Lengua Picante (Spicy Beef Tongue)

Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue): a very tender, flavorful cut, made even more delicious by the sauce in which it is served.

Confession time: I was sorely tempted to start this Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue) with a tawdry joke about a butcher, a housewife, oxtail, and beef tongue. For this I have nobody to blame but Aunt Ilana’s husband, Pedro. Luckily, and for the sake of the children who visit our site I won’t go there, the joke would be lost in translation. Phew!

Will somebody think of the children!

Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue): a very tender, flavorful cut, made even more delicious by the sauce in which it is served.Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue): a very tender, flavorful cut, made even more delicious by the sauce in which it is served.

My reputation having remained unsullied, allow me to go on about this dish.

This is one of those dishes that sounds unappetizing at first, but the reality is far from appearances. Beef tongue is pure muscle, a very tender, flavorful cut, made even more delicious by the sauce (escabeche in the Dominican Republic) in which it is served.

And speaking of children, I would suggest you keep to yourself the, erm, provenance of said cut. No need to go into detail and gross out your kids.

Lengua picante (Spicy tongue)Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue): a very tender, flavorful cut, made even more delicious by the sauce in which it is served.

Hey, I didn’t lie to my daughter, I just assured her that the unusual-looking meat was absolutely beef. All she had to say was “Wow! That is some soft meat!”, “soft” meaning tender in her vocabulary.

So yeah, hmm, tawdry jokes and keeping information from our kid. Another day at Casa Aunt Clara.

Buen provecho,

Aunt Clara

Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lengua Picante Recipe (Spicy Beef Tongue): a very tender, flavorful cut, made even more delicious by the sauce in which it is served.
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 beef tongues
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2½ teaspoons of salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1½ teaspoons of pepper (or more, to taste)
  • 2 qt [2 lt] water to boil tongue
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (soy, peanut or corn)
  • 1 large onion, cut into strips
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 large bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 6 large tomatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1½ cups of water
  • 12 large olives, sliced
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper cut into slices (optional)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Boil the tongue until it is tender throughout but still firm, having added the oregano, a teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon of pepper to the boiling water. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Remove the tongue from the water (reserve water and set aside for later) and peel the skin off the tongue (discard skin). Cut tongue into fine slices.
  3. Heat the oil in a cooking pan over high heat. Add the tongue slices and brown. Remove from the pan.
  4. Lower heat to medium and add the onion. Cook and stir until the onions become transparent. Add the garlic, bell peppers, carrