him without him being grossed out and never eating meatloaf again. I will probably do the same thing with tongue (if/when I ever get the guts to cook it!)…. make it the same way 3 or 4 times, wait until my husband gushes over how delicious it is, and then make the big reveal.

    Now just to get big enough cajones to try it! :D

  • Summer @ Well-rounded Hippie

    Loved the commentary :) I would probably have to keep it from the husband too!

  • Pam Groom

    What a fun post! I love how you handled the whole beef tongue adventure! I’m more inclined to try it now that you have.
    Pam

  • Kathleen K

    I thought I was adventurous. But after looking at the pictures…I don’t know. I think I’m going to chicken out on this one for a LONG LONG LONG time. Then, maybe, if I get to feeling very brave, I might, maybe, try it. But I won’t tell my husband. Or my three boys. Its just beef. Then, after they’ve eaten it 2-3 times, if I can be that brave, I’ll tell them.

  • Sonia

    haha this post made me laugh.. not sure I’d be ready to try it yet.. I think I would get grossed out most preparing it.. if my husband did it I might be able to ‘stomach’ it better. lol

  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    Somehow tongue doesn’t sound that weird to me now, and I’m told it’s a lot more palatable than liver (which I can’t stand while pregnant…love the regular beef though!). I asked my husband if he’d eat tongue. I got this: “I guess I’d try it.” He’s nothing if not willing to follow my lead on food. :) He hasn’t loved all of the stuff I’ve made…but he’ll usually eat it. He ate both tacos and Salisbury steak with liver in it…I didn’t even eat the Salisbury steak! So, I’m sure I could get away with tongue. And my kids? They’re little enough this is all pretty “normal” to them! Hehehe…

  • angelique

    Woo-hoo, my click got you to #9!!

  • Martha

    What a timely post! We just had beef tongue last night. I boiled and sliced it and served it with raisin sauce. When asked what was for dinner, I just said beef. Unfortunately, one of the boys had seen me skinning it, so he mentioned it at the table as everyone was serving themselves. Our oldest immediately wanted to put back most of the slices he had taken! After knowing what it was, he didn’t like it. It’s all a mind over matter thing as he liked it without knowing what it was the last time I served it. I love the fajita idea. The family would never have a clue if they didn’t see it prepared.

  • Krissy

    My 4 year old and I love bison tongue. I just began eating it within the last couple years when I decided to try more organ meats. We eat bison, heart, liver, and tongue–and like all three. I too have sometimes major resistance from my hubby–frustrating. Sometimes he refuses and opts for something different and other times he will comply and eat what I’ve fixed. Even though he will enjoy the meal, he still doesn’t like the idea of the organ meats at all…especially the heart. I to believe it is honoring the animal by using and not just throwing the organs away. I have yet to ever try kidney, adrenals, etc. I just have no knowledge on how to prepare or how mild or not they may be. Back to the bison tongue, I boil it with spices for 2 -3 hours. I then use that as a soup base. I either can turn it into a mistrone, or just a veggie soup. I cut up the tongue and sometimes serve it in the veggie soup, or just eat it cold later. Always peel the tongue when it’s warm–then it peels really easy. My litte guy always absolutely loves tongue and has from the first time he tried it, warm or cold he doesn’t care. I thought it was a fantastic safer toddler food due to is’s soft texture! I encourgage all to take the next step and just try it…even if it is just for you and the kids:) It would also be a great substitute for a hot beef sandwich.

  • Julieanne

    Loved your post! This brought back memories of my school days when my family was quite poor but didn’t want to get assistance with food stamps. Mom got some beef tongue free from somewhere and cooked it and ground it up and mixed it with mayo, etc. to make a sandwich spread.

    We kids weren’t fussy about foods and trying new things. We didn’t know that she had done this – bought and cooked tongue.

    However, when we were eating those sandwiches at school the next several days, we didn’t care for them at all. Finally, on day three, we asked Mom what was in the filling, and she told us. My brother started to gag, and sis and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. Mom asked if we had liked it, and we all said, “No!” It was something about the ground-up texture, being very light pink/tan, and maybe too much mayo?

    I don’t know, but at least she tried to use every bit of the meat and be as frugal as possible. I appreciate that, if nothing else!

    Julieanne
    http://www.JoyInOurJourney.com

  • Krissy

    Has anyone out there tried beef and bison tongue. Part of the reason my husband would prefer to avoid tongue, is a bad memory of being feed beef tongue as a kid? Wondering if this was just the possibility of the kid “yuck” factor or is beef tongue stronger than bison tongue?

    We also eat bison liver, once again I’ve never tried beef liver. Its definately milder than chicken liver. It seems like I’ve read in the past that bison liver is milder than beef tongue? Is bison just milder for some reason?

    Krissy Reply:

    Oops, I ment to say I have read that bison liver is milder than beef liver:)

  • Abbey

    My only experience with tongue was as a teen. My dad always raved about it as the best lunchmeat ever. I guess Grandma used to make it but there’s only one in a cow so it was pretty special.

    My stepmom finally bought one and all my dad could remember was to cook it until it turned green.

    She cooked that thing for almost two days before she gave up. Dad wouldn’t touch it because it was green and there was no way we would either. Dad still considered it a delicacy but no one trusted it after being boiled and boiled and boiled.

    I just might try it. Maybe cooked right it is a delicacy.

  • Abbey

    Correction: Dad wouldn’t touch it because it wasn’t green.

