How to Cook Beef Tongue & Tacos Recipe

Beef Tongue Tacos

The time has come.  I have teased you enough about my adventures with beef tongue.  Today, I share with you my adventure in cooking this somewhat mysterious piece of protein and a simple way of turning it into a delicious meal ~ Beef Tongue Tacos.

I grew up eating beef tongue, prepared by my mom in a slow cooker, with lots of garlic, sliced super thin, and served on sandwiches, open-faced.  Later on in my life, I would often order lengua tacos from Mexican restaurants or tacos truck, always noticing the tender, melt-in-your-mouth (pardon the pun) character of the meat.  Needless to say, I am not squeamish about the tongue.


When the opportunity presented itself, thanks to Farmstr, to try cooking the beef tongue for myself, I decided to give it a try.  The tongue came from Fluit Family Farm (Wallowa, OR). Cow breed: Rotokawa Devon / Grass-fed.  For details:

Beef Tongue Tacos


1 (2-3#) beef tongue

2 carrots, halved

1 onion, quartered

2 bay leaves

6-8 whole peppercorns

4-6 garlic cloves

salt to taste

For tacos: corn tortillas, radishes, cilantro, lime, salsa, sour cream



1.  Rinse the tongue in cold water and place in a large pot.  Unless you are buying the tongue from a reputable source, preferably a local, organic farm, be sure to soak the tongue in cold water for several hours, switching the water a few times, to draw out any impurities.


2.  Add vegetables and seasonings to the pot and pour in enough cold water to cover the tongue and vegetables by a few inches.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Then lower the heat to low and simmer for several hours, until the tongue is completely tender.  I simmered the tongue for almost four hours, though I am pretty sure it was done at the end of two hours.


3.  Remove the tongue and cool slightly.  Peel off the skin and thinly slice across the grain.

4.  Make tacos!  For our tacos, I grilled corn tortillas over gas flame and filled them with slices of tongue and radishes.  Garnish with cilantro, lime juice, sour cream, and salsa.  I also enjoyed these tacos with Russian-Style Pickled Cabbage.


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Disclaimer: I was offered the produce at no charge in exchange for the recipe and review.  All opinions stated in this post are my own.

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4 responses to “How to Cook Beef Tongue & Tacos Recipe

  1. Anna,
    I love the look of your tongue! Ok, that didn’t sound so appropriate. Let me try again–those tacos look delicious. I’ve got Butch’s tongue in my freezer waiting for the chance to strut onto our plates, and a couple of different kinds of salsa to top the tacos.

    • Best compliment ever, Kristen! I wish I had another tongue in my freezer. Mine was frozen as well, actually. I thawed it in the fridge for a day and it was just perfect! Look forward to seeing what you will do with yours :)

  2. When I was a kid, my dad would pick up plastic-wrapped beef tongues in the supermarket and “lick” me and my sisters with them. He’s coming up for the holidays, and 1 sister will be here… very tempted to make this, though I fear most of the table would be too squeamish to try it.

    Do you use the cooking water for anything? Starting point for a soup, or something?

    • Hi Claire! What a great story – love it! I bet if you made this recipe and sliced the tongue, nobody will be able to tell what it is, unless you tell them :) Originally I was going to use the stock to make soup, but waited too long and ended up discarding it. Let me know, please, if you end up making the tongue – happy holidays!

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