How to Cook Cow Tongue

Are you looking to explore a new and delicious culinary adventure? Look no further, as we introduce you to the world of cow tongue! Cooking cow tongue can be a rewarding experience, as it offers a tender and protein-packed addition to your regular meal planning. Though the process may seem a bit daunting at first, with practice, you’ll find it to be an enjoyable and satisfying way to expand your cooking skills.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking cow tongue on the stove using a Dutch oven or a large pot. We will share tips and tricks on properly boiling it until tender, as well as how to slice it for various dishes like tacos or served over rice. With some patience and a little bit of practice, you’ll be creating mouthwatering cow tongue meals that’ll become staples in your kitchen.

Key Takeaways

  • Learn to cook tender cow tongue using a Dutch oven or large pot
  • Discover versatile meal options like tacos and rice dishes with the cooked cow tongue
  • Gain confidence in preparing this protein-rich and delicious ingredient

How to Cook a Cow Tongue

To prepare a delicious cow tongue dish, you’ll want to cook it gently and patiently. Begin by immersing the beef tongue in a liquid to tenderize it from the outside in. After several hours, you can easily remove the tough outer layer. The remaining tender and flavorful meat can be incorporated into various dishes.

One popular option is to use this cooked beef tongue in classic Mexican tacos, filling them with cabbage, cheese, and white sauce. You can also add a spicy touch with your choice of sauce, or simply savor the natural flavors of this protein-rich ingredient. Feel free to get creative and use cow tongue in other recipes, like stir-fries, as well!

Boiled Beef Tongue

To prepare a delicious boiled beef tongue, you will need a deep pot, such as a Dutch Oven, to fully submerge the tongue. Fill the pot with water or broth and add seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic, onions, and bay leaves for enhanced flavor. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Clean the tongue: Rinse the beef tongue under cold water to remove impurities. Use a knife to scrape off any remaining dirt or debris.
  2. Simmer the tongue: Put the cleaned tongue into the pot filled with seasoned water, and bring it to a steady rolling boil over medium heat. Then, reduce the heat and allow the tongue to simmer for 2-3 hours, or until tender.
  3. Peel the skin: When the boiled tongue reaches 160°F, take it out from the pot and let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully use a sharp knife to peel off the tough outer skin and discard it.
  4. Slice the tongue: With the skin removed, cut the meat into thin slices against the grain.
  5. Season the slices: Add spices like cumin, chili powder, or paprika to the beef tongue slices to enhance their taste.

Once prepared, you can incorporate the tender slices into various dishes, such as lengua tacos, sandwiches, or stews. Store any leftover meat in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or keep frozen beef tongue in a sealed freezer storage bag for longer preservation. Enjoy your delicious boiled beef tongue!

Cow Tongue Recipe

Looking for a tasty way to use leftover beef tongue? Try turning it into delicious tacos de lengua! First, cut the tongue into thin strips. Next, sauté mushrooms and onions until browned. Then, add the sliced tongue to the mix and stir in sour cream, Dijon mustard, and beef broth. Cook until the sauce thickens and the meat is heated through. Serve your beef tongue creation on warm corn tortillas, topped with salsa and cilantro for a mouthwatering main course. Don’t forget to enjoy your delicious cow tongue tacos with a side of horseradish salad for an extra zesty experience.

What Does Cow Tongue Taste Like

Cow tongue has a distinct, robust beefy flavor. If you dice or slice it thinly, it blends well with sauces, adopting the taste of the seasonings it’s cooked with. Here are some ways you can enjoy cow tongue:

  • Tender, thinly-sliced cow tongue makes great sandwich fillings. Dress it up with mustard, cheese, and pickles for a delicious combination.
  • Bite-sized pieces of cow tongue add depth to stews, or even serve as the protein in a 5-ingredient chili, offering a bold texture and taste.
  • For a refreshing meal, slice leftover cow tongue thinly and add it to a crisp, cold salad with greens, tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette.

As an organ meat, cow tongue also offers nutritional benefits, including protein, potassium, and sodium. Grass-fed options may provide additional natural nutrients.

Cooking Beef Tongue in the Oven

To cook beef tongue in the oven, preheat it to 350 degrees F. Utilize a pot with a lid, like a Dutch oven or a braising pan, for an effective cooking process. Since cooking in the oven often takes longer than on stovetop, expect it to last 3-4 hours to achieve 160 degrees F in the thickest part.

