Beef Tongue Tacos (Tacos de Lengua)

The Beef Tongue Tacos belong to the broader category of the beef head tacos family (tacos de cabeza); which are very popular in the taquerias of Mexico. Using tongue meat, even in tacos, might seem like a strange idea to a non-mexican but as you might have noticed already, with mexican tacos, no animal part is left behind! And trust me this dish is very good... Beef tongue is a tougher cut of meat, so either it needs to cook for a very long time or we can use the pressure cooker as I explain here.

Beef Tongue Tacos (2-4 guests)


* 1 beef tongue, about 1 and 1/2 lb.;
* 1 lemon, pressed for its juice
* 5 cups water
* 1 medium onion, cut in two,
* 1 leek cut longitudinally into two,
* 1 stalk celery with leaves,
* 2 cloves of garlic,
* 2 teaspoons salt,
* 3 or 4 black peppercorns,
* 1/3 cup of oil 2 medium onions, peeled,
* 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded,
* 1/2 red pepper, deveined and seeded, 2 crushed garlic cloves,
* 1/2 cup of white wine,
* 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground,
* 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce,
* 20 capers,
* 10 olives, pitted and chopped

When serving,
* Tortillas
* Chopped onions
* Cilantro leaves


1) Rinse the tongue well under running water; rub the tongue with lemon juice.

2) Put the cleaned tongue in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover, bring to a boil then seal the lid from the cooker and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, allow the pot to cool down before you can open the pressure cooker safely.

3) Take the tongue out of the cooker and while it is still warm remove its outer skin, which should have become loose, and trim any excess fat by scraping it with a knife. Discard this first cooking liquid.

4) Put the cleaned tongue back in the pressure cooker, pour 5 cups water in, the onion, the leek, celery, garlic, paprika, salt and peppercorns. Brings to a boil then close and cook for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender. Let the pressure cooker cool down again, then open it and take the tongue out and set aside. Boil the resulting broth over high heat for 10-12 minutes to reduce it. Strain the broth through a strainer and reserve.

5) Pour the oil in a large pot, heat it up and when hot add the tongue and move it with a wooden spoon, until seared and browned on all sides, or about 6-8 minutes. Take the tongue out and reserve.

6) Put the remaining 2 onions, tomatoes, paprika and crushed garlic to the bowl of your blender and liquefy. Pour this to the pot, also add the broth we reserved earlier (the one you cooked the tongue second time in), tomato sauce, the wine, salt, ground black pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

7) Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes; add back the tongue, the capers and chopped olives. Cover with a lid, put over medium heat and cook for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

When it is time to serve your beef tongue tacos, cut the tongue meat in very thin slices or in 1/2 inch cubes. Dress the tacos by placing some meat first, then pour sauce over and sprinkle a few chopped onions and cilantro leaves as desired.

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