Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cow Tongue and the Best Beef Broth

Hello, everybody! The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have some delicious food, fresh off the farm. Well, the grocery store, but still... pretty fresh! Why cow tongue? Well, it has a very strong flavor, has half the calories of hamburger, is great for tacos, and isn't an organ meat (for those of us who avoid liver, etc.).
This is not the recipe. (And it's upside down.) I just thought it was weird that it's labeled "chicken paws". Hmmmm.....
 So, this is a cow tongue. Not appetizing. And if you've ever felt a cat lick your hand, you know what the taste buds feel like. Here's a picture of someone touching it. Imagine the audio... "Ouch!"
 We took the opportunity to inspect it. I don't think I have any kids interested in following my grandpa's footsteps into the veterinary field, but they did have a good time looking at the giant tongue.
 So, make some deep cuts along the top and the sides.
 My youngest was seriously disturbed. He was worried the cow wouldn't be able to eat without its tongue. I told him the cow was dead. That didn't help his mood.
 OK, big pot of water boiling? We need several cloves of garlic.
 A whole chopped onion and one diced tomato.
 About five celery stalks and about 6 TBS salt. Make it nice and salty because we're going to use this water. Let everything boil for about 10 minutes and then turn it down low. Put in the beef tongue and let it cook for about five hours.
 Remove when the meat is very tender.
 It should shred easily. The lower end of the tongue is the lowest fat so you can separate the meat if you have people who prefer a fattier tasting taco meat.
 The end of the tongue.
 The beef broth is so delicious I would eat this as a soup.
 Usually tongue tacos have lots of cilantro and salsa but we were out so I just placed some of the shredded beef in warmed corn tortillas, a few onions from the broth, added chopped onions and tomatoes.
 MMM. Nothing like it!
We ended up using half of the broth in a vegetable barley soup (DELICIOUS) and half was made into gravy when we had guests coming over for a big dinner. The kids declared it the best home made gravy ever (and it had very little fat, unlike pork drippings, etc.)

 That's all for now! We've got house guests and  just got home from a late night baseball game. We've still got baths, dinner, and bed to do... Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and I hope you try beef tongue sometime soon! Or, if you've already had it, let me know if you cook yours another way!


  1. I am now looking into becoming a pescatarian.

  2. Haha! But at least you're not hungry in the middle of the night, right? That's my gift to all of the people who stop by at 2AM. You will NOT go to bed craving the dish I've featured... unlike Ruthy's apple sour cream cake.

    1. LOL. The Fresh Pioneer Diet Plan.

    2. I should get that copyrighted ASAP.

  3. I can't even.... I am saving this blog, printing it WITH PICTURES the next time my kids harass me about making them try stuff as youngsters...



    'Sall I'm sayin'.

    1. See? I'm make YOU LOOK GOOD.

      You're welcome.

      (For a little extra, I can throw in some typos.)

  4. This is the part of me that would have been bad on the frontier, because I can promise you there would have been some waste, things not used... I would not have been making head cheese.

    Nor would I have cooked tongue.

    Although gelatin from hooves wouldn't bother me.

    And I hear that roasted pigs ears and tails are delish.


    1. Oh, that's funny, because gelatin does bother me. In France they ate aspic a lot (seasoned bone broth, chilled so it would set, and with an egg or veggies inside).

      I mean... meat flavored Jello? No...

  5. Seriously should not have tried to read this right after breakfast. And I say tried because this little ol' vegetarian could not get past the first few pictures. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!! I feel faint. I'm sure it was a lovely post. Yours always are but....well....have a nice weekend. :-)

    1. Kav, honestly!

      That's why I put it in the TITLE. Just so you would know.

      But NO! You had to read it anyway! LOLOLO

  6. I.Can't.Even

    MaryJane, my mother used to feed us tongue regularly and I never gave it a thought.

    Until the day it hit me that tongue meant TONGUE.

    Like in a real one.

    I literally gagged and could not swallow it.

    Thanks for the memory. ;) love you

    1. HAHAHAHA!!

      I remember eating it once when I was very young and we visited some relatives on a farm in Eastern Idaho. (I got to milk their goats. It was a highlight.)

      I never ate another bit of it until I married my husband and since it's a favorite of his father's... I've made it a few times since.

      I don't eat menudo (made with tripe, I can SMELL the poo scent from the other room, yuck) so I compromise and prepare tongue.

  7. I am just grinning over your son worrying about the cow eating!! That's so precious and sweet. :)

    I don't think I'm brave enough to try this though!

    1. I did feel bad for him. It's sweet he's worried, but either he gives meat up altogether, or he needs to understand he's eating an animal. Since he likes to eat meat, it's good to know!

      Yeah... this dish is not for the faint of (culinary) heart!

  8. Am I the only one here who grew up eating tongue? My grandfather was a butcher during the depression, which means that his children (my dad and four siblings) got to eat the leftovers from the butchering process. So tongue, liver, kidneys, tail, name it.

    Whenever my dad had a chance, he'd bring home one of those parts of the beef or hog and we'd have some un-named dish made out of it. I was impressed the time he made oxtail soup, just because the recipe had a name!

    But I must say that I've never had tongue tacos. :)

    1. My dad was a child of the depression (he was a "bonus baby", born when his siblings were in their twenties, and born to farmers who fled the dustbowl. So, for him, cow tongue and chicken hearts and gizzards are a treat! I'm a child of the eighties and my highest yearning as a kid was for fruit rollups. LOL.

      But I'm learning to embrace all sides of the food equation.