Beef Tongue, Anyone?

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In the corner of my freezer sat this little guy.  For months.  I finally got up the courage to try it out.  The results were phenomenal.  Now, I know some of you are thinking I’m disgusting (tongue, really?) but think about it.  It’s just a muscle.  A very tough muscle covered in tastebuds (but you get to peel those off anyway).  I got some flack from a fiesty vegan when I posted this photo on Facebook (even deleted when I didn’t feel like debating my eating habits.. Oh no!).  My other vegan/vegetarian friends all respect what I do (or at least don’t try to argue with me) because I do it the best way next to raising and slaughtering my own animals.  This tongue was from the cow Matt’s family split up amongst everyone (thanks for giving us the tongue, future Mom and Dad!) that had been fully grass-fed on a family farm about a half hour away.  I use all the parts of animals possible.  I even saved the stock that was left in the pot after this cooked.  So angry vegans, please save your shit for someone less educated than I am.  I put a lot of time and energy into the meat I cook.  I buy and cook it with respect.  I also respect others’ diets. Ok well maybe not respect, but am more indifferent towards them unless of course they want advice.  Ok onto the tongue..

You will need a good 5-6 hours for this baby to cook.  I saw a few recipes with it cooked less and sliced for sandwiches but I decided to go more with a pulled beef sort of texture which requires a longer cooking time.  

First I rinsed the tongue off under cold water. It had been in a plastic freezer packaging and it just seemed like a good idea to do so. Then get a stock pot, some water, and whatever you usually make stock out of.  I threw in some onions, carrots, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, cloves, and some salt and pepper. I tossed in a little apple cider vinegar as well.  Bring the pot to a boil and with the lid on, simmer for about an hour or so.  Preheat your oven to 300. Remove your tongue and set on a cutting board.  At this point it will feel like a big piece of rubber.  You may be a little disheartened at this time but seriously, keep going. Now try to peel off the outer layer of skin and use a knife where it sticks.  Place the tongue in a roasting pan and add some red wine and enough of the stock that you originally simmered it in to cover.  Throw in some cloves of garlic if you wish. Roast in your oven with the lid on for another 4 hours or until the meat is shreddable.  

Mine was served with a little of the stock and fresh parsley with some roasted thyme whole carrots on the side. I know that tongue tacos are a big thing and I think it would be awesome as barbacoa. If you’re wondering how it tastes, it’s honestly just like a beef roast from a very lean meat.  Once it breaks down and gets tender, it’s delicious.  I saved the stock and had some leftover meat so I may make some type of soup or chili with it.  

Have fun and don’t be afraid of less common cuts or parts of meat.  You’ll be helping put all of the animal to good use, saving some money, and experimenting with awesome dishes!  My four year old son even liked it and asked for seconds.  And he DID see it before it was cooked! 

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