  • Kelly @ The Nourishing Home

    Katie, you are a much braver woman than I. I can’t get my own mind over that matter – ha ha!! So until I get more courageous, I’ll just have to live vicariously through you on this one! :) kel

  • Jessica B.

    1. Loved the post. Truly, Katie, you have mastered the written aspect of dramatic flair! :)

    2. It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that tongue would taste good. While it does make me personally a tad squeamish, if my memory serves me, thousands upon thousands of buffalo were slain *merely for the tongue (!)* during the early days of settling the west. (Buffalo Bill, etc.)

    3. Thank you for sharing with us your ongoing experiments in healthy eating. :)

    Katie Reply:

    Aw, thank you! Didn’t know that about the buffalo tongue – I hope they at least used the rest, doggone wasteful Americans! ;) Katie

    Jessica B. Reply:

    /sigh

    I’m afraid not. The account that I remember reading (admittedly this was high school…which was (gasp!) more than 15 years ago now) talked of the carcasses rotting in the fields. At the time, buffalo were everywhere and refrigeration was non-existent. They took the tongues and left the rest. :(

  • Mare @ just-making-noise

    Great post Katie! I’ve been wanting to try tongue for a while… I see them at every grocery store here in Honduras and in Costa Rica. Just haven’t gotten the courage ;o) Also, what pan were you using to fry up the tongue?

    Katie Reply:

    Mare,
    I use my cast iron pan as often as I can (except I’m still tempted 50% of the time by a non-stick pan for eggs – I just don’t do well cleaning the cast iron after scrambled eggs, no matter how much fat I get in there!

    Hope you enjoy trying tongue – it’s totally not difficult! :) Katie

  • Milehimama

    Oh we like tongue here. Call it “lengua” around other people so they’re not weirded out.
    It cooks up fabulous in the crockpot and can be used in any recipe calling for shredded beef- tacos, enchiladas, bbq beef sandwiches, etc.

    So when are you going to do cheek meat ;)

    Katie Reply:

    What? I’ve never even heard of cheek meat!!! I guess the next time I visit my farmer… ;) Katie

    sandra Reply:

    cheek meat from free-range black pork is the absolute best!! tender as heaven… I didn´t realize that might be counted as a “weird” meat.

    Lori Reply:

    We had a pig roast for my son’s graduation open house. When I stopped by the roaster to thank the man roasting the pig and see how things were going, he gave me the cheek meat and told me he saved the best part for me! First I had heard of that!

  • Laurie N

    My tongue looked a little darker than yours: http://commonsensehomesteading.blogspot.com/2011/01/getting-some-tongue-how-to-cook-beef.html

    We found the tongue to be more tender than the roast from the same cow – go figure!

    I vote for cheek meat next, too! ;-)

  • Sheila

    I am wondering why the tongue would be categorized as an organ??? It’s just voluntary muscle as far as I know…I guess the tastebuds would be organ but that’s not what part is being eaten. On a different topic–Can we vote for your blog each day or just once?

    Katie Reply:

    Sheila,
    Good point. I guess I put it in with organ meats just because it’s one of “those things” that most people won’t eat! ;) Katie (Just once)

  • melanie

    Thanks so much for this! I was defrosting some mystery meat from the bottom of the freezer and at first glance I thought it was a fish with the gray, scaly skin still on. Then I realized that the “scaly” bumps were actually taste buds on a deer tongue – given to us from friends who’s friend hunts deer. I am so excited to know what to do with it. “Shredded beef” here we come!

  • RadiantLux

    I cook it in the crockpot with a small amount of water and spices/onion/garlic, etc… Then I peel it and give the skin to the dog. It is so tender. I have not yet had the guts to show it to my kids and have them eat it as is. I usually do what you did – turn it into taco meat. It’s a shame because it is a delicacy. I researched recipes the first time I made it. It is often served sliced with a sauce. When I was a kid, we lived in a Jewish neighborhood in Chicago. (Albany Park) The local deli sold tongue sandwiches.

    jill Reply:

    OK after reading all of these comments I am wanting to try this (told my husband and he is in actually he eats a lot of stuff like this already so no big jump for him) How long do you cook it for. I have checked some stores and I can get a frozen one. Also can you do this with any tongue? We are getting a 1/2 hog in a few weeks can I ask for the tongue and cook that one or does it have to be beef?

    Katie Reply:

    Jill,
    I went about 2 hours, and a lot of folks are using their crockpot on all day. As far as pigs…I have no idea! Sorry, I’m a rookie at the whole ‘cooking tongue’ thing. ;) Katie

  • Janeane

    We are having a “Pioneer Day” pitch in luncheon at church and I remembered the two tongues left in freezer from previous beef butchering. I cooked them in large stock pot, with just salt peppercorns and bay leaves. Easy to peel. Looking for a way to serve it so as not to gross out everyone. Ill call it lengua and serve with root veggies. Thanks for post

  • Peggy via Facebook

    Mmmm. I love tongue! My MIL has problems chewing, but tongue is so soft she can eat it no problem. Great for babies, too. It’s by FAR my favorite organ meat!

  • Ashlee via Facebook

    Would it hide well partnered with a chuck roast as potroast?

  • jamie

    In order to get my kids to eat liver I called it “soft beef” for years. Next came tounge which I disguised in vegetable beef soup which they loved. I stick to calling it beef and so far so good! I NEVER let them see me cook it though…that I believe would be over the top. Teehee!

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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