beef tongue

2016-02-04 a.o.

Tongue is imo the best cut of beef by far.
It is all muscle and the little removable fat is all located at the underside where it can easily be trimmed away. That does not mean that tongue is a lean meat: the 16 grams of non-removable fat per 100 grams account for 72% of the calorie content. Yet, this high fat content is also what produces the uniquely rich flavor and makes it so soft that it can be cut with a fork.

Not surprisingly, tongue is a favorite menu item at formal occasions. Don’t be stingy with serving size and count on at least ½ lb. per adult. It will disappear quickly. The official USDA serving size is 3 oz. which is one rather small slice. Yeah, as if anyone would be satisfied with that.

For the most tender meat, buy tongues 3 lbs. and under. Those came from younger animals. Anything 4 lbs. and over will be adult animals, but don't spurn those. The tongue is still very good. For special occasions, buy larger tongues. You'll work faster and there will be slightly less waste.

Tongue broth is equally good.
One tongue easily makes 10 quarts of concentrated broth that freezes or cans well for later use as beef broth. For specific tongue soup recipes, see Part 1 - Soups

This is the basic beef tongue recipe.
Nearly all beef tongue recipes start this way. The tongue has to be boiled until the outer skin turns white and can be peeled away; and then cooked some more. But remember, this is just for starters. After all this, you still need to make a savory sauce to go with it to make it truly memorable.

Pic1a: fat on the bottom can easily be removed


This is what you need for 8 small servings:

  • 1 beef tongue, washed, 4+ lbs.
  • S&P
  • Optional:
    • 2 carrots, peeled, sliced
    • ½ cup celery, chopped
    • 1 onion, peeled, whole
    • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
  • Spices for tea-egg:
    • laurel,
    • peppercorn,
    • cloves,
    • rosemary, …
Pic1b: beef tongue, sliced



Pic2: cryovac tongue
Pic3: boil
Pic4: enjoy the soup


Pic5: done
Pic6: peel the skin
Pic7: peeled


Pic8+9: sliced
Pic10: slices through the back
Carving the tongue warm may end in tearing up the extremely soft meat.
Cool, refrigerate or even partially freeze to make the meat firmer.


Pic11-13: always store beef tongue in broth to prevent it from turning black