Written by Mare of Just Making Noise
Out of all the “Odd Bits”, I really think that heart and tongue are actually the best choices for first-timers.
I know, I know… you are thinking I am crazy, but hear me out.
The heart is a muscle and can be used just like any other part of the cow. My favorite way of using this odd bit is grinding it up and adding it into chili, hamburgers, spaghetti and soup. Adds a great flavor.
Honestly. I couldn’t even convince myself to try it for a long time until my dad mentioned that he loved Lengua en Salsa (Tongue in Sauce), which is a common Latin American dish. Of course, I started pestering him with questions about the texture of the tongue (which was my biggest concern) and the taste.
His answer was, “It feels and tastes like beef with a soft texture much like a tender roast beef”.
Off I went to find a fail-proof recipe and along the way I found some surprising facts about beef tongue.
- Is considered a delicacy & used widely in Latin American, Middle Eastern, and European countries.
- Provides high quality protein – 100 g of tongue contains about 15 g of protein!
- Is considered complete with all the essential amino acids.
- Contains vitamins & minerals that aid in the creation, maintenance, function and protection of cells.
- Is an excellent source of Vitamin B-12 for all adults, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women – beef tongue meets the daily need for this vitamin.
- Benefits nerves, muscles, and helps your body to move oxygen throughout your system.
- Helps your body to efficiently process and store the energy gained from food.
- Provides about 3.5 mg of zinc per serving, which helps boost the immune system, heal wounds, and is essential for skin health.
- Boosts selenium, iron, phosphorous, poss niacin, and riboflavin intake.
Do you think you can give beef tongue a try? Can you get past the mental picture of “french-kissing” the cow?
Preparing Beef Tongue
Still reading? Okay, good!
Here’s the deal with tongue. There is very little preparation required for tongue, which makes it a pretty easy meal to make. It doesn’t need time to soak, like liver, to make it appetizing. You just need to take it out of the package and rinse it off before cooking. Then cook it slow in beef broth (or water) with onion, garlic, bay leaves, and salt.
I have to admit, I still get a little grossed out when touching cow tongue. Yet, it is strangely interesting when looking and feeling the visible papillae, and taste buds – especially for my kids! Anyway, If you can get over the ick-factor of touching, preparing, and eating tongue, you will really enjoy the end results.
When properly prepared, tongue is tasty, and flavorful – like any other red meat. It’s not chewy or rubbery, but tender, and almost melts in your mouth – totally, like soft roast beef.
We have enjoyed beef tongue several times and out of all of the recipes that I’ve tried, experimented, developed, and perfected, the Italian Drip Beef Tongue is our favorite.
Flavorful, moist, hearty, and scrumptious! The Italian Drip Beef Tongue is slow cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection and topped with melted cheese, caramelized onions, peppers, and sauteed greens. You can make it spicy by adding dried red pepper flakes into the broth for the last 2 hours of cooking time.
If you've ever been hesitant to eat beef tongue, the Italian Drip Beef Tongue is for you! A completely nourishing, scrumptious, and simple meal to make that your whole family will enjoy.
- 1 tongue (3-4 pounds)
- 1 1/2 quarts beef stock
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- sea salt & fresh ground pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 large red onions, sliced
- 2 green peppers, sliced
- Kale, spinach or other greens
- Sliced tomatoes
- Mozzarella or provolone cheese
- Sourdough Focaccia bread or other bread
- Sea salt
- Rinse off the tongue thoroughly, trim off the glands at the base and set it inside your slow cooker.
- Add beef stock, sea salt, onion, and crushed garlic.
- Set your slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or overnight.
- When done, take tongue out and let it cool down a bit.
- Remove the onion and crushed garlic; discard.
- When cool enough to touch, peel the skin off the tongue (see tutorial) with a sharp knife. Either throw the skin away or feed it to your dog.
- Using a knife and fork, shred up the tongue and scoop it back into the slow cooker.
- Add in italian seasoning, minced garlic and optional red pepper flakes.
- Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it slow cook for another 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Sliced up onion and green pepper.
- In a skillet or cast iron pan, add 2tbls olive oil, and caramelized the onions until wilted, and browned.
- Add in peppers and saute with the onions until soft
- Sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.
- Next, chop up some kale, spinach, or other dark leafy greens. Lightly satuee in olive oil, for about five minutes, and set aside.
- Scoop a large spoonful (allow juice to strain off) of tongue onto your choice of bread. Top with your choice of cheese and broil it until melted and lightly browned. Top with onions, peppers, sliced tomatoes and greens.
- Ladle some broth into a small bowl and serve hot!
- Note: you can save the leftover rich broth and use it in your favorite spaghetti sauce.
Serve it on a french or ciabatta rolls. If you have a sourdough starter, make some homemade garlic focaccia instead which is super easy to make and so yummy!
Really, this is totally a crowd pleaser but don’t don’t tell anyone that it’s tongue until everyone has cleaned up their plates and groaning with pleasure 😉
Visit my blog, just-making-noise.blogspot.com, for other ideas on how to cook with beef tongue. I hope you will give this humble, yet delicious organ a try, at least once – I really think you will be very pleased!