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Beef Tongue...Love it or hate it?

I'm a really big fan of beef tongue. I go to the store and buy the whole tongue...about 2-3lbs...boil it in some beef broth, water, carrots, garlic, celery, salt, pepper and a bay leaf. 2 and half hours later....DELICIOUS GOODNESS!! I peel that super think skin off ( feels like leather ) slice it up and eat it straight or i make curry with it.

Everytime any of my friends see me cooking it, they can not pull it together to even bother trying it. Oh well, more for me!

What do you guys think?

Does the whole tongue freak you out?

What else do you eat tongue with other than Lengua tacos, Sandwich's and my favorite..Curry and white rice.

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  1. Pastrami, Tongue and Chopped Chicken Livers on Rye with Sliced Bermuda Onions. Deli mustard of course with a Green Tomato and New Pickles.

    One of my top five favorite sandwiches.....especially when I get it from Katz's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      Yes, I eat mine in a similar way. Cold, on rye with mustard.. yumm!!

    2. One of the great things in life. I like mine with boiled new potatoes.

      I much prefer smoked tongue but it seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth. The last one I found (about 10 years ago) cost me $38 for a small one. Fortunately, tongue is popular in the Hispanic community and I have come up with a recipe for a faux smoked tongue in a pressure cooker.

      1 Reply
      1. re: OnkleWillie

        OnkleWillie, you need a smoker. Smoking tongue is super easy. We would also lightly pickle the tongue. We sliced it superthin, served on baguette slices with warm beet salad, ummmmm.

      2. Interesting! Never had Smoked Tongue before. I def need to try that!

        1. I miss it! My mother used to make 'boiled' tongue about twice a month (way back in the '50's - '60's in Indiana) it was cheap and delicious meat ... I have problems finding it now except for a few Mexican markets here in SoCal. We ate it with Heinz Ketchup mixed with horseradish - cocktail sauce for the mammalian! And sandwiches with hot sweet mustard the next day!

          1 Reply
          1. re: OCEllen

            I go to 99 Ranch Market and they always have it. It's about $3 a pound. So you're looking about $8 - $9 for a whole tongue. Not bad for the most tender meat EVER! =)

            1. re: E Eto

              I love tongue. Love it grilled at japanese ramen shops here in NYC, love it in headcheese I buy at Gold Label in Brighton Beach and love it in a stew I make often (but mostly with pork tongue) with onions, tomato sauce and olives. No problem eating it boiled either.

              1. re: RedVelvet

                Never tried Japanese tongue, but would like to. Which ramen shops serve it in NYC?

                1. re: Barry Strugatz

                  Men Kui Tei on Cooper Sq. makes the most tender one. Menchanko Tei has is on the special menu also.

            2. I've never tried it and not likely to...still dealing with childhood trauma of seeing a whole boiled tongue in a casketlike Tupperware container. A semi-regular occurance, every time my parents bought a beef quarter. So yes, the whole tongue freaks me out. Especially when encased in a translucent plastic box. It was one of those things they never made me try, with the "fine, more for us then" rule that also applied to crab and avocados. Why waste it on a kid who is sure it's icky anyway?

              1. I've only had it in Ecuador as Arroz con Lengua, which is also a euphemism for a nagging wife! It was served to us as lunch during Peace Corps training, so not something I ordered, but was willing to try. Didn't make much of an impression on me one way or the other. It was pretty finely diced and mixed in with the rice.

                1. Tongue, cucumber, sliced hard boiled egg on an onion roll with mustard. My mom also used to make potted meats -- tongue, meatballs, chicken -- I can't remember exactly what it was (it's been 40 years) but I believe it was meat cooked in a sweet and sour tomato sauce and I think I remember ginger snaps crushed into it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Cameraman

                    There is an absolutely wonderful recipe in "Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook". It is to die for. I wish I could find tounge here--maybe the meat manager at our supermarket can get it for me.

                  2. Pickled beef tongue when done right is sublime.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      That's what you get in the NY delis... pickled tongue. One of my favorite things in the world, with mustard, on rye. You can get the raw tongue for cooking at Sam's Club in Elmsford, ny, and you can get the pickled, ready to eat tongue at Stew Leonard's in Yonkers. Unfortunately, it seems to be about 97% fat lol.

                      Amyone have a good method for pickling the tongue? Would rather pay the $3 per lb raw than the $8 or 10 for pickled...

                    2. A German lady fixed me her specialty - boiled tongue with horseradish sauce - it was wonderful. The sauce was a white sauce liberally boosted with horseradish, and accompanied with boiled potatoes.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sharuf

                        Norwegian style is similar w/ dill sour cream sauce o
                        lingua taco. Gracias a la vida!

                      2. Wow. Cool topic. My Greek mom used to cook it when we were kids and we used to devour it. Of course, never really knew what it was as a kid. Haven't had it since, and like a couple others, not sure I could do it now knowing what it is! She hasn't made it in years as far as I can remember now though.

                        I'm not sure if it's a Greek recipe, but she used to make alla cacciatore, sort of. I think she also used some cinammon in there too. My memories of it were delicious. Very tender and with an interesting chewy texture that I remember really liking.

                        1. I was in the hate camp until a few weeks ago. I had always been put off by the texture, but my ex persuaded me to try it again at a tacqueria in Brooklyn and it was amazing. Soft and buttery, not chewy at all. Call me a convert!

                          1. I have always loved it, my grandmother then mother used to cook it all of the time. I boil mine then peel off the tough skin, then cut slits in it and stuff it with garlic. Then I cook it like a pot roast for a few hours.
                            I love tongue tacos as well.

