Beef tongue (cow tongue) recipe. Beef tongue for cold cuts hors d’oeuvre / appetizer, starter or a sandwich meat
Cooked beef tongue is delicious meat that has been prepared and eaten in different regions of the world since ancient times. Beef tongue is cooked in Russia as well as in the other world cuisines including Eastern European, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, Belgian, Austrian, Mexican, Japanese to mention a few. Beef tongue can be made as a roast, on the BBQ, slow cooked, used in stews and in other recipes to replace other types of beef. Cow tongue can also be brined, pickled and even smoked. Cooked tongue makes delicious meat starter and sandwich filling.
In Russian cuisine the raw beef tongue is boiled in a bouillon with vegetables and spices just like meat, then skinned, sliced and served cold for “zakuska” (a starter) by itself or as a part of assorted cold meats platter ever so popular in Russia. Here in the UK you can buy the cow tongue already pre-brined in salt. I cook the beef tongue the same way but do not add any salt in the stock and it comes out just fine.
Beef tongue is delicious but very high in fat so watch out for those calories if you are trying to be good!
You will need:
- 1 beef tongue (small ones are said to be more tender and flavourable)
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 3 sticks celery
- 2 bay leaves
- ab. 20 black peppers
- dry dill
- 1 pod of hot pepper (optional)
- horse radish sauce or mustard to serve
- lettuce leaves and/or cucumber to serve (optional)
How to cook beef (cow) tongue
Wash the beef tongue in cold water. Cut off excess fat. If you can peal off the skin at this point, do it now. If it does not peel easily, don’t worry, you can skin the tongue once it is cooked. If you are not planning on serving the whole beef tongue, you can cut it in half on the long side: it will reduce cooking time and make the better use of the pot. Put the beef tongue into a large pot and add boiling water just enough to cover the tongue. Add onion, carrot, celery sticks, dry dill and peppers. Bring to boil, then turn down the gas and remove the foam from the surface of the water. If the beef tongue is not pre-brined (read the packaging) add a table spoon of salt. Let the cow tongue boil slowly for about 40-60 minutes.
The beef tongue is ready when the juices come clear from the thickest part. At the last minute cut a little piece of cow tongue and taste for salt. Adjust salt if needed, turn off the gas and let the beef tongue sit in the bouillon for a while.
Remove the beef tongue from the bouillon and let it cool. The stock can be strained and used later for soup. Slice the beef tongue and serve it warm as meat or cold as a starter or in sandwiches. Serve beef tongue with horse radish sauce or mustard. Enjoy!