So this week for something different I’ve decided to document a recent culinary endeavor that was new to me. I hadn’t really gotten my hands dirty in the kitchen in a while and I missed it so I took it upon myself to go out and find something that looked like trouble. It didn’t take me that long to serendipitously run into a random cut of meat that didn’t look like anything I’d ever seen before. That’s right I had the exciting experience of prepping and cooking a cow tongue that I found at the local grocery store. That kind of makes it sound like I found it behind the store in a ditch or something, but no they actually had it cleanly packaged in the meat section next to the livers and kidneys and other goodies. On a side note I thoroughly enjoyed the little stickers stating that the quality and freshness were guaranteed.
While unfortunately it wasn’t the whole tongue it was still a pretty decent cross section of bovine lolly licker. If you look at the picture it’s hard to imagine the whole tongue being like three times the size of the chunk I had. There’s a lot to look at when dealing with a tongue. There are a lot of “what the hell is that?” moments. I didn’t realize until I got it home that I had no idea what I could even do with a cow tongue. I eventually went to the vast emporium of knowledge that is the internet to scope out what I could do with the hunk of meat and find out how I could cook it. Surprisingly enough the tongue is a lot more complicated then you’d think. The most involved part of the preparation of the tongue would be skinning it. That’s right you need to skin this bad boy. I had no idea there was tongue skin. I don’t know why, but it just didn’t occur to me. Skinning a cows tongue or at least the part of a cows tongue that I had was probably one of the weirdest experiences of my life. I’m not usually squeamish with things like that but the process made me slightly uncomfortable plus the texture of the tongue skin is already a little strange if you think about it. It’s oddly scaly.
So the whole process of getting this guy ready takes about two to three hours. You start by scrubbing the tongue down to clean it off with some cold water. Then your going to let it sit in some cold water for about an hour changing the water once or twice to drain off the excess salt. After the tongues bath your going to want to chop up some vegetables. In my case I had carrots, onions, and some celery sitting around. Pepper em up and throw them and the clean tongue into a big pot with some water and put em on to boil. When it comes to a boil your going to want to bring it back down and let it simmer like that for another hour or so. Every once in a while you might want to check and skim some of the muck off the top of the water. I don’t know exactly what that muck is. I probably should have tasted some for the blog but the thought didn’t cross my mind. maybe next time.
After the tongues done boiling for an hour or so. You quickly drop it into some more cold water and let it sit for a while. This is apparently supposed to help make it easier to snatch the skin off. Like when you skin tomatoes and the transfer from hot to cold so quickly makes the skin just slip right off. It didn’t work out so well for me I kinda had to dig at it with a knife for a while. It was more like peeling a really stubborn meaty potato. I eventually got it all and the tongue was good to go. I let it sit overnight in the fridge cause at that point I had already eaten dinner and didn’t want my cow tongue experience be tainted by a ruined appetite.
The next night was perfect. I had stayed out late with friends and hadn’t gotten anything to eat so by the time I headed home around 2AM I was starved. Cow tongue to the rescue. I sliced some extra thin and piled it on a roll with some mayo and banana peppers. It was amazing midnight snack food. it was like a really good roast beef sandwich, The texture of tongue is a little bit different although you can definitely tell it’s beef. It’s softer like almost “melts in your mouth”, but slightly different. I also tried it again fried the next morning with some eggs. It was a lot like a strange combination of scrapple and beef bacon, but that didn’t bother me at all. If we could cross breed foods that would probably be on my list of things to do. So I totally say go out and get some beef tongue and have a blast. Make sandwiches, make tacos, make whatever the heck you want it’ll be freakin’ delicious. Here’s to makin’ out with cows!