I’d like to share another recipe from my adventurous brother, Roger. I posted his experiences with chitterlings awhile back. I’m not as brave as Roger- on one adventure he ate bugs. (I didn’t ask for that recipe) I do admire his sense of fun in exploring unusual foods though. He recently sent me the pictures and directions for making tongue tacos using a good-sized beef tongue, a slow cooker and a generous handful of seasonings. He’d experienced the tongue tacos in Mexico and wanted a run at making them himself.
Roger was in Mazatlan a few years ago and in a local eatery in the center of town he had a meal to remember. He loved the tongue tacos and vowed to replicate them at home. He was so successful he makes them at least once a year for himself. His wife Sandy isn’t a fan and doesn’t share his like for tongue. She’s also not big on corn tortillas. I like both, I’d love to try them!
The tacos are served with many garnishes: thinly sliced radishes, cucumbers, chopped cilantro, a nice fresh salsa, diced tomato, tomatillo sauce, chopped white onion and freshly squeezed lime juice, among others. I found it interesting that they don’t garnish tacos with cheese in Mexico. Roger said the meat is very rich and marbled and is fairly heavy in calories, as a result. Cheese would probably be overkill.
Roger assembles his ingredients first. The tongue is daunting and doesn’t inspire me to drool just yet. Roger said you could use any seasonings you prefer, as they don’t flavor the meat a great deal. He uses cinnamon, thyme, white onions, black pepper, celery seed, red pepper flakes, a verde sauce made with tomatillos and beef stock. I said I like cumin in my Mexican dishes and he agreed that would work as well. Be creative.
He places the tongue, half an onion, his choice of seasonings and adds broth to cover the tongue in the slow cooker.
Roger uses a slow cooker that is also a rice cooker and food steamer. I stress that this is NOT one of the current trendy instant pots that is a pressure cooker. That would work as well, but Roger doesn’t use one and I’ve never used one myself. If you experiment with the pressure cooker, I’d like to hear about your results. Set the slow cooker for 8 hours on low and let that tongue cook!
In 8 hours you’ll have a tender slab of tongue. Let it cool a bit for handling and remove the skin. Slice the meat and you’re ready for the next step.
In a hot nonstick skillet, sear slices of tongue until browned and caramelized. The meat is fatty enough, you won’t need any oil.
Chopped the browned tongue into small pieces. Heat corn tortillas in the same skillet and assemble your tacos.
Roger heats the tortilla, adds the meat then layers slices of radish and cucumber. He tops with chopped white onion and plenty of cilantro then a good squeeze of lime juice and some salsa. They look so good I can almost taste them!
The freshly made corn tortillas used in making the tacos in Mexico really take them a step above, Roger said. It’s hard to find anything comparable to those corn tortillas around Bismarck, ND.
Leftover tongue can be used in sandwiches or simply fried with some scrambled eggs, sprinkled with cilantro and eaten rolled up in more tortillas as Roger does. Breakfast tongue! There’s a reason for me to bounce out of bed! How about you?