When it comes to food, beef tongue might be a little outside of your comfort zone, but it’s not as exotic as you might think. Poaching the tongue ensures it will be cooked to be moist and tender, not chewy or off-flavored. Tacos de lengua are a classic Hispanic preparation for tongue.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
1 beef tongue (3-4 pounds)
2 white onions
1 stalk of celery
2 large carrots
2 ancho chile peppers
2 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of salsa
1. Peel the onions, trim the celery and peel the carrots. Chop the vegetables into large pieces. Remove the seeds from the peppers. Peel and mince the garlic.
2. Fill a large four- or five-quart stockpot two-thirds of the way with water. Add the vegetables, peppers, bay leaves, a tablespoon of salt and the tongue. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook for three hours. Make sure it does not heat above a light simmer.
3. Remove the tongue from the liquid. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes so it's easier to handle. Using a sharp knife, peel back the outer layer. Also, remove any lighter colored meat — which could cause it to not cook properly — near the base of the tongue. Dice the tongue into 1/4-inch cubes.
4. Add two tablespoons of oil to a saucepan on medium heat. Add the minced garlic, cook for two minutes and then add the diced tongue. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the pieces are lightly browned, about five minutes. Add the salsa and cook for another five minutes.
5. Serve on flour tortillas, top with jalapenos, lettuce and cilantro. Garnish with radish slices.
Note: Strain the cooking liquid and use it as beef broth in another recipe.