I’m a fan of tongue–it’s just delicious and pretty easy to work with. It takes on other flavors well but tastes great on its own, too. Unfortunately, it’s tough for some people because it looks…like a giant tongue that you have to peel like a banana. I started eating the stuff when, back in Austin, I realized I could buy two for six dollars at Sam’s. Colorado Springs isn’t as free-flowing with unconventional cuts, I’m finding, but the Ft Carson Commissary had my back again.
Why Should I Eat It??
Tongue is a pretty fatty piece of meat (hence why I love it so much). Livestrong.com suggests “balancing your meal” if you’re eating tongue and to include veggies and “a bread roll or grain” like “millet, quinoa, and bulgur.” F*ck that noise. You know how I roll. Beef tongue is really rich in all your B-vitamins, iron, and zinc. And it’s cheap.
Flavor and Texture…What to Expect?
Tongue has a fairly mild flavor and (when cooked properly) a soft texture almost reminiscent of bologna. Heavily seasoned or not, I can’t see any reason it would scare anyone off. There are usually some big pockets of fat, especially towards the back piece of the muscle. The outer skin is rough and chewy but will almost always be removed and discarded after cooking–the Huskies love it! Of all the organ meats, tongue is probably the most inoffensive with regards to flavor and is really versatile.
You have-have-HAVE to stew or boil tongues for a while to make them edible. I either boil mine fore 2 or 3 hours in water on the stove or toss them in the slow cooker all day. Once they’re cooked, rinse and cool them. Using a knife, carefully peel away the skin and taste buds (it’ll come off pretty easily if the tongue is cooked fully) and you’re ready to work with the meat however you like.
Today’s Recipe: Szechuan-Style Beef Tongue
You got me–I miss my Chinese take-out. I chose this sauce because it’s a nice combinations of flavors that are familiar and tasty to many people but that won’t entirely overwhelm the tongue. If you’re serving this for anyone who might be squeamish, cutting the tongue into strips makes it a lot nicer to look at, too
1 Beef Tongue
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 c Rice Vinegar
1/4 c Coconut Aminos
1/4 c Sesame Oil
1 T Fresh Ginger
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 T Arrowroot Powder, dissolved in 1 T Water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Boil the beef tongue for at least 2 hours. Remove from water, rinse, and allow to cool enough to handle. Peel off the skin, cut the meat into long strips, and set aside.
Over medium heat, heat the sesame oil and add the garlic and ginger. When garlic has browned slightly, whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar, coconut aminos, salt, and pepper. When the mixture comes to a simmer, add the arrowroot powder and stir until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the tongue strips and stir to coat the meat with the sauce.