Probably a rather dramatic title for a blog post… but in truth, I feel like beef tongue is one of the better cuts of beef out there that doesn’t get the respect it deserves… but it’s making a comeback (in this country). A few years ago it sat, idly, on many a Mexican taco fillings list, whilst most Americans seemed to opt for carnitas or bisteca, unaware the juicy hunks of beef tongue goodness that could have been…
Let’s break it down-
Beef tongue? Really?
Yes, really. I think beef tongue is one of the best cuts of beef you can get. Why do I say this? Well it’s got great consistency of texture, lots of flavor, no gristle, and relatively easy to prepare. Having a large amount of fat, it also happens to taste amazing (fat IS flavor, right?)!
Ok, ok, in truth – beef tongue is a muscle, but is also essentially fat… 75% of its calories are derived from fat and has a fair amount of saturated fat (which should be generally avoided to some degree). However, beef tongue (at least in the US) isn’t exactly an everyday food, right?
On the upside, it’s also very high in protein, iron, and vitamin b-12, making it not a totally unhealthy choice as it does have some benefits…
Beef Tongue Preparation
As I mentioned previously, it’s not really that hard to prepare beef tongue – A common method involves boiling the tongue, pulling it out and peeling off the skin (and tastebuds, not exactly the most appetizing part of beef tongue for the squeamish). I’ve heard a rule of thumb (tongue?) is about 50 min per pound of boiling/simmering time for tongue. Once the tongue is boiled, it is ready for whatever is next: Eating, grilling, frying, etc.
I’ve had a few different variations of beef tongue, stemming from different regions of the globe: Grilled and chopped in tacos, skewered yakitori-style, seven-day marinated and grilled (Korean style, see image above), paté, and even cold cuts as is common in Latin America and Russia.
Beef Tongue Recipes
A few selections of recipes are below – Give them a try and let me know how they come out!
Aside from it’s deliciousness, I think it’s almost important to recognize the value in using, as a friend recently put it, “the whole tatonka.” Many of the animals we eat have portions that are seriously undervalued and discarded in this country, when we could instead be making amazing meals from these cheaper, more ‘taboo’ parts of the animal.
If we’re going to kill and eat these animals, why not make the most of their sacrifice and use every bit?
You never know… you might just become a beef tongue fanatic like me