Monday, December 17, 2012

Tongue Twisted

After watching way too many episodes of of "Bizarre Foods" and "No Reservations," Justin and I have become desensitized to weird foods.  We have no problems trying out various recipes that introduce such edibles into our culinary repertoire. That being said, I decided that this past weekend was the perfect opportunity to try out something a little different... Beef Tongue. That's right! Tongue!

I know it looks gross, but it feels much more grosser than it looks... 

I did some fairly extensive research to try to find the best way to deal with this unusual hunk of beef. I found several Mexican takes on tongue recipes, so that was to be my cuisine of choice.

Firstly, I took the tongue and stuck it in the slow cooker. Topped it with some onion, garlic cloves, black peppercorns, a bay leaf, salt/pepper and enough water to cover the whole shebang. I turned this baby on low and let it cook for 8 hours. When I took it out, it looked like this:

(Yeah, it still looks creepy...)

I then cut the tongue into quarters and peeled off the tough, outer skin covering the meat, (all the while repeating to myself, "This is just a weirdly shaped muscle. Muscle meat is good...") and cut it into small chunks.

It totally looks like normal beef now!

This now much less creepy looking meat was combined with salsa, peppers, onions, garlic seasonings and avocado to create an awesome dish!

Lengua Mexicana

  • 1 beef tongue, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 onions, 1 cut into large chunks and 1 chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, 4 smashed and 3 minced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15 oz jar organic salsa 
  • 1 tbsp mexican seasoning (I use the blend from Niblack Foods. You could also use a good taco seasoning mix.)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • butter
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • Place the tongue in the slow-cooker, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  • Place large chunks of onion, smashed garlic, peppercorns and salt on top of the tongue, and pour just enough water to cover the tongue.
  • Cook on low for at least 8 hours.
  • Remove tongue from slow-cooker, and peel the skin from the meat using two forks.
  • Discard the skin, and cut the meat into small chunks. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat butter over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chopped onions and peppers, and saute until softened. Add the minced garlic and jalapenos. Cook for another minute.
  • Add the tongue meat back to the pan, along with the salsa, mexican seasoning, cocoa powder, salt and pepper. Cook until everything is heated.
  • Serve over some roasted veggies (I used roasted candy-cane beets), on lettuce leaves, tortillas or whatever you desire. Top with cilantro and chopped avocado.
Yes, this meal is a 10 on the weird factor, but let me assure you that it tastes absolutely fantastic! The beef tongue has a slightly chewy texture and the flavor of your everyday stewed meat (No mineral aftertaste like liver. Just a really beefy taste.) The mole style sauce is spicy and deep, and the avocado adds just the right amount of richness. 

Don't be put off by the creep factor of tongue folks! Tantalize your taste buds with some... taste buds?

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, thank you for joining in the fiesta fun on Carole's Chatter. I have been doing a little happy dance reading all the great Mexican inspired ideas. Cheers