Eating beef tongue sounds gross, but once you get over the squeamishness, you’ll discover a cheap, tasty cut of meat that is ridiculously easy to prepare. I’ll let you know the secret to the best way of eating tongue too!
Cold sliced beef tongue with sandwich stuff.
Things were quiet here last week as I was gone on holiday. I thought I would be able to get a post up, but decided to relax and enjoy my family instead. We went to beautiful Gaming, Austria (I’ve written about it before) with some friends. Random photos will be forthcoming on my facebook page and instagram (user name: almostbananas).
Driving home, we watched an awe inspiring lightning storm. The whole sky lit up, bolts of pure energy piercing the night sky, and as we got closer to home we could see the silhouette of the hills with each flash.
As long as I am safely at home, I love thunder storms. It never ceases to amaze me that such a display of power can result from electrons jumping around (basically). I love the flashes of light, the thunder, the pounding rain. Here in Slovakia, it’s a welcome cooling to a hot, humid day.
In Canada, there was always the fear of forest fires starting. The Rocky Mountains can get so dry, a lightening flash (or cigarette butt, or any number of other things) can start a fire that can burn down hectares of forest and potentially towns, if it’s out of control close to an inhabited area. Smoke from fires can travel hundreds of kilometers, obliterating even the view of the mountains.
Even though there is a large wild park behind the hills from us in Slovakia, I’ve never heard of lightening starting a fire. Is it that the trees are mostly deciduous? Does the crazy humid air prevent things from drying out so much, even when it doesn’t rain for long periods of time? Maybe I should ask my forest fire fighting brother. (How about it, Chikara?)
We like to go onto the balcony to watch and listen to the storms, savouring the cool air and getting misted from the rain. The only boy is the only one who is afraid of thunder. He comes running, arms outstretched, and buries his head in my shoulder. “Scaywd.”
You’re probably saying to yourself…ewww, eating tongue? Even though we class tongue as offal, it’s not actually an organ, it’s just a weird looking chunk of muscle meat, like all the other muscle meat you eat all the time. The skin peels off after cooking, so you’re not eating anything that actually touched the contents of a cow’s mouth.
Even though it’s a muscle, it does have a unique taste and texture BUT it’s not an organ taste or rubbery texture, like liver or heart. The texture is soft and the taste is subtle.
Here’s the secret though – beef tongue is best eaten cold. I’ve seen recipes for fajitas and other warm dishes, but in my personal opinion, the texture of tongue is most ‘normal’ when cold.
Even though 70% of the calories are from fat, it’s not like a gross feeling cold fat, like cold soup. Self Nutrition Data claims that the high saturated fat is a bad thing, I’m going to go ahead and say it’s a good thing.
Beef tongue is also very high in vitamin B12, which aids in slowing down dementia, getting a good night’s sleep, and increasing sperm count, among other things.
As a child, tongue was served in the summer, sliced cold and sprinkled with soy sauce. All my kids loved it this way. It’s like an easy real food salami.
I didn’t get the chance to try out all my ideas, but I thought it would be great sliced in salads, wraps/sandwiches, sushi, and spring rolls. For sandwiches, try pairing it with mustard or horseradish.
If you just can’t get past the idea of eating tongue, stay tuned for a recipe in which you can’t see any evidence of tongue-ness once it’s prepared.
- 1 beef tongue
- salt or soy sauce or coconut aminos (for AIP or GAPS who can't have soy sauce)
- Wash beef tongue. Some instructions say to soak in cold water, but I've never actually done this. Feel free to try, although there isn't any weird taste to draw out or anything.
- Put in pot, you'll have to curl it, and cover with water.
- Bring to boil, then turn down to barely a simmer. Cook for two hours per kilo (one hour per pound) with the lid on. You can also cook it in the slow cooker, but mine is currently broken, so I can't tell you for how long.
- When the tongue has finished cooking, drain the water and let it rest until it's cool enough to handle.
- With the help of a knife, peel the rough outer skin off the tongue. Some will come off easily, other parts will have to be cut with the knife.
- If there are any tendons left on the underside of the tongue, cut those off (mine was without).
- Chill in the fridge until cold (I forgot to time this...a couple of hours?)
- Slice crossways and sprinkle with (unrefined) salt or soy sauce (no soy sauce for AIP, paleo, GAPS, etc)
- Serve on bread (or bread substitute), cut fry-shaped for sushi or spring rolls, diced into salads, etc.
Have you eaten tongue before? How did you prepare it? If you haven’t, would you be willing to try it?