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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cow's Tongue - Yes It's For Dinner!

We have gotten a quarter of a cow several times now and each time I request all the unusual pieces - the liver, the heart, the fat - but by far the most unusual has been the tongue.

Years and years ago when I was in High School I took a home ec class and had 2 crazy guys as my cooking partners. We decided to cook tongue as our final project. I have no idea why. I do know that it must have been inedible because we certainly didn't have 3 hours to make it. We did get an A+ for originality! I certainly didn't eat it - I think I decided I was a vegetarian that day LOL!

Up until now the cows tongues have just sat in the freezer - they are so weird looking and HUGE these tongues are a foot long or more. I just wasn't sure about cooking them - my memory of that High School dish is not pretty.

Now all these years later I cannot stand to waste perfectly good food so I set out to find out how you cook this strange looking cut.

Beef Tongue
1 beef tongue, cleaned
1 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Water to cover

The first thing you must do is clean the tongue - ok, I can do that.
Next you put it in a pan, along with some veggies, cover it with salted boiling water and cook the tongue on low for 3 or so hours.  The tongue will get strangely white. Remove the tongue and when it has cooled enough to work with peel the thick outer skin - yes you read me right - peel it. Don't let it get too cool or you will have a heck of a time removing it. I probably wasted a good bit of the tongue (will give it to the dog) but I had to slice off the thinner inner skin too - it still had the tastebuds and I just couldn't leave it on. If you are a braver soul go ahead and keep it.

At this point you will want to slice it and then you can put it in the fridge and then use it like bologna on a sandwich, or you can spice it up and serve like a pot roast. I decided to shred it and add Mexican seasonings and serve it in burritos.

So I cut the pieces up super tiny and then in a new pot melt shortening and add meat, to this add taco seasonings, stirring until blended.

I could have gone several ways we could have had it in a Mexican soup or chili or in tacos or burritos. I am making burritos just substituting the cow tongue for chicken and using - corn or flour tortillas, meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole.

If I had some of the tongue meat left, I would have sliced it  thin and froze some in small packages, my husband is one who likes it fried on a sandwich with mustard - me - not so much!

Oh and all that liquid from cooking the tongue - I am saving it for stock, oh yes I am!!!

So, to sum it up:
1. It tastes kinda like bologna (which I am not particularly fond of).
2. It tasted better all taco seasoned up.
3. I thought I would have more meat - I must have wasted too much.
3. I will cook the other 2 I have and any other I get free but I would never buy one. Nope, never buy one.

This is my submission to the Hearth and Soul Hop - Hosted by yours truly and 3 other amazing bloggers! You really need to check it out!
Christy's Tuesday Night Supper Club @ Fudge Ripple
And Real Food Wednesday @ Kelly the Kitchen Kop!
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam's Tasty Tuesday!  
Alea's Real Food Deals at Premeditated Leftovers


Tuesday Night Supper Club


  1. You are so much braver than I! I have issues with innards, but if I run across a free tongue, I will give you a ringy dingy to see if you want me to ship it your way.

  2. I make a cow tongue about once or twice a year...Mexi loves it! I usually shred it like beef and season and put it in tacos...blogged a Mexican dish more than a year back with it, as well. I think it tastes just like regular old beef...but it sure is NOT pretty, LOL!! Lovely post for the hearth and soul hop this week, Christy :D

  3. I actually have a cow tongue in the freezer from the 1/4 beef we got this spring....just not sure what I want to do with it! Clean the tongue? It's not already lickity-split clean? It certainly is one ugly piece of meat!
    I do like bologna tho, so maybe I would go that route!!!

  4. Melynda - ringy dingy away - I never turn down free meat ;o] well, maybe brain. LOL

    Heather - I think it is an ok meat - just a lot of bother for a little bit - much easier to fry up some hamburger. ;o)

    Cyn - it is ugly but not hard to cook - and since you already have it I say go for it!!

  5. It has been a long time since I had cow tongue. We raised cows when I was a kid, so we ate some very interesting cuts! We never ate it as lunch meat, usually it was substituted for hamburger in a dish.

  6. Christy, I REALLY want to say that this looks and sounds delicious, but..................interesting post! LOL! ;o)

  7. Alea - not me, I grew up in the suburbs and my Dad would never have eaten tongue - I think he had too much "unusual" food as a kid.

    Brenda - LOL I know, this post makes you very honest!! It is NOT delicious looking.

  8. I love offal - you know, organ meats, but I am stimied by tongue. The British eat alot of it, it pops up in novels quite a bit. Good for you for not wasting it.

  9. wow such a creative way to use tongue your brave though lol

  10. You are SO brave--I couldn't do it. But I hear you about not wanting to waste. I appreciate your honest assessment. :)

  11. Trish, I hope that my children grow to love offal and tongue and any other unusual food I prepare. I think it is much easier to learn as a kid. I am struggling to learn and like it all as an adult.

    Rebecca - brave? I don't know, but a little crazy - absolutely!

    Jackie - thanks - and you are welcome, I just had to be honest about tongue - it is just so unusual!

