Cooking Your Own Tongue: A Tongue In Cheek Recipe For Cooking Beef Tongue

by humagaia

Cooking your own tongue is the natural way to obtain the best results. Cooking a tongue owned by someone else will give just as good results.

Cooking your own tongue is easy, but not quick. For best results cook it slow at a low temperature. You will find that the result is tender, succulent, lean and tasty. Perhaps it is best with a little Chianti.
Cook your tongue and groove to the sounds that made twisters hold theirs instead of rolling and wagging the night away.
But don't bite it until after it is sliced.
Here's how to cook your own tongue.

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Beef Tongue

Some people think that beef tongue is awful.

I just think of it as offal.

Cooking Beef Tongue

Cooking Beef Tongue

Offal is not awful! Beef tongue is great hot or cold. But few have been taught how to cook it.

Prep time 1 min  -  Total time 300 min  -  225 cal/serv
Ingredients for 40 servings
1 tongue (beef, approx 2 kilos, from a cow, bullock or ox, it matters not)  • Optional ingredients: Water, to cover  • Salt, to taste.  • Onions, carrots, celery (if boiling)  • Garlic (if required)  • Cheek (beef, to place your tongue in)  • String (so you can get your tongue tied)  • Skewers (so you can pierce your tongue)  • Barbecue spit roast skewer (to allow for tongue twisting)  • Music (to taste, so you can groove with your tongue)  • Vocabulary (unwritten, so you can speak in tongues)  • Oven gloves (so as to hold your tongue when it is hot)  • Ensure at all times that your tongue is not wagging, and that it is prevented from rolling.  • For larger quantities use alternative tongues such as Blue Whale tongue (approx 2.5 to 3 tonnes) or Elephant tongue (approx 2.5 to 5 tonnes)

Obtain tongue

Obtain tongue

Find suitable live bullock or cow, creep up from right side if right handed (left if left), with knife ready. Tickle said beast just below its haunch and wait for laughter to begin. As tongue lolls out, remove with swift upward movement from beneath, as far to the back of the tongue as possible. Run as fast as possible, once tongue has been removed. Best to pick a beast that is closest to the best exit point.
Alternatively, find carcass of said animal and do same. This time there is no need for laughter impulse to kick in, or for you to wear your best Nike trainers (or spikes).
Alternatively purchase a tongue already removed by someone following either of the methods outlined above.
I purchased one, using method 3 just last weekend. It was painless, except that it cost around £6 for a 2 kilo piece (=$10 approx.)

Place tongue in cooking pot

Place tongue in cooking pot

Cooking pot can be one of following:
1. Slow cooker or crockpot (optional ingredients not necessary).
2. Pressure cooker (water and other ingredients can be prepared to taste, and added as necessary).
3. Medium to large pan, according to size of tongue, add water to cover the tongue (optional ingredients may be added but not essential).
4. Barbecue spit roaster (water superfluous, will not stick)
All cooking items can be purchased below.

Cook tongue until tender

Cook tongue until tender

Cook tongue (at simmer, if cooked with water) for following times:
In a crockpot or slow cooker without water = 5 hours (turning occasionally)
As above but with water and other ingredients = 6 hours (turn once)
In a pressure cooker = 90 minutes (with or without additional ingredients)
In a large pot with water (+/- other ingredients) = 5 to 6 hours
For larger tongues such as Blue Whale and Elephant you may need a larger pot and several months cooking time.

Once tender, remove and leave to cool

Once tender, remove and leave to cool

Check tongue occasionally with skewer or cooking thermometer to see if cooked through.
Once tender throughout, remove and leave to cool.
Or, if you want it hot and you can't wait, take slices off, after skin has been removed.

Once cool remove skin

Once cool remove skin

The skin of the tongue can be removed when hot, if you don't mind burning your fingers, but better still when it is cool or cold. It is easier to remove once cold.
Take one sharp knife, to counteract the sharpness of wit that some tongues can exhibit, and cut into the skin at the top of the tongue. Make a slice in the middle of the tongue and draw knife to tip of tongue. Only cut into the skin.
Peel back skin using knife to separate skin from meaty part. If not overcooked, skin should peel off easily. Discard skin. Keep de-skinned tongue.
Picture below.

