Beef tongue may be found at local Asian markets, Mexican
markets, or ordered by your local butcher
- 1 3-4 lb beef tongue
- 2 large onions, peeled
- The cloves from 1 head (yes an entire head) of garlic, peeled and
- 6-7 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp of peppercorns
- 2 Tbsp salt
- Vegetable oil
- Corn tortillas (2 to 3 per person)
- Chopped red onion
- Thinly sliced radishes for garnish
* Bottled or canned salsa verde can be found in the Hispanic
section of markets. To make homemade salsa verde, remove husks from 1
lb of tomatillos, place tomatillos in a pan, cover with water, simmer
until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Place tomatillos, 1/3 cup
chopped onion, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, 2 teaspoons of lemon or lime
juice, a jalapeño or serrano chile pepper, and about a teaspoon of salt
in a blender. Blend until smooth, add more salt to taste.
1 Fill a large (12-quart if you have one) stock pot two-thirds
full with water. Add the tongue, onions, crushed garlic cloves, bay
leaves, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer,
cover, and cook for 3 hours, until the tongue is soft to the touch and
2 Remove tongue from water and let cool for a couple of
minutes. Notice the light colored skin-like covering over most of the
tongue. Using your fingers, and/or a sharp small knife, remove this
covering and discard. Notice the rough patch of meat where the tongue
would attach to the bottom of the mouth. Arturo removes this patch (as
does his mother when she prepares tongue) because it is a little rough.
It's perfectly edible though, so keep it attached if you want.
3 Slice the tongue in 1/4-inch slices. (If you are not
preparing the whole tongue for tacos, you can return whatever tongue you
do not slice to the cooking water to soak.) Heat a little oil in a
frying pan on medium high and sauté the slices on both sides until they
are lightly browned. Remove from pan and slice first into strips, then
crosswise again so that you end up with small cubes.
4 Soften tortillas either by cooking on the stove-top until
pockets of air appear in them, or in the microwave (about 10 seconds per
tortilla). Place a large spoonful of meat in the center of a tortilla.
Add a spoonful of salsa verde and some chopped avocado, onion, and
chopped fresh cilantro. Garnish with radish slices.
One 3-pound tongue makes enough meat for about 18-24 tacos.