Boiled beef tongue

Here´s the thing: if you mean to be a responsible meat eater, you have to eat offal. That´s all there is to it. 
I only eat meat three or four times a week, and it´s all good stuff, from the best sources I can find. It´s healthy, and it´s farily green. I don´t spend huge amounts on it because, lucky me, I actually prefer saucy beef shin braises and chicken thighs on the bone, and slow roast pork shoulder, and sausages and short ribs, and oxtail soup and bacon sandwiches and all them lovely things. 

But nose to tail is where it´s at. You can dabble in chicken livers and marrow bones, daintily, but if you´re really into respecting the animals, etc, etc, then you have to brave the nasty bits.

I don´t like chewy things, so tripe, a favourite dish from my home town, is out. But tongue has a reputation of being tasty and tender, so there I was on  a Saturday afternoon, looking at that great ugly thing on my counter, wondering what on earth had possesed me that morning at the butcher´s.

Turns out my fears had been unfounded. Yes, tongue is a mental leap because it looks entirely like, well, a tongue, yours or mine, and it´s big and you can´t not think of that tongue inside an actual mouth. Well, get over it. It only needs salting (a day in advance, if you can) and boiling with some aromatics until tender. I used a pressure cooker, for fifty minutes. Once it´s cooled a little, peel away the skin, which comes off easily, and you´re left with a stringy piece of beef that might be from anywhere else. Tender, flavourful boiled beef, perfect for sandwiches or tacos or salads. It only needs a sharp, piquant sauce to make it zing (no pun intended).

Because it´s muscle meat it doesn´t taste at all offaly, just beefy, so if there are squeamish eaters around, all you have to do is shred it, or cut it up small, and they´ll never know.

And, as a bonus, you have a big pot of beef stock to play with afterwards. I made onion soup, and it was lovely.

Consider it the gateway variety meat, and see if it leads you down the road to pig´s head terrine.

4 comentarios:

Magda dijo...

I can totally understand nose-to-tail eating because I'm Greek and well, in Greece we eat every part of the animal. Most of our traditional dishes contain some sort of offal. I don't believe I have ever had beef tongue though.
Tripe, yes. It's the cure-all for hangovers :)
Thanks for the brief recipe. I'll keep it in mind next time I see beef tongue at my butcher's.

German dijo...

I really like tongue, but now i am living in england, I can guess already the face of my local butcher when I ask to him for some tongue

Am @ The Cook's Sister dijo...

We tried tongue a few months back, and I agree that it's a bit difficult, initially, to get passed the fact that it looks like a tongue. But it's very tasty, and we will be trying it again. Thanks for sharing your cooking tips!

Raquel dijo...

No sé. Me suena un poco gore. Buf!