For an ideal setup, use a liquid that covers the top of the beef tongue, mixing 2 cups of red wine with water. Enhance the flavor by adding your favorite herbs, along with the following ingredients:

  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sliced onion
  • 2 peeled and chopped carrots
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 96 oz beef broth

Remember to incorporate skillet, grill, and frying methods as part of your technique and experiment with flavors for a delightful culinary experience.

Slow Cooker Beef Tongue

Experience a delightful new flavor by cooking beef tongue in your slow cooker! Immerse it in a broth with your preferred seasonings, set on low heat for 8 hours. Afterward, cool, remove the outer layer, chop into bitesize pieces, and savor the taste.

Pressure Cooker Beef Tongue

To prepare a delicious pressure cooker beef tongue, you’ll need to use high pressure cooking. Add your beef tongue to the pressure cooker, accompanied by broth and your favorite seasonings. Allow 15 minutes of cook time per pound and make sure to use a natural release when it’s done. Be cautious not to fill the cooker past the 3/4 mark; there’s usually an indicator line on the inside. For optimal tenderness, let the beef tongue cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, until it becomes fork tender. Enjoy your flavorful meal!

How to Cook Cow Tongue

Interesting way to cook cow tongue
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 307 kcal


  • Dutch Oven or large pot


  • 1 cow tongue
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 96 oz beef broth


  • In a Dutch Oven or large pot, add the raw cow's tongue, sliced onion, chopped carrots, bay leaves, salt, and coriander seeds. Pour in the beef broth, making sure the tongue is covered. If needed, add more broth or water.
  • Bring the contents to a low boil, then cover the pot with a lid and let it cook over medium heat for 3 hours, or until the tongue reaches 160 degrees F.
  • When the tongue is cooked, remove it from the pot and allow it to cool slightly. Use a sharp knife to peel off the tough outer layer and discard it.
  • Cut the cooked tongue into thin strips and enjoy as tacos, or serve it over rice with gravy on top.


Calories: 307kcal
Keyword how to cook cow tongue
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Frequently Asked Questions

Cleaning Cow Tongue Before Cooking

To clean a cow tongue before cooking, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the tongue under cold running water.
  2. Soak it in cold water for 1-2 hours to help loosen the outer skin.
  3. Drain and place the tongue in a pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from water and let it cool enough to handle.
  5. Peel the outer skin using a knife or your fingers. Be sure to remove all the skin and any small bumps or residue.

Preparing Cow Tongue Tacos

For delicious cow tongue tacos, follow these steps:

  1. Boil the cleaned tongue in a pot of water with seasonings like garlic, onions, and bay leaves for 3-4 hours until tender.
  2. Drain and let cool, then shred or slice the meat.
  3. In a pan, sauté the shredded meat with olive oil, taco seasoning, and lime juice, stirring until evenly coated.
  4. Serve on warm corn tortillas with your choice of toppings like onion, cilantro, and salsa.

Slow Cooking Cow Tongue

To cook cow tongue in a slow cooker, follow these steps:

  1. Place clean cow tongue, peeled and chopped vegetables (such as onion, carrot, celery), herbs (like bay leaves or thyme), and water or broth into the slow cooker.
  2. Set the cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, or until the tongue is tender and easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Remove tongue from slow cooker, let cool, and slice or shred as desired.

Grilling Techniques for Cow Tongue

When grilling cow tongue, consider these tips:

  1. Marinate the cleaned and boiled tongue for at least 3 hours in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and your favorite herbs or spices.
  2. Preheat the grill and place the tongue on the grates, searing each side for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat and continue cooking for an additional 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until it reaches desired level of tenderness.

Italian Beef Tongue Recipe

For a tasty Italian-style beef tongue, follow these steps:

  1. Braise the cleaned tongue with a mixture of tomato sauce, onions, garlic, red wine, and herbs like basil, rosemary, and oregano for 2 hours or until tender.
  2. Let the tongue cool and slice it into thin pieces.
  3. Serve over pasta or polenta, topped with more tomato sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.

Traditional Spanish Beef Tongue Recipe

To make a Spanish-style beef tongue, follow these steps:

  1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until softened.
  2. Add sliced roasted red peppers, chopped tomatoes, and a splash of red wine, simmering until the sauce thickens.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, brown boiled and cleaned beef tongue slices in a separate pan with a bit of olive oil.
  4. Combine the cow tongue slices with the rich sauce and serve over rice or potatoes, garnished with parsley.
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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