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tongue and heart recipes?

was gifted some tongue and heart and am now trying to get recipes to at least figure out how long i'll need to set aside for it (most seem to suggest at least overnight if not a full day soak) so here's a few questions:

- i know bison is leaner than beef, would this also apply to its innards (tongue and heart)?
- do you have a great tongue recipe (looking for at least one smoked one)?
- do you have a great heart recipe (i don't think this should be smoked)?
- can i cut a tongue in half and to use for two preparations? will i lose anything by cutting it in half?

any assistance would be wonderful! thanks!

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  1. You can indeed cut tongue in half to make two preparations. With such a large portion of meat, I usually do myself. As for tongue, I am not as big a fan of traditional cured recipes as I am of recipes that play interestingly off the richness of the meat. Lengua estofado with its interplay of sweet and salty, rich and tender, is by far my favorite tongue recipe.

    1. I can't help you with the smoked tongue.

      I always prepare tongue in two stages - first is a long simmer till it is tender, the second usually involves warming tongue slices in a savory sauce. For just the two of us, a tongue lasts a number of meals, so I serve it in a variety of ways. Tongue seems to go particularly well with 'piquant' sauces, something with vinegar, mustard, sweet and sour, etc.

      The initial cooking does not need much seasoning; just enough time. I often cut a large cow tongue into 3 pieces - the tip with skin on all sides, the top of the root, and the bottom of the root. The bottom root is usually fattier, and may include salivary glands. I skin it when cool enough to handle.

      I have not cook heart very often. I think it is one of those meats that either needs to be cooked quickly, or for a long time. There's a well known Peruvian preparation, where cubes are marinated, and quickly broiled.

      9 Replies
      1. re: paulj

        Anticuchos: marinade cubes of heart in vinegar (white or red wine), salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, minced chile, and minced cilantro; place on skewers, and then over coals.

            1. re: paulj

              pinstripe, I make pickled pork tongue with the recipe here
              I've never made it with beef (or bison), but it would work great.

              paulj or sam,
              What is that aji soup? A poster asked the same question on the thread, but nobody answered. It looks amazing!

              1. re: porker

                aji is the Andean term of chile pepper. The 3 most common types in Peru are aji pancha (mild red), amarillo (medium hot yellow), and rocoto (very hot red 'apple' shaped).

                aji also refers to a condiment, often fresh made, and present on every table. It can be a simple blend of minced pepper, onion, lime juice, and salt; or a more complex one with cracker thickening and pureed greens. There have been a number of threads about aji or Peruvian sauces.

                'aji de gallina' is a chicken stew using some of the peppers as seasoning.

                1. re: paulj

                  I've heard of aji as a pepper, but not referenced as a condiment.
                  I'm now assuming the picture is not a soup, but rather the condiment? Still looks great.

                  1. re: porker

                    Yes, "aji" is also the condiment here in Colombia. But don't ask for a salsa de aji in Central America. They won't have a clue as to what you want. Lots of food terms differ throughout Latin America.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Vendors, waiters, and others very often don't have a clue as to what I want anyway because of my gringo espagnol. They see a guy, assume american, and prepare themselves for english (perhaps american english...). When lousy spanish rolls outta my mouth they are taken aback, switch gears, and we try again. It works, but usually after 2 or 3 attempts.

                      I'd just as well keep it to 'salsa piquante', then either 'mas piquante', or 'menos'...the simpler I keep it, the more I'm understood, -{;/)

                      I'm always very happy to find different regional condiments from place to place.

                    2. re: porker

                      If you are talking about the picture with a spoon in the middle of the bowl, that probably is the condiment. It's a small bowl that you can see in the upper left in one of the other pictures. It looks to me like there's a lot of scallion in that sauce.

          1. The best tongue I've had was at St. John in London. I believe they brine it for a week or something like that. Couldn't find a complete recipe online, but this should help.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              An older book is 'Unmentionable Cuisine', Calvin Schwabe, U Virginia press. It has a lot of recipes for beef offal, most identified with one country or another, especially traditional dishes from various European countries.

              One of the 'next Iron Chef' competitors, from San Francisco, specializes in offal, and has a blog (with Offal in the title). His name escapes me at the moment, but it should be easy to find.


              1. re: paulj

                I believe you're talking about Chris Cosentino. I ate at his restaurant Incanto in SF and it was indeed very yummy.

