Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 07:40AM
*Post by Angela.
It's taco time again, everyone! I saw beef tongue a couple of weeks ago at the Dupont farmers market from Smith Meadows and had to buy it. I know it might frighten some people, but tongue is something I grew up with - I remember my mom boiling it on the stove for hours in the winter, and I remember loving the amazing tenderness of the meat. I myself, though, had never cooked it, and didn't know quite what to do with it, so it sat in my freezer, languishing away. But Twitter to the rescue! The lovely Carrie (of embellishing the nest) sent me this recipe for beef tongue tacos. I adapted it a little to my tastes, doubling the flavoring for the cooking liquid.
List of ingredients for the beef tongue:
- 1 beef tongue
- 1 1/2 onions
- 10 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 habenero pepper, pitted, seeded, and sliced
- Kosher salt to taste
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- 5 Roma tomatoes
- 5 serrano peppers
- Flour tortillas
This is beef tongue. It is a scary-looking food item, but the deliciousness that results? Is worth getting over any apprehensions.
This is my one of my pride and joys, my slow cooker Morris (as in tortoise, as in slow and steady wins the race).
I scrubbed and rinsed the tongue well, then placed it in Morris, covered it with water, and added 1 onion (sliced thinly), the garlic, the bay leaves, the habenero, and a substantial amount of salt. I put it on the low setting and forgot about it for about 8 hours. After that, I wanted a little more tenderness, so I turned the cooker up to high for another hour.
Right before the tongue was finished, I diced up the remaining 1/2 onion. I then heated up the oil in a pan and cooked up the tomatoes and serrano peppers until softened on all sides.
I removed the tomatoes and peppers to my food processor, leaving the oil in the pot, and seasoned with a little salt. I blended until the mixture was slightly chunky. I threw the diced up onion in the pot with the oil and sauteed for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent, then stirred in the blended tomato mixture. I cooked for another 6 minutes, seasoned with salt and pepper, blended again, then set it aside to cool.
Once the tongue was really tender, I removed it from Morris. I peeled the tough exterior away (the meat inside was so tender, the tough parts really just fell away) and shredded the juicy meat inside. I loved how the habanero gave the meat just the tiniest hint of heat - next time, I may even bump it up to two.
I served the tongue with the tomato mixture on some warmed flour tortillas with the tomato "salsa," some shredded lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream. Mark is still a little squicked out by the texture (and the idea) of beef tongue, but he ate it and enjoyed it for the most part. I absolutely loved it. For my money, there aren't very many cuts of beef I find more flavorful and more tender (when cooked properly). Maybe I'll save my next cooking foray with tongue as a special treat the next time I make dinner for myself.