Tongue is the Rodney Dangerfield of beef cuts and that's a shame - it's tasty, it's relatively easy to prepare and it doesn't cost very much. Ok, admittedly, it's not the prettiest girl at the dance, and it doesn't have the advantage of a pseudonym like "steak" or "prime rib" or "New York Strip"; it's just "tongue". And all of our brains have plenty of mental baggage when we hear the word tongue. So, I propose that we all adopt the Spanish version of the word, "Lengua". Sounds smooth and non-threatening. When you see "Tacos De Lengua" on the menu at a Mexican restaurant - order it. The taco is a perfect home for tongue Lengua. The meat is tender and it has more taste than most typical meat that ambles its way into a taco.
Ingredients for the initial boiling:
- One tongue lengua (ours was about two pounds)
- One medium onion - chopped
- Three cloves garlic
- Three bay leaves
- One teaspoon pepper
- One tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the marinade
- Juice of two limes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
Ingredients for the finishing:
- Lots of Taco Fixins - whatever you like
- Tortillas. Of course, we got ours at Calgary's Las Tortillas
Lay out your ingredients. If, like The Hot Line Test Kitchen, you have an infestation of 'children' in your house - be fully prepared for a LOT of comments at this stage of the recipe. Some children will want to run away screaming. Some will want to put the tongue Lengua in their sister's pillowcase. You've been warned.
Fill a stockpot full of water. Add chopped onions, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Add tongue lengua to the water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour per pound of tongue lengua.
Remove tongue lengua from the water and remove the outer skin with all the bumps and tastebuds. You may need help with this part. If so, try to enlist a team member that is not as squeamish as some of the children. Make a thin incision down the centre of the tongue lengua. Once you've got some of the outer skin removed, you should be able to easily peel of the majority of the remainder.
Slice tongue lengua into thin sections for grilling.
Combine meat and marinade ingredients into a resealable container and let sit for an hour or two.
Warm up the tortillas on your griddle. Grill your tongue lengua. It's already completely cooked from its time in the boiling water. Don't overcook now. This stage is to give it some nice grilled taste and caramelization.
Dice it up. You need small bits that fit well into tacos.
Serve with salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, sour cream, a squirt of lime and a few dozen Coronas. Scrumptious.
That tasty tongue lengua will keep them eating out of your hand!