Just like fajitas, the tortilla and bright yellow cheese of Tex-Mex style tacos are unnecessary. This dish reconstructs a taco salad using beef tongue with a host of other vegetables. This salad calls for using kale paired with braised beef tongue. Cold lettuce tends to wilt too easily when it meets the hot braised tongue meat. I prefer to build a central bed of raw red onions and sliced mushrooms in the middle of the salad. The meat laid over this platform is visually interesting, while all of the flavors continue to work and play together.
When it comes to dressing the kale, I like to take a simple approach and toss it with a little olive oil, sea salt and lime juice. I want the deep stewed beef flavors of the tongue meat to play center stage. Dressing the kale with classic balsamic vinaigrette can sometimes steal the show.
Medium stock pot
Large work bowl
1 beef tongue, approximately 3 to 4 pounds
10 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of cumin
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of red pepper flake
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons of Mexican or Greek oregano
2 bay leaves
1 large bunch of kale, washed with stems removed and chopped into bite size chunks
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 medium red onion, chopped fine
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
2 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped fin
2¼ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Here is how to make an authentic Tacos de Lengua Salad recipe
Step 1: Place the beef tongue in a medium stock pot. Pour in enough water to cover it by 2 inches of water. Then add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, turmeric, red pepper flake, smoked paprika, 2 chopped jalapeno peppers, oregano, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer on low heat for 3 to 4 hours or until the tongue meat is fork tender.
Step 2: Remove the tongue from the pot. Place it on a cooling rack for 5 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Step 3: Trim off the rough bottom end of the tongue where it attached to the jaw. Use a paring knife and your fingers to remove the skin-like membrane from the tongue. Slice the meat into ¼ inch thick slices. Then rough chop the slices. You could also reserve some of the extra slices to use in other dishes.
Step 4: Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil shimmers add the chopped tongue meat and sear the meat, tossing occasionally until the chunks of meat start to take on a little brown color.
Step 5: Chop the remaining jalapeno peppers, red onion, kale, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.
Step 6: Toss the kale, jalapenos and cherry tomatoes together and plate them. Then build a platform of mushrooms and red onion in the middle.
Step 7: Move the beef from the pan directly to the platform of onions and sliced mushrooms. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
I like this salad as an appetizer or basic salad course. Beef tongue is rather versatile so you could probably find several dishes from the beef chapter where you could substitute tongue and build an entire meal showcasing it!