I’ve come a long way since I had to prepare beef tongue for the first time! I used to get squeamish at the thought of handling any raw meat when I was a new cook. But, that was long ago. After moving far away from home many years ago, there was no more barbacoa, menudo and many of the dishes I grew up with. How was I going to enjoy them again? Wait until I flew home? That’s how it was for many years because you could not find the ingredients to prepare these dishes where I lived. But when they did become available, watch out!
Does the thought of eating beef tongue scare you?
Beef cheek, beef tongue and other parts of the cow’s head is what I knew and came to love growing up. I was told that if it didn’t come from the cow’s head, then it wasn’t real barbacoa. Others will debate that it’s not real barbacoa if it is not cooked in a traditional pit underground. Not many of us have an underground in our backyards, lol! This is where you either adapt or go without! Mom, most likely, had to adapt many of the recipes she grew up with when she moved to the states. This is where the California and Texas influence comes into play in my cooking today.
Not just one video, but two!
I am so happy I remembered to record the beef tongue leftovers! And of course you know I always have homemade salsa in my refrigerator. You never know when you are going to need it. A popular way to prepare leftover barbacoa is to prepare a guisado with salsa. Guisos are traditional and can be prepared with all kinds of ingredients, such as nopales(cactus), chicharron, all kinds of meats and vegetables.
What is your go to salsa recipe?
My go to salsa recipes will always be a simple tomatillo chile de arbol and tomato chile de arbol. A red and green salsa in my refrigerator at all times for enjoying with all my favorite Mexican dishes or to pour into a quick guisado like this one. You know how much I enjoy preparing salsa!
Are you utilizing all of the spices in your cupboard?
I am guilty of purchasing spices and then forgetting to use them! For this reason, I take a quick inventory about once a month to make sure I will not buy more of the same spices. Besides salt and pepper, what do you reach for when it comes to seasoning your dishes? In the past, I did use a lot of garlic powder, even garlic salt, but not anymore. I prefer to minced fresh garlic, even though it can be tedious at times. Mom never, and when I say never I mean never, used garlic the way I do. She added whole bulbs of garlic when cooking big cuts of meat for caldo or tamales, but that was it. Granulated garlic or garlic salt was used for certain guisos.
Garbanzo beans and beef tongue? What’s that all about?
One never stops learning when it comes to cooking. I am fascinated and I absorb information when it comes to cooking because I love it so much! Most of you are probably asking, what do garbanzo beans have to do with this? Many traditional barbacoa recipes, there is a consommé. The consommé is the water combined with juices from the meat that accumulate at the bottom. Garbanzo beans along with carrots, onion, garlic, dried chiles and spices are added. A bowl of hot consommé is served alongside of most barbacoa.
I love photographing the ingredients like this!
Nowadays if you browsed through my spices, you would find, thryme, marjoram, oregano, all spice, peppercorns, coriander, cumin seeds, bay leaves, anise seeds, canela, cloves, crushed red pepper flakes, a variety of salts and ground chile powders. Not to mention all the dried chiles.
I finally remembered to use those spice bags!
Keep dried chiles stored in airtight containers or storage bags to maintain freshness. depending on the brand, the heat levels vary. If they look dirty, make sure to rinse them first.
So far, this brand that sells beef tongue has been my favorite!
This is not a sponsored post! I have worked with Rumba Meats in the past and thanks to them I was able find beef cheek and tongue where I lived in New York. Their prices are less expensive then most and it’s excellent quality!
If the pressure cooker is not your idea of fun, you have other options!
Mom prepared beef tongue in the slow cooker overnight. That’s as easy as it gets! You could easily prepare this same recipe in a large slow cooker for 8-9 hours on low heat setting.
Thanks to my tia Minerva , from Monterrey, that I got over my fear of using a traditional pressure cooker!
If you want to skip the whole consommé thing, that ok too! Simple chop the beef tongue after removing the skin and serve it up for tacos with cilantro, onion and salsa.
Invest in a good quality pressure cooker. It should be heavy. I purchased two sizes. The smaller one mostly for cooking beans of all kinds. And the larger one for meats and soups.
Let’s Get To The Recipe Below!
If you are the only one who eats beef tongue in your family store leftovers in airtight freezer bags. There are many vacuum seal options out there these days. Freeze in smaller portions for when that craving strikes!
If you have never enjoyed this type of beef, go for it! Try it! It is the most tender and delicious beef, along with the beef cheek meat. My two favorite traditional tacos.
What do I do with all that consommé?
I get that question a lot. The next day you could add vegetables like potatoes, carrots, zucchini, corn, green beans, chayotes, cabbage and more! That would be the ultimate caldo de res if you think about it.
All my thoughts lead me back to her and to him when I prepare recipes like this.
To mom and dad, thank you for being the best parents and for loving us. Thank you for introducing us to all these wonderful traditional foods. Thank you for knowing how important it was to teach us the culture, for speaking to us in Spanish so we learned. For all those cross country trips to Monterrey twice a year when we were growing up. Those were magical times and I am thankful for every moment. You continue to inspire me even though you are not physically here with me today.
How To Prepare Beef Tongue
- 1 med onion sliced in half
- 6 large cloves of garlic
- 4-5 bay leaves
- 6 dried Chile de Arbol
- 2 dried guajillo peppers
- 1-2 dried pasilla peppers
- 3/4 c dried garbanzos
- 1/2 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp Marjoram
- 1/2 tsp Thyme
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- Salt to taste
- 3 1/2 lbs beef tongue excess fat trimmed
- 10 c water
- Add spices, minus salt to spice bag. Add spice bag, garbanzos, onion, garlic, bay leaves, dried chiles and beef tongue to the pressure cooker. Pour in the water and salt, to taste. Lock pressure cooker lid in place. Heat on high.
- Once it comes up to pressure rapidly, reduce heat to below medium. Set timer for 90 minutes. Once timer goes off let it sit until safety valve releases.
- Place tongue on cutting board and remove the skin and any excess fat. Slice or chop. Cover to keep warm.
- Using tongs, transfer Chiles from the pot to the blender. Remove stems from Chile de Arbol. At this time, you can also add some of the onions and garlic that cooked in the pressure cooker. Pour in just enough water to blend chiles into a smooth purée. Remove bay leaves and spice bag from consome. Pour Chile sauce in to consome. Stir to combine. Taste for salt.
- Add some beef tongue to a shallow bowl. Ladle over some of the consome with garbanzo. Garnish with onion, cilantro, lime and spicy salsa! Serve with warm corn tortillas.