Last weekend, Frank and I drove down to southern Alabama to visit the Elliott’s. It was so lovely to see them again. I actually met Shaye through her blog, and now we’ve become real life friends. I’m so thankful for the amazing friends the Internet has brought me through blogging.
Shaye fed us some amazing meals while we were there, and I got lots of sweet Georgia-hugs and Owen snuggles.
Stuart and Shaye were so sweet to open their home to us, and while we were there, we got to accompany them to pick up some grassfed beef from a local farmer, where we were blessed with a free beef tongue! I decided to make tongue tacos using my “famous taco seasoning.” ;) You can also use ground beef with this recipe, which is what I’ve done in the past.
First things first, let’s make the taco seasoning.
Courtney’s Famous Taco Seasoning
- 1-1/2 TBSP non-gmo corn flour (list of non-gmo flours)
- 4-1/2 tsp sweet chili powder (buy here)
- 1/2 tsp onion powder (buy here)
- 1 tsp garlic powder (buy here)
- 1 tsp sea salt (buy here)
- 1/2 tsp paprika (buy here)
- 1/4 tsp cumin (buy here)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (buy here)
Makes approximately 4 TBSP of taco seasoning. You can quadruple the recipe to keep some on-hand. I use 4 TBSP of seasoning per pound of meat.
Cooking the Tongue
- 1 beef tongue (buy here or you can also buy ground beef here)
- 2 large onions, in quarters
- 1 whole bulb of garlic (~8-12 cloves), crushed
- 1 TBSP of the dried herb of your choice (I used oregano, but you could also use basil, tarragon, rosemary, bay leaves, pretty much anything.)
- 1 TBSP whole peppercorns (buy here)
- 2 TBSP sea salt (buy here)
Get a 12-16 quart stock pot and fill it 2/3 of the way full with water. Add your onions, crushed garlic, herbs, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil, then add the thawed tongue, cover, and simmer for 3 hours.
I started this around noon, right after lunch.
When the tongue is done simmering it will be tender, moist, and hot! Be careful pulling it out of the pot, and transfer it to a cutting board.
The tongue smelled just like roast beef to me, and it has a similar texture. Lots of people were asking on my Facebook page how to get over the “ick” factor of eating tongue. (You can see the FB comments HERE.) For me, it was never a problem, because I think of the tongue like any other muscle (tasty). Hehe. As many of you know, I LOVE oxtail because the meat is tender and it makes the best broth ever.
Anyway, after the tongue is cooked, we want to roughly chop it into taco-sized pieces. But first we have to peel off the outer skin with all the taste buds. My pulled off in two layers, so I used a small knife to cut the inner layer off. Don’t worry if you cut a little bit of meat off, too. I did, but I tried to minimize the waste. Some people also like to cut off the bottom part of the tongue because it can have a little bit of fat and gristle. I cut off the big pieces of fat, and just chopped up the rest.
After you’ve chopped up the tongue, scrap it into a large skillet. I ended up with a whole pound of meat! (If you’re using ground beef, then you’ll want to brown a pound of meat first, perhaps with a bit of minced onion, and then go on to the next step.)
Add 1 TBSP of honey, 1 to 1.5 cups of water, 4 TBSP of taco seasoning, and ~1 tsp of lemon juice.
Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Serve with your favorite taco accompaniments, such as:
- Shredded cabbage or lettuce
- Diced tomato
- Diced avocado
- Pinto or black beans
- Kefir (instead of sour cream)
- Chopped scallions or green onion
- Diced red onion
- Shredded grassfed cheese
- Chopped radishes
If you haven’t tried beef tongue before, I highly encourage you to try it. It tastes like a really superb roast beef, and is nice and tender. Even if you have picky eaters, you could make this, and they would never guess! As always, I only recommend grassfed beef. Besides being delicious, this cut is really nice on your pocketbook! We actually got this tongue for free because no body wanted the tongue from this particular farmer. I’m definitely going to make this again, and if I ever get around to making soaked whole wheat bread, I think that sliced tongue would be great for “roast beef” sandwiches.
What about you? Have you ever tried tongue before? How did you like it? :)