Beef tongue is a cut of beef made of the tongue of a cow. It can be boiled, pickled, roasted or braised in sauce. It is found in many national cuisines, used for taco fillings in Mexico, open-faced sandwiches in the United States.
Tongue meat is rich in calories and fatty acids, as well as zinc, iron, choline, and vitamin B12. This meat is considered especially beneficial for those recovering from illness or for women who are pregnant.
To some, beef tongue may be an oddity or something they have memories of grandparents serving, but it is nutritious, delicious, and healthy. As food therapy, it is excellent for patients who are weak from blood loss, recovering from illness or trying to help improve reproductive health.
Since I dislike recipe posts that don't get to the point, here it is:
1 - 2 beef tongue, washed
1 bulb garlic cut horizontally
1 small yellow onion quartered
1 large carrot washed and broken into 2 - 4 pieces.
1 - 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 tablespoon of salt
Stovetop: In a large stock pot, bring enough water to a boil to cover the ingredients. Once boiling add the garlic, onions, carrot and bay leaves and the tongue. Return water to a boil and then cover and simmer for 4 - 5 hours.
Instant Pot: add all ingredients to the pressure cooker and cover ingredients with water. Water should cover all ingredients by about an inch. Manually cook for 90 minutes and allow to naturally depressurize.
Preparation: Allow tongue to cool, then using a paring knife, remove the skin and scrape away the bumpy textured layer beneath. The tongue has two main parts, the upper muscle which is rich and flavorful and the root of the tongue that sits below the back half of the upper part. This lower part is delicious but has a more iron like flavor reminiscent of organ meats.
Once prepared, there are dozens of ways to serve it. In our house we will eat it hot or cold, but usually sliced thin and served with several different sauces.
Sauce 1: Chimichurri
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 fresno chile or red jalapeño, finely chopped
3 - 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
kosher salt to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. finely chopped oregano
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preparation: Chop shallot, chile, garlic and combine with vinegar into a bowl. Let rest and flavors combine. After 10 - 12 minutes add chopped cilantro, parsley and oregano. Vigorously wisk in oil until ingredients are combined. Use to drizzle on beef tongue or to marinade other meats in the kitchen. Credit to bonappetit.com.
Sauce 2: Dill Garlic & Oil
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
kosher salt to taste
Preparation: Combine dill and garlic and oil in bowl. Stir to combine and to muddle garlic and dill together with oil.
Sauce 3: Schezuan Oil
1.5 T five-spice powder 10 G sichuan peppercorn, ground and sifted to remove gritty hulls (sifting optional) 50 G chili flakes
1.5 C oil
3-4 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 120-160g depending on how chunky you want it)
1.5 inch piece of ginger, sliced
3 star anise
3 bay leaves
1 black cardamom pod (optional)
2 tbls doubanjiang
Preparation: Layer the five spice powder, sichuan peppercorn powder, and chili flakes in a heat proof jar.
Add shallots to a frying pan with about 1/3 C oil over low heat. Combine rest of oil in small saucepan with ginger, star anise, bay leaves, and cardamom and set over very low heat to infuse while shallots cook.
Stir shallots frequently and watch carefully until they turn light golden brown. (The oil will bubble and foam while shallots cook down. When the foam starts dying down, most of the water will be cooked off. This is your clue that they are done...don't let them get too brown or they will burn). Add the doubanjiang and stir the shallots for 30-60 seconds more until they are coated with sauce and the oil has turned a bright red color. Strain the shallots and add the shallot oil to the rest of the oil. I like to let the shallots continue drying out in the warm frying pan off heat.
Heat the oil infusion to 335-350 degrees, then strain it over the chili flake mixture in batches, stirring to let the chili flakes get toasted. Add the shallots (no need to stir here). Let the oil cool before using.
Thanks to Dia Wong for the help. Here are some recipe links she used to help develop this recipe.
Dia tried adding some sugar to the last batch but I didn't actually like it... She think the shallots are naturally sweet enough once caramelized.