  12. Yummy, gotta say that this is one of my favorite cuts of meat. I like to cook it for ages, until it turns into a fab ultra-fatty melty pot roast. So flavorful!

    I love that you are willing to just jump in and try it, even though cleaning a tongue and removing the skin is a wee bit odd. Great for the Hearth and Soul hop. Thanks for hosting!

  13. I guess it is just me in the NYC area, but pickled tongue is a delicacy in our delicatessens. The way it is made must be a yiddish thing because people clammer for it! I have had it, and it reminds me of a mixture of pastrami and bologna with a more beefy taste. I also think you are very brave christy for jumping in and trying it! As always thanks for hosting and posting on the hearth and soul hop! Alex@amoderatelife

  14. You are so brave - I would never have been able to cook tongue! But it was so interesting to read your post - I had no idea how it was prepared or served, except as the cold cuts I've seen on the deli counters here. Thank you for a great post!

  15. I am impressed. There is no way I would tackle a tongue!

  16. You are a much much much stronger woman than I am. Especially after dissecting the human tongue in anatomy...I will never be able to eat cow tongue. Ever. Looks too life-like. But I am very impressed that you did it!

  17. Butter - maybe I didn't cook it long enough - I will be doing that next time.

    Alex - no pickled tongue in my area of the midwest, heck we don't even have delicatessens so this was all new to me. My husband was sad I didn't save him some for a sandwich though.

    April - I just kept thinking that I needed to at least try it - I could always feed it to the dog if it was seriously gross.

    Pam - thanks, I was kinda impressed with myself - it was W.E.I.R.D for sure! LOL

    Joanne - if you could have seen me all day playing with my tongue because it is all I could think of. I never could dissect anything (well, except that frog in biology that we (my partner and I) performed open heart surgery on and kept the heart beating for like 15 minutes or something)anyhow - what you are doing is WAY grosser LOL

  18. Wow. I am so impressed. I have never been brave enough to even think about tongues. I admire your frugality and suppose if I am ever in a position to get a cow, I will ask for the unusual parts, too. I am still shuddering, though, thinking about peeling a tongue..ew.

  19. My mom told me on the farm her mom would put heart and tongue in a crock and cover it with whey to preserve it. There might have been spices with the whey also. When she decided to serve it, it was boiled, skinned and sliced. I bought one a while ago and did exactly what you did only in a crockpot. Then I put it in the food processor and hid it in tacos. I have another in the freezer. I think it's kind of good. I also like to eat beef heart and liver. There's something about nose to tail eating that appeals to me. I think there are nutrients missing from our diets since we stopped eating them. I want to get some kidneys and try making steak and kidney pie.

  20. ValerieAnn - how interesting! I chopped my tongue but I will put it in the processor next time, I wish I had thought of that. Kidney pie? I dunno about that!

  21. This is so timely. We bought 1/4 beef and I was given the stuff no one else wanted. I figure I paid for it, so we WILL eat it! The pickled tongue sounds good, also. Any recipe for that? ~Susan

  22. oh christy...not sure about this one! i do occasionally use tongue in my brodo (for tortollini in brodo)--but that is about it. my hubs like lingua tacos..but i just can't eat it.

  23. Cow's tongue is on my goal list of things to try. I think that is brilliant to use it as a sub form lunch meat! There's an international grocery store not too far away that carries them, and I almost bought one last time, but went for the beef heart instead. It's still in the freezer...

  24. LOVE tongue and have since I was a kid. When I was young we ate it often, because it was a cheap meat. But it was also one of my favorites. My DH comes from a family that had never heard of, much less eaten, tongue, so getting him to try it was an exercise in futility for years. Our kids love it though, and request it often. When I get our 1/2 cow each year, I usually order 10-15 tongues. I discovered this year, quite by accident, that I could cook the tongue as usual, then chop it into approximately 1-inch cubes and prepare it with potatoes, carrots, onions and beef gravy (like pot roast or beef stew) and "forget" to tell DH what the cut of meat was until after we'd eaten. It turns out that he was just grossed out by the thought of eating a TONGUE, but loved the "pot roast". The back end of the tongue, especially, is essentially the same texture and flavor of a long-cooked round steak. Another great way to serve tongue is sliced about 1/4-inch thick, with a dip on the side of mustard mixed with a little horseradish.
    So...any of you who can't stand the tongue, please feel free to send them this way. We love them (even though one of us doesn't actually realize he does, LOL!).

  25. Another New Yorker here. I grew up on tongue and love it, so it always surprises me to hear it being referred to as strange. Around here, it's EXPENSIVE. has info, though to be honest, I'd just go to the store and buy it because I'm kinda squicked by not refrigerating meat.

    1. Sandra - it is a matter I suppose of supply and demand. Here in IN it is not an usual meal. So around here the supply is great and the demand is low so too is the price. My husband loves it sliced like bologna. thanks for stopping and commenting!

  26. Thanks for the post. Just filling out my cut sheet for a 1/4 cow. Willing to give it a try. Once. And my husband will probably have to cook it. :)

    1. Way to go! Who knows you just might like it - my husband loves it sliced like bologna.

  27. big fan of beef tongue, but its high cholesterol