I don’t want you to go away – just hear me out. Beef tongue is so tender, so delicious, so easy in your pressure cooker, you just need it in your life. Trust me.
How many times have I said it? I. Love. Tacos. Lengua tacos included. I get em when I see em on a menu, but never did I make it at home because until recently, beef tongue has been hard for me to find. Not even cattle farmers will sell it to me. But oddly enough, Wal-Mart has started carrying it, so when I saw it I snatched it up and tossed it in my freezer until the time was right.
Well, soon enough the time was right. Lorelei, a nice woman on Facebook, shared with me her recipe. I did make just a couple adjustments, but it is bombalicious!
But here’s where it gets tricky. Not for me, but I’m guessing for most people. It looks like a tongue. A freaking humongous, nasty tongue. But it’s not nasty – really. It’s just a piece of meat. No different from a chuck roast or a hunk of flank. It’s all not very appealing when you think about it.
Just trust me. Give it a try. The smell when it’s cooked up is like your grandmother’s pot roast. The texture is like the most tender, melt in your mouth steak. You just gotta get past the “tongue” part.
Oh, and one more thing you should know before we get down to it: It’s cheap. Thought that might catch your eye. I paid, oh, about $4.00 a pound. Not bad for beef. So let’s step out of our comfort zone and give this a whirl.
BEEF TONGUE – INSTANT POT
1 4-5 pound beef tongue
2 cups beef broth
2 cups chicken broth
1 large onion quartered
1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
3 dried guajillo peppers
2 tablespoons peppercorns
2 tablespoons sea salt
oil for frying
Remove the tongue, lay it flat if it’s rolled up on itself. Now, towards the back, there may be a lot of fat. I like to trim that off – it’s optional. Score the top of the tongue slightly about 5 times. Place it in the pot, along with all the other ingredients except the oil. You want the tongue covered with the liquid. If you don’t have enough, just top it off with water. I used a little less than 4 cups.
Set your pressure cooker for 40 minutes, high, with a natural release. When pressure is fully released, carefully remove the tongue to a cutting board and let it cool a bit. Once cool, slice into the skin that covers the tongue and peel it off. It comes off very easily and must be removed before eating.
Once you have the skin off, cut the tongue into about 1/4 or 1/2 inch slices. Heat oil in a skillet and brown the slices on both sides. Once all slices are browned, chop them up into bite-sized chunks. Eat.
If you’re cooking this on the stove, it’s exactly as above, but you’re going to simmer for about 3 hours. At the 2 hour mark, start poking it to check for tenderness. When tender, same as above – remove to cool, cut, fry, chunk, eat.
Honestly, these make the most delicious tacos. Serve with your favorite taco condiments.
I made a very simple sauce to go on my tacos: I blistered 2 dried guajillos. I put that in a pot with 1 onion peeled, 3 roma tomatoes, 1 jalapeno, and 4 cloves of peeled garlic. I covered with water and simmered everything until tender. I removed the dried chiles and removed the seeds. I peeled the tomatoes. I tossed everything in a blender with a splash of vinegar, salt to taste.
This post is linked to: Meal Plan Monday
44 thoughts on “Beef Tongue – Lengua Tacos – Instant Pot & Stovetop”
When my wife was in hi school she was asked to bring sandwiches to her youth group picnic. She was on a pretty tight budget and tongue was cheap then, so she made tongue sandwiches. The kids loved them and when they asked what it was she just said “beef” and they gobbled them up.
What’s the thickness of a typical 3-4 lb beef tongue? I’ve been thawing a 1.3-lb portion of beef tongue – that’s what was available – and I’ll use its thickness relative to a whole beef tongue to reduce the IP cooking time. I’ve never cooked tongue before, am both looking forward and a bit intimidated!
I honestly have no idea of the thickness. I never paid attention. Don’t be intimidated – I would pressure for 20 minutes and then check the tenderness to see where you’re at, and it just depends how you want it, really. Some people like it a little firmer to slice it for sandwiches, some people like it more tender. You can always add more time, but you can’t take the time away.
Try pouring a can of Rotel tomato on it after it is cooked. Gives it a nice kick depending on whether you get mild, medium, or hot.
Great idea Patricia! I will definitely give that a try next time!
Would you know how to adjust liquid amount and cooking time in IP for veal tongues? I have 2 small ones, about 1.5 lbs together. I think veal tongues cook faster than beef ones.
I have never cooked (or seen) a veal tongue, so this is only conjecture, but I don’t think an adjustment in liquid would be necessary. As far as time, as I have not seen one, I’m not sure about how big or small they are, but I’m guessing much smaller than a tongue – I would start at 20 minutes. If you find it’s not tender enough, add more time in 5 or 10 minute increments until you find the tenderness you like.
Your video says 50 minutes and your website says 40, do you have a preference?