Recipe  0.0/5 Stars (0 Votes)
Beef tongue is the tongue of a cow. The human consumption of beef tongue dates back to the days of Paleolithic hunters, who preferred the fatty portions of the carcass including tongues, as well as organs, brains, feet, and marrow. ...

Ox Tongue

Serving Suggestions

The recipe above, where a 2kg tongue was used, will give about 40 servings if sliced thinly. If sliced into 1cm pieces it would be enough for me for one meal - mmmm! If the Elephant or Blue Whale tongue is substituted, and sliced thinly, it will supply enough meals to feed the whole of New York State for a week.

Ox tongue is very versatile. Here are some serving suggestions:

  1. Instead of roast beef, substitute roast tongue.
    Slice said tongue out of sight of your guests.
    Place hot slices with roast vegetables on a large plate.
    Offer horseradish sauce as an accompaniment.
    Do not tell guests that it is tongue.
    Wait for said guests to tell you that today's beef was the tenderest, most succulent beef they had ever had the privilege to eat, and the horseradish sauce made a stupendous meal shoot into the stratosphere.
  2. Use cold slices in sandwiches and rolls with appropriate salad and savoury pickles. Fantastic!
  3. Use cold or warm in summer salads. Tender, melt in the mouth tongue complements any salad any time of year.
  4. Try something a little more exotic:
is a Japanese food that is made from grilled beef tongue. The word gyūtan is a combination of the Japanese word for and the English word tongue. Since gyūtan literally means "cow tongue," the word is also used to refer to cow tongues in ...

Other Ways To Prepare Cooked Ox Tongue

Traditionally Ox tongue was cooked in a pot into which the tongue just fitted. Sometimes it was tied with a piece of string to keep the tongue in a tight ball shape. Often the tongue was squashed with a heavy weight, in the pot, to produce a particular rounded shape. For commercial sale the ox or sheep tongue is accompanied by a gelatinous surround, so that circular slices are forthcoming.

None of this makes tongue any better than as cooked by the method above.

Keep it simple. Keep it natural. Keep it for yourself.

In Praise of Beef Tongue

Some people dislike tongue because it has a strong flavor. This is only true of shop vended tongue, which has been processed for the cold meat counter. A tongue cooked at home has a subtle sweet beef flavor that you will love. If not you can always give it to the dogs.

Tongue has little fat, which is mostly cooked off, whether boiled or broiled / roasted. There is no sinew or bone, so the only waste is the thin skin. This could be given to the dogs! 

It can be sliced thickly or wafer thin. In either case it is tender and moist, succulent and delicious. No other beef product beats it for flavor and tenderness.

It may look off-putting, until it is sliced, when nobody will be able to tell it from other sliced beef.

Updated: 02/05/2021, humagaia
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humagaia on 08/19/2013

That's put pay to tongue twisters then!

FrancesSpiegel on 08/19/2013

I love recipes that make me laugh out loud. This one works really well - not only because it made me laugh but because my tongue was really well cooked. Thanks

humagaia on 05/28/2013

No. But I shall!

humagaia on 08/12/2012

You won't know what you are missing clouda.

humagaia on 04/17/2012

Thanks Donna - tonguetastic!

Donna_Cosmato on 04/17/2012

This is definitely my kind of recipe! I'm a reluctant cook - I cook because my family insists on eating - every day! I posted this to Facebook so everyone can enjoy and admire your tongue in cheek humor. Excellent job!

humagaia on 03/15/2012

Sam - let me know if it lives up to my billing.

humagaia on 03/15/2012

Katie, it is from a ruminant, doesn't that count for something?

Sam on 03/15/2012

I had tongue last Sunday, in a local restaurant, Bohemian style with red and white cabbage and fluffy light dumplings - so delicious! Will try your recipe out next time I see a nice tongue at the local butchers ;-)

katiem2 on 03/15/2012

I appreciate your recipe review of the new module and the tongue and cheek approach to this wizz but my dearest humagaia, this vegetarian is voting up and bowing out gracefully. As always a fan :)

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