Lengua Tacos

So, you bought a whole/half cow and the ribeyes and hamburger are all gone and are left with a bunch of parts you’re not quite sure of, or have never cooked before? Here’s one of my favorite recipes that uses up a “non-desirable”, yet ultra-tender, vastly underrated, and delicious cut of meat: beef tongue.

Part 1

For the first part of this recipe you will need:

  • 1 beef tongue (cut off any parts you don’t like, leave tongue skin on for now)

  • 1 white onion, halved

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, halved

  • 1 tbsp. salt

  • couple of bay leaves

  • 1 jalapeno, halved

  • 1/2 gallon water (maybe more, make sure tongue is covered with water)

All ingredients and quantities are open to your interpretation, taste, and culinary desires. Combine all ingredients in large pot and simmer (half covered) for 3-4 hours. Take the tongue out, and let cool (20 min). Once cool, remove skin from tongue by cutting or peeling off. (The skin is very obvious as it is usually white or black.) At this point you can keep in fridge/freeze until you’re ready to use.

Part 2

To prepare the meat, thinly slice beef tongue. Personally, I like to add some thinly sliced white onion too. Heat 1 or 2 Tbsp. of oil/lard into a frying pan and get it medium hot/hot. Add meat (and onion or anything else you want to fry with it) to the frying pan and let it cook for a couple minutes before stirring. Although you need to stir it every few minutes, l don’t like to go crazy “stir-frying” it because you lose out on some of the “char” that sends the flavor to the moon. With that being said, try to break the meat up with whatever stirring utensil you’ve chosen, just try not to break the sear that the meat on the bottom of the pan has. After about 10 minutes and a couple of flips on the skillet, you are ready for a fiesta!

After this point, you know your own taco/burrito tendencies, but I’ll share the way I prepare mine:

  • small corn tortillas (lightly cooked on an oiled cast iron griddle)

  • fresh cilantro

  • fresh chopped white onion

  • cheese, I like to use crumbled queso fresco (fairly common at any grocery store in Manty)

  • lime wedges

  • Tapatio hot sauce (obviously we all have our favorite brands)

  • broil a whole jalapeno in your stove. Once the skin is charred and blistered, halve and scrape seeds out. chop up and toss on tacos

  • some kind of Mexican beer with any leftover lime wedge

  • good music

I hope this recipe is coherent enough for someone to give it a shot. Lengua has become my “go-to” taco meat at home. If you don’t try the recipe, do yourself a favor and find a Mexican joint that serves it. Cheers!


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