Not really. I reduced the time on here because I’ve found that it really depends on the tongue. Some tongues, at 50 minutes are perfection. Sometimes they’re overcooked just a tad – not in a bad way. It will shred more easily but it might be harder to cube to put in a skillet. After a few tongues that have varied in time, 40 minutes seems to allow me to adjust for those tongues that are just super tender and if I have one that I don’t like the feel of it after 40, I add five more minutes.
I love cow tongue! When cooked properly it will be so tender and juicy and delicisious! I can’t wait to try it in my Instant Pot! Thank you so much!
Hope you love it like we do!
If I do a natural pressure release when it is done? How long do I do it for? I am still new to using the instant pot;)
Just let it sit there, coming down naturally for about 10 minutes and then venting it to release the steam the remaining way. Sometimes, I just let it come down all the way naturally until the pin drops on its own. The time it takes to fully come down naturally depends on how full your pot is.
One thing should make lovers of beef tongue tremble: another online advocate for its tenderness and flavor. If the taste for it ever catches traction, we’ll see higher prices and a shortage in the meat section.
If filet mignon were ever sold for the same price ($5.54/lb) I’d probably buy both and make judgement after a few hundred dollars.
Jeffrey, I’ve seen the price of tongue go up tremendously where I live over the past decade, as well as oxtail and beef shanks. All meats I used to love for their price, now seem like something I buy rarely. I can get prime beef brisket for 2.99 a pound, so I often reach for that over a tongue.
I love beef tongue. My kids thought it was gross until I told them that I order it when we go to the Korean restaurants for them and they were already eating it…lol. It tastes like beef and they couldn’t tell. Love this recipe and your prep instructions. Pinned.
Thank you so much for sharing on the Whisk It Wednesday Link Party! Tomorrow when the new party starts you will be one of the featured posts! Hope to see you there gain. ~ Carrie @ Carrie’s Home Cooking
My husband and boys would love your Beef Tongue Tacos. I am sure the Instant Pot would help to make it tender. Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday for the party this week. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
I absolutely love tacos. They are one of my favorite foods and I am always looking for new varieties to try. I’ve never cooked lengua before but now I want to try!
My son has been wanting to make tacos lately, so this your timing is just perfect. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Pinned to The Really Crafty Link Party Pinterest board.
This sounds so good but don’t know if I have the nerve to try tongue. lol
I get ya Victoria. It’s a little disconcerting to see that big thing on your cutting board. I suggest you go out and find you some lengua tacos. Once you see how tasty it is it might get your over the gross hurdle. Or, get a really weird friend to do all the work for you!
Now I’m stopping back by in “official” capacity to thank you for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!
Your visit has been officially recorded. 😉
Thanks Mrs. Tucker!
Ha! I love that you start out telling us NOT to go away! My dad loves beef tongue, so there is a following!
He knows good food. Thanks for checking it out Miss Goddess!
Lengua tacos are my fave!!! I really need to try this recipe. And the best topping is onion, cilantro, and come nice hot salsa 🙂
Pinning this! Greetings from the Blogger’s Pit Stop
You got it, onion, cilantro and hot salsa. Doesn’t get better than that. I wish more people gave lengua a chance!!
It’s a delicacy that everyone should try!
I think a lot of people here the word tongue and shy away, but it’s actually a really flavorful piece of meat and makes fabulous tacos!! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner Party! Hope your week is great.
I agree and well, it looks like a huge tongue. Good stuff though! Thanks for checking it out Helen!
I haven’t heard of tacos that use beef tongue, but these sound so good! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party!
A) I’ve never wanted to eat beef tongue but now I do!
B) I loved your video!!!
Pinned and shared. Thanks for linking up to the Friday Frenzy we appreciate you.
Thanks Laura! What I think you should do is get a friend/husband whoever, to make it for you so you don’t have to deal with the whole tongue thing.
Thanks for this recipe. I’ve eaten tongue all my life, and once had lengua tacos at a Mexican restaurant — Dad joined me on that. Would be nice to make this myself, so thank you.
I would never have even thought of making beef tongue before reading this, but now I think I’m going to keep an eye out for it! You make it sound really good! I love liver so I’m not afraid to try things like that!
I know at the taco truck I go to the lengua smells so good, but I just can’t get over a bad childhood experience wiht tongue! Your recipe sounds so easy and good, and I love the flavor of guajillos!
This cracks me up, because just yesterday I deleted quite a few of my old posts, including one on beef tongue! I think I even lost followers when I posted on it! I was raised on tongue, actually on all parts of every animal, because my mother is French. (Another post I deleted was on pigs’ feet!) We just ate it sliced as a cold cut. I’ve never turned it into tacos, and sadly, I probably never will. No One in my family will eat tongue. Great recipe, tho!
Aw, I hate that Mimi! So weird how people think about meats…it’s basically OK as long as we don’t have to see what it REALLY is or how it got on our plates. My wife is from south Louisiana – to see what they do at a boucherie would probably make some people faint.
That’s definitely true!!!
Chef Mimi, I am sorry you deleted those posts. I love tongue, mother cooked it for us when we were “too young” to know we “shouldn’t” eat it. I love it to this day.