Tacos de Lengua: Tongue, It’s What’s For Dinner

Beef Tongue

Ever since I heard Martha Stewart talking about Tacos de Lengua, I've been wanting to try making it. Tacos de Lengua is Spanish for beef tongue tacos.

It turns out it's not hard at all to make and it's very tasty. It's not like other organ meats. It's got a taste all it's own. When I first tasted it, I thought it tasted a little bit like corned beef. You can then season it like you would any taco meat.

Tacos de Lengua


Beef tongue, about 3 pounds (1) — where to buy
Onion (1)
Garlic (1 head, plus 2 cloves)
Sea salt
Seasonings for taco meat (chili powder, etc.) — [easyazon-link asin=”B00269XE0Q” locale=”us”]where to buy chili powder[/easyazon-link]


1. Set a stock pot halfway filled with water on the stove on high heat and bring to a boil.
2. While the water is coming to a boil, chop up a head of garlic.
3. Add the chopped garlic and a couple teaspoons of sea salt to the boiling water.
4. Add the beef tongue to the water. The water should just cover the tongue.
5. Turn the heat down to medium and cover. Let cook for 2-3 hours. The house will smell wonderful!
6. You can tell when it's done when the skin of the tongue easily pulls away. Remove the tongue from the water and set on a cutting board for 10-15 minutes to cool. Discard the water (I thought about saving it as a stock but I'm not sure if this is commonly done — and I did not have room in my fridge. It tasted good.)
7. Peel the tongue and discard the outer skin.

Beef Tongue

8. Shred or slice the tongue.
9. Chop 2 cloves of garlic and 1 onion.
10. Put some butter, lard, duck fat, or other good fat in a cast iron skillet on low to medium heat.
11. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook until soft.
12. Add the shredded or sliced tongue.
13. Season as you normally would to make taco meat. I don't have a good recipe for taco meat (please post if you do). I just throw together whatever I have on hand — various spices like chili powder and cayenne and cumin.

Tacos de Lengua

14. Serve the tacos de lengua in warm tortillas, with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

38 thoughts on “Tacos de Lengua: Tongue, It’s What’s For Dinner

  1. I’m definitelty going to try this recipe. There are several beef tongues in my freezer awaiting to be eaten! There are two recipes in the Grass-Fed Gourmet’s cookbook that look decent too. I just have to get past the look and texture of that tongue!

  2. Ooh, Ooh, ooh, I have been looking longingly at the tongues in our supermarche here in France, wanting to buy one but not knowing what to do with it.

    Now I know, I’m gonna give this a try.

    p.s. have you come across a book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (big in the UK for his fearless eating of every part of the and an active locavore)?
    here it is on UK Amazon, you have to get it, you would love love love it!!!

    or another beautiful book:
    the title says it all!! Lots in this series by the same author, who runs a very popular restaurant in London.


  3. I’ve tried tongue using several different recipes, but I haven’t been able to enjoy the texture. The flavor has been okay, it’s just that texture that’s not like meat or organs that I can’t get past.

  4. Hi, I’ve been reading you blog for a while and just couldn’t keep quiet. I tried to make moose tongue but couldn’t get past the feeling of taste buds on my taste buds. A french kisser I am not!

  5. Awesome, just like how I was thinking of doing it!! I will be trying this soon, I promise. I’ll let you know how it turns out. That poor tongue has been in my freezer long enough haha 🙂

  6. AM, this looks so good. I forget that this is something I enjoyed growing up eating. Traditionally, or maybe it was just my family, it’s eaten with a green salsa (cooked tomatillos & green chilles all blitzed and seasoned with garlic and onion and salt), minced onion and coriander and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

    Beef tongue can also be made into chile verde much same like the green salsa above but warmed of course, with a side of beans.

    The flatmates will be enjoying tongue quite soon 😉

  7. Ann Marie,

    I always have to turn my internet safety software off to view pictures online and I just did that and saw the beef tongue. Sorry to be so blunt, but I’m thinking that I just must not be far enough into the Nourishing Traditions way of life yet or something, because that first picture is gross!


  8. Yum, this sounds great. I’ve made beef tongue braised in red wine sauce and it was pretty good, but this might be the best way to get past the texture of it for me.

    I wonder, does it really matter if you boil the water first, or can you put the tongue in the pot and bring it to a boil together?

  9. Hi, Kelly, sorry for the gross picture! Ha! I wanted to show what it looks like and how it peels for folks trying to cook with it.

    Gina, I don’t know the answer to that but if I had to guess I’d say it does not matter.

    Ann Marie

  10. We had this for dinner tonight and it was a big hit! My husband is mexican and grew up eating Lengua, so when we got out grass fed cow, they offered us free tongue and livers and they’ve been sitting in the freezer.
    Thanks for inspiring me to finally make it!

  11. AM,

    I finally pulled a beef tongue out of the freezer yesterday and made your recipe. I was highly impressed! The meat shredded niely, and had a nice flavour. I used the meat for making enchiladas. The whole family liked it and nobody questioned the meat at all. For all they knew, it was just regular shredded roast beef! But I wasn’t going to tell! It makes me feel good that some less familiar parts of the cow aren’t going to waste!

