Monday, February 7, 2011

beef tongue

Wanna see something really gross?

You know you do.

This is a cow tongue.

Yummy, right?

Okay, let me explain it again.
I am a country girl.

We grew up in a family that hunts, farms, and forages (okay, maybe not forages).  But still.  My grandpaw delighted in "living off the land".  He had an amazing garden, orchard, and farm.  And my dad learned from my grandpaw that you use every part of an animal.  Hunting is not a sport; hunting is to feed your family and you don't waste anything. 
Including the tongue.
My grandpaw made me try all sorts of different parts of an animals' body.
I have tried pig eyes, livers of all sorts, and my grandmother makes a mean calf brain ravioli.
But, when my dad found out that I hadn't tried a cow tongue, he was appalled.
He swore that cow tongue was a delicacy and one of the best dishes my grandmother ever prepared.

So, when he came home with a cow tongue (when I was recently visiting), I wasn't too surprised.

And, you know what?  It was shockingly delicious.

Beef Tongue
Makes one large platter.
One cow tongue, cleaned
3 lemons
1 large carrot
2 large celery stalks
1 large onion
4-5 bay leaves
Handful of black peppercorns
Handful of kosher salt
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh dill, for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Coarsely chop one lemon, carrot, celery and onion and add to pot.  Add bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. 

Add the tongue and boil for about 1-1 1/2 hours until very tender.

Remove and immediately peel the tongue, using silicone gloves (to protect your hands from the heat) and a sharp paring knife.  The outer layer should peel off very easily, but you want to make sure and do it while it is very hot or it won't come off as easily.

Slice thinly and put in a large tupperware.  

Juice another lemon into the tupperware, over the beef, and drizzle with olive oil. 
Toss until the beef is coated and season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate until very cold (about 4 hours) and arrange on a platter with the extra lemon, sliced, and dill, for garnish, and serve while still very cold.


  1. Hahaha! much as I love you and your blog. I don't think I'll be making this one. I'm just not there yet. But thanks for sharing!

  2. i don't know how i feel about this one. i don't think my brain could get past the fact that i was making out with a cow as i ate. eeek.

  3. Awww, come on Hussy. Don't be a baby ;)


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