            2. thanks for the ideas so far. i've potentially got more offal coming so i may get an opportunity to try all of them!

              1. The way my mom always cooked heart was to simmer it whole until fairly tender, then stuff it with bread/sage/onion stuffing, pack it into a dish with more stuffing packed around it, and bake it. We loved it that way. It's been quite a while since I've seen a beef heart in any market, though now all of a sudden I have this desire to go find one...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Will Owen

                  do you perhaps have a more detailed recipe? i'm certainly interested in this but i've never really done stuffing nor have had much stuffing in my life....

                2. Lengue/tongue tacos can be delicious, but I would defer to Eat_Nopal on how to create them.

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: Joebob

                      Thanx JB (the check is in the mail)... the common taqueria style Lengua is boiled with Onions, Garlic, Bay Leaf & Salt or Tequesquite until soft... it is then chopped then griddled with a little bit of lard.

                      In Jalisco... it is often brined in Escabeche for several days... simmered in the Escabeche... then simply sliced... or griddled to finish.

                      In Southern Mexico... it is taken to greater levels by boiling, roasting & braising in various complex sauces.

                      It is also an important part of Fiambre platters (Sliced Tongue, Pickled Chicken & Head Cheese arranged with various garnishes according to the region).

                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                        I first had lingua tacos in Lewisville, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas. They were simply stewed, chopped tongue, fresh chopped onion. cilantro and lime. Yum

                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                          ok, so i've got one boiled tongue (carrots, celery, peppercorns, salt, onion, bay leaf, and a bit of thyme).... how do i take this into the realm of tacos? obviously some corn tortillas and likely some cilantro.... but then what else makes a good garnish?

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                            Salsa Verde

                            Roast a couple handfuls of tomatillos, 4 serranos & 4 cloves garlic over a grill or in the broiler... blend it up with just enough water to create the desired viscosity & salt... at the last minute add cilantro & just "buzz it" a few times. Done.

                      2. My mother has always done a 'pressed tongue' I think it involves simmering the tongue for a few hours in a crock pot, she then lets it cool before peeling the tough outer layer. then she makes a savoury jelly (with parsley and chives mixed through). About half of the jelly is poured into a small-medium mixing bowl (we only ever use ceramic - so I don't know whether it is likely to react with other types) the tongue is placed in the bowl followed by the rest of the jelly. A plate small enough to sit in the bowl is placed and top and then a 1 Kg weight is placed on top of that, before being placed in the fridge to set.

                        Once set she then turns out the pressed tongue onto a plate, this can be sliced much like any other small good - it is very tender. My mother likes to have it sliced with salad or in sandwiches.

                        As an aside I remember one time she made it with two small tongues that when turned out after the 'pressing' process had entwined around one another - it was kind of adorable in slightly off-putting way!

                        1. I saw this post a little late - but I thought you might like to see how I dealt with two bison tongues a few months ago:

                          1. Just back from Grey County Meats near Flesherton, Ontario where we were filming the cutting down a bison carcass for one of our new video segments soon to be posted to BisonBasics.
                            Thinking of you, I made sure to bring back the tongues. So if you want to do some more experimenting just drop me an email and we'll make arrangements.

                            1. hey... so i'm still working through some tongues and hearts....

                              any idea on how long a tongue should be smoked for after the boiling/peeling process?

                              i did 2 hours for a 3+lb tongue and while it's got a beautiful pink smoke ring it doesn't taste much of smoke at all. i wonder if the boiling for the skin peeling tightened up the meat a bit so it doesn't accept the smoke as much. i was also working with hickory so it certainly wasn't a low flavour smoke.

                              the heart went in with an earlier batch and had a much longer and denser smoke after being poorly defrosted on a bbq. it's reasonably smokey but so strong in heart flavour that i'm not sure i can actually eat it. what would you do with a smoked heart?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                Could it be that tongue is too dense and uniform to take much smoke flavor?

                                A common way of adding flavor to tongue is to serve it sliced in a flavorful sauce - as opposed to cooking it whole in that sauce.

                                1. re: paulj

                                  i've never had smoked tongue before but know it exists... so i can't speak for it being able to absorb smoke easily at all. i guess i'd need someone who's had smoked tongue to describe the strength of smoke.

                                  thanks for the tip. i've done the mustard/horseradish thing but still haven't gotten around to actually making a sauce for it. they inevitably just become sandwiches.