  12. Oh that is smart — enchiladas! Yum!


    How is your morning sickness? Are you feeling better? You must be if you feel well enough to cook enchiladas.

    Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl and if so, when?


  13. Well, I am almost 14 weeks now, and yes, I am feeling a little bit better. After supper is when I am still feeling pretty nauseaus. I am actually feeling not too bad during the day. I really want to go back to work though, the only problem is, I work 6:30-11pm, the very time I feel awful.

    I will go for a routine ultrasound around 18-20 weeks. If the technician can tell what the sex is, I will find out, I’m not good at waiting! With Tyson, I felt it was a boy, and with Jsmine, the pregnancy was different, so I felt it was a girl. With this one, I think it’s probably a boy too, because I am so sick, just like I was with Tyson. We’ll see though, and I’ll keep you posted!

  14. We were the same way — we had to know if it was a boy or a girl!

    I really had bad nausea in the morning and during the day. At night I was usually OK. I just had bad heartburn. But Kate was breech and she never dropped so that was probably why it was so bad.

    Definitely keep me posted! I’m so excited for you!

  15. Thank you so much for posting this. We had a beef tongue in the freezer, and I knew you had a posting about how to fix it, so I hopped on the internet to view your blog, and voila! A fabulous supper with beef tongue!
    Without trying to sound like a stalker, I follow your blog pretty closely and want you to know how much I appreciate all your postings about food and recipes, etc. My husband must think I’m a weirdo because if he asks me a question about food, I either mention something from Nourishing Traditions or your blog. Hehe!
    Thanks again!

  16. I’ve gotta try this, too. I’ve got a bison tongue in the freezer, as well as smaller sheep and goat tongues. My husband grew up eating sliced cold deli-style tongue in England because it was cheap and they were very poor, so for him, that’s bit of a turnoff to go back to it. I used one of the GF Gourmet recipes, which was good in terms of taste, but the slices are still a bit too tongue-like and the meat, while definitely muscle instead of organ, is almost too tender. This looks more non-descript, and if I don’t say anything….(last time I was too open about what I was making, and of course, my son and his friends reacted as exactly as I did when I was faced with a beef tongue in the neighbor’s kitchen).

  17. This was really good. Sure it was weird to cook, and peel but it was yummy! Even my family who was very skeptical really enjoyed it. They said once you got past the idea in your head of what you were eating it was really good. I just seasoned it with our usual taco seasoning (I mix up myself in big batches-the usual stuff like chili powder, cumin, etc- not real spicy) and mixed in a little ketchup, because that’s how my mom always made her taco meat. My family of 5 ate on it for a few days, we had tacos, then put it on nachos and in taco salad. Thanks Anne Marie for demystifying one more thing that we modern-day American’s are so far removed from!

  18. Too cool! I’m enthralled with all “different” cuts from the animal 😀 I’ve already emailed my farmer and asked if I can get tongue from him! In Texas the real food movement is younger, so it’s harder to get your hands on those type of things 😀

    Can’t wait to try!

  19. Loved it!!!! I made it up as a taco salad- since I didn’t have tortillas and stuff :-D. Hubby and kids ate it up too. It reminds me of a fatty piece of brisket. In fact- I think it would make awesome “pulled pork” style sandwiches!

  20. The photo of the the tongue is so strange. I would definitely need to get past the looks before I could do this. This blog is introducing me to new concepts here!

  21. I love, love, love that you did this post! I have been wanting to get tongue for a while. I found that the farm I buy from had tongue on the list. I’ve heard about making it but the pictures make it seem a lot more obvious. I can’t wait to try it!

  22. I’m from Colombia and we eat the beef tongue cooked in a creole sauce of tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Properly cooked, beef tongue is so tender, melt in the mouth delicious! My grandmothers always used a pressure cooker for cooking organ meats (beef tripe, oxtail, and the tongue), it halves the cooking time. Most people would gag at the very mention of beef tongue, its good to know that there are more real foodies who enjoy this nutritional powerhouse!

  23. There are certainly numerous details like that to take into consideration. That may be a great level to convey up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions just like the one you convey up where the most important factor will be working in sincere good faith. I don?t know if greatest practices have emerged around things like that, but I am positive that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Both girls and boys really feel the affect of just a moment’s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  24. There is not much info online about the nutritional facts of beef tongue. I heard it is as nutritional as liver, as it is also an organ meat. Do you have any info you can share about the benefits of beef tongue?

  25. I cook bison tongue and my little boy has always loved it. Yes, you can use the broth. I always cook the tounge with spices…so that’s the start of my broth. It makes a delicious broth for many soups. I’ve made minestrone, vegetable, dumbling…just whatever kind of soup sounds good and use what you have in the fridge.

  26. I also forgot to mention that making BBQ bison tongue is so good. Just shred the tongue and ad your favorite BBQ sauce. I once took this to a Weston A. Price meeting and many people tried it for the first time and loved it.

  27. I think if I will try this twice once with your recipe and the the second time I will use the broth and put the sliced meat back in and add some veggies for a hearty soup! 🙂

  28. Thank you for the recipe and especially for the "yucky pictures"! I have a beef tongue in my freezer, and I'm very glad to have advance notice what it's gonna look like when I cook it! ?

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