La Langue


Well, I thought if I titled the post in French, it might sound better, but I’m talking about tongue. To be specific, beef tongue. From a cow.

Let’s face it, they’re not pretty. They look like huge, well, tongues. So just don’t think about it being a tongue. Think of it as a culinary delicacy. Tongue is soft, tender, and lean with a unique texture.

With very little work, you can turn this piece of cow into a fabulous “cold cut” for an hors d’oeuvres spread. All you need to do is poach the tongue, just like you were poaching a chicken. This is what I did:

Beef Tongue

1 onion, quartered
3-4 stalks celery, quartered
10 baby carrots
1 leek, cleaned, quartered
1 bunch parsley
5 bay leaves
Handful of whole black pepper corns
2 teaspoons salt
A few whole cloves
1 beef tongue, brought to room temperature

Place all of the ingredients except the tongue in a large pot. Add enough water so that when the tongue is added it will be submerged. Bring it all to a boil on the stove, let everything oil for about 5 minutes, then add the tongue. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

the tongue just starting to poach in the aromatic liquid

After cooking, remove the lid and let the mixture cool a bit, then remove the tongue and set on a plate to cool completely.

the tongue after cooking

Peel the tongue – especially the top part of it where you can see the taste buds (sorry!). It should come off easily. The underneath side doesn’t have as much skin.

Then, simply slice and serve. Tongue is good at room temperature, or cold. I love it with Dijon mustard and good bread. It’s also good added to pigs’ feet, but that’s another post!

note: Go ahead and use this wonderful broth in another recipe!

15 thoughts on “La Langue

  1. Hello Chef Mimi, First, thank you for your beautiful and informative blog! As you can tell, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. This post really caught my attention… I was waiting for my readers to get use to my cooking repertoire and style before I introduce my ‘tongue’ or ‘la langue’ recipes. :D ))) Your la langue recipe is perfect. :D Fae.

  2. I love “lengua” tacos at the Mexican place near my house- and you’re right, tongue sounds infinitely more appetizing in any language but our own! I’m still very nervous about the idea of cooking it, mostly because the peeling part sounds terrifying…but your recipe looks great, so I will have to work up the nerve this year!

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