                            1. raising my hand in favour of tongue. We often get lunch from the local deli at my office and my coworkers (scuse the pun!) think I am disgusting to have a hot tongue on rye.

                              My mum also used to make tongue regularly, boiled with bayleaves, celery, carrots and peppercorns then she would press it overnight under a plate loaded with heavy cookbooks and anything else that would weight it down.

                              If anyone is going to the UK pop into Marks and Spencer food department and in the sliced meats section (packaged) you will find thin sliced tongue which is unbelievable. I do miss M & S now that I live in the US.

                              1. Love, love, love beef tongue. So tasty. I purchased a whole bunch from American Grassfed Beef for a great price. I just wish they were a bit lower in fat.

                                1. Tongue sandwich at a good deli

                                  1. I just went and bought a whole 2 3/4 lb tongue for $7.50. That's about $2.50 a lb. Can't beat that! I'm going to boil it tomorrow.

                                    Waiting for a delicious meal!! =)

                                    1. Love it in many different ways. I most like the curry beef tongue on rice served at many HK style cafes. When i cook it myself I use a pressure cooker, half an hour.

                                      1. "Oh, I could never eat something that's been in some animal's mouth! Just gimme a dozen eggs..."

                                        But seriously folks.. this was another thing, like pot roast, my mom did often and never got right. Cooked it too hot and fast, and while I liked it okay it was always chewy and rubbery. So my first tacos de lengua were a falling-down revelation to me. I can't really justify cooking a tongue, since that kind of meat should not be eaten much by people subject to gout, but I will have me a few tacos now and then, or even a full-meal plate.

                                        1. This post is JUST what I needed!

                                          I have always wanted to expirament with tongue but did not know where to start. I would have never thought of curry OR smoked, but I love--and can easily produce--both.


                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mamaciita

                                            Glad we can help! I'm actually making beef tongue curry tomorrow!

                                          2. Love it! Best sliced thinly and cold and eaten with hot Japanese rice and a chlie based dipping sauce

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              What's this best stuff???

                                              Best eaten hot wrapped in a corn tortilla! IMHO.

                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                You've captured the existantial angst of the 20th Century Tokugawa Japanese American Latino and the absurd asininity and delicious absudity that includes chapatis as tacos filled with dazzled lengua or intestino croquante and tortillas filled with curried mutton.

                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                  No conflict, rice, tongue, chile drizzled sauce wrapped up in a tortilla!

                                                  1. re: Jase

                                                    Exactly. And all while we watch the Packers and the Bears.

                                                1. re: SFDude

                                                  Texture can depend on which part of the tongue you're eating and how it's cooked.

                                                  Corned tongue is more firm than braised/stewed tongue, and the tip of the tongue can almost be crisp vs. the softer base of the tongue.

                                                2. My mother used to slow cook a sweet and sour lengua estofado that I loved. The tender flesh nearly melted into the flavorful sauce. Feeding that wonderful dish to her kids is probably what prompted us to have an open mind to a lot of the exotic foods we now enjoy as adults, perhaps in the search to re-create the wonderful flavors of that offal dish. For my own part, I've also made tongue in a mushroom cream sauce.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                    Mushroom Cream sauce? That actually sounds good. How did you make it?

                                                    1. re: Jaytizzle

                                                      I've done riffs on this recipe: http://www.yollyking.com/yollyking/le... (be prepared to have your retinas burned by the background), adding some cream and/or sour cream to the sauce as well as pimenton and roasted garlic. Then there's the semi-homemade version found here: http://www.pinoycook.net/ox-tongue-le... which is equally tasty.

                                                      1. re: JungMann

                                                        Thanks a lot JungMann. I'm for sure going to try one of those recipes.

                                                        1. re: Jaytizzle

                                                          Let us know how you like it. It's a special kind of hound who's willing to try classic Filipino recipes!

                                                  2. When I was a kid, I happily ate it---both when mom made a whole tongue and also as cold cuts. Do not ask me why, but it took me until I was about 10 to actually "connect" the fact that what I was eating was a TONGUE. Now, at the age of 10, this was somewhat traumatic (I have no clue what I THOUGHT it was....maybe I thought it was the brand name or something like that). In any case, I boycotted it starting back then. I probably would try it again now...

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: L_W

                                                      Refer to Will Owen's earlier remark about tongue and eggs. Have you found out about them yet? : )

                                                      For sure try it again - we also love both home cooked and deli sliced.

                                                    2. I loved tongue even as a kid. Can't say the same for my wife. We were very young, in college and living in married student housing. (read tiny apartment in the middle of winter in Kansas). She had never had tongue but I talked her into giving it a try. I bought one (they're not pretty) and instructed her to put into a pot of water, add a box of pickling spice and simmer away for a couple of hours. Imagine being pregnant and confined to a space no larger than coat closet and smelling that thing cooking away. That's the last time I ate tongue (1962)!

                                                      1. Lesso di Lingua (boiled veal tongue) served with salsa verde, horseradish sauce or mostarda di cremona. Typical italian Christmas fare, yum! Along with tortellini in capon broth and other boiled meats.

                                                        You can order your tongue from Jeffrey's (butcher) inside Essex Market (NY). He'll take a shine to you. Remember not to boil any other meats with your tongue, or you'll spoil them.

                                                        I'm still don't know where to find real fresh horseradish...

                                                        1. I cant get it often enough! Try boiling it with some Zatarain's Crab & Shrimp Boil (the BAG, not the liquid!).