Friday, November 28, 2008

Tongue Taco Salad

I'm not going to pretend this is old hat for me. I contemplated the title of this post for a while wondering if there was something that sounded a little more appetizing. Tongue. The first word that comes to mind when I think of tongue is not 'delicious', but guess what. It is. It may be a bit of a mental barrier to conquer, but tongue meat, just like all other parts of the animal, are used in many cultures around the world and loaded with nutrients. It's not much different than any other muscle meat, other than the fact that it's visible. Why can we eat a piece of thigh or rump meat just because it's covered in hair and we only see the final, butchered product?

Not only is tongue meat absolutely delicious, but it's usually purchased for a song. In our case, the farmer we buy our grass-fed beef from was happy to give us a whack of them, leftover from more picky customers. So, with a freezer full of tongues, I decided to finally experiment with it.

I found a great recipe online for cooking the tongue according to traditional Mexican cooking. It was really easy and left us with this incredible, extremely tender meat. The texture was pleasant and it tasted wonderful. Traditionally you would put the meat in a tortilla with some fresh salsa, but we aren't that big into starchy food so taco salad it was. Below is the recipe I used to build our healthy, delicious salad.
Tongue Taco Salad
  • 1 organic, preferably grass-fed beef tongue
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head of fresh garlic
  • salt and pepper
Put tongue in slow cooker with all other ingredients. Cover completely with water. Cook on low for 8 hours in a slow cooker. Once tongue is cooked, remove, let cool and remove skin with a sharp knife. Pull meat apart or cube with a knife.
  • organic, extra virgin coconut oil
  • taco spice (try to find the organic kind without any added sugars or flavourings, it should just have dehydrated spices in it)
  • sea salt and fresh pepper
Warm coconut oil in pan over medium heat. Add the cubed meat into the oil and sprinkle with the taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through.

That's it, now just build your salad. For our salad tonight we used the following:
  • organic romaine lettuce (very lightly tossed with a tiny bit of vinaigrette)
  • organic, raw sharp cheese (raw dairy is much easier to digest)
  • fresh, organic cilantro
  • homemade cultured salsa
  • organic, blue taco chips (we just smashed a couple of chips over each one for some crunch)
  • organic avocado
  • organic, fresh lime
  • a dollop of goat's milk creme fraiche
The cooked meat is so tender and tasty that you could use it for all sorts of things. It would be great stuffed in pitas with a bunch of veggies or just cooked up with some veggies and spices as a simple saute after the initial slow cooking to tenderize it.


  1. Gah! The only thing I can remember about tongue is these horrible tongue sandwiches I'd eat as a child during poor months. But this recipe looks exceptionally good and the photo looks awesome. I know that our farmer will give tongue, organs, bones and suet away for free because they generally have no takers.

  2. I know, I know, bad memories seem to be a common response to the word "tongue" and "dinner" in the same sentence.

    Let me know if you try it. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny.

  3. Ehhhhhhhhhh you lost me at "tongue" :S

    That's one of those things I'd have to eat without knowing what it is (although, I don't eat things without knowing what they are, so that might be a tough one.) :S

    I'm still impressed... but I'll have to sleep on that one a bit haha

  4. Oh Andrea, thanks for the laugh. Admittedly it's not for everyone, but I swear that if you had it (somehow getting it into your diet all stealth-like), you would love it and never know it was tongue.

    My daughter snitched me out to my infamous teenager. Oh, if only you could have witnessed the drama!

  5. I just linked this recipe on my site!

  6. Thanks, Dan! If anyone's looking for further tongue menu inspiration, or just a generally great paleo site, Dan's site is a great resource.