I am aware that these sound kind of “icky.”
They were not icky…well, for the most part.
I will admit that I tend to have a higher tolerance for squeamishness than others. But we got all of these great bits of offal from the butcher, and I want to try to honor the steer they came from. And also, I try to be an adventurous eater. I have been ruminating(hehe, see what I did there?) on the possibility of cooking tongue for the last few months after coming across it at my local Costco, but I just hadn’t pulled the trigger. This was the perfect excuse to try it. I have some great plans for our other tongue, but for my first one, I wanted to make a well-known dish that had enough other stuff going on in it that if I didn’t like it, I could obscure it. Tacos de lengua are a pretty classic Mexican dish, and one that I keep hearing great things about. So I decided to suck it up and cook that bad boy! Craig initially said that he would eat tongue. Then he said that he would not. Then I got him to agree to try it in tacos, as long as there was an “alternate meat.”
I vacuum packed the tongue with some garlic powder, oregano and cumin. Then I cooked it sous vide at 170 degrees for 36 hours, knocked the temp down to 140, and let it go for another 10 hours.
This is what it looked like when I took it out of the vacuum bag.
The next step here is to remove all of the connective tissue, and the “skin” of taste buds and whatnot. The tongue was soft. Really soft. Even after hearing my father in law describe tongue as “the softest pot roast he’s ever had.” I was unprepared for just how… soft it was. But I trimmed all the weird stuff off, cut out a few really spongy areas, and fed all of the trimmings to the dogs. The house smelled incredible. Just a clean, beefy flavor. When all was said and done, we got about 2 cups of cubed meat.
And then came prep for tacos. All I did was dump it out into a nonstick skillet with a little avocado oil, sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, and salt, then cook on medium-low heat until it started crisping, turning every now and again.
I served the tacos with sour cream, guac, some tomatillo salsa verde, cojita cheese, and of course… TONGUE. Craig refused to eat a tongue taco, opting instead for the “alternate meat.” He refused to try the tongue either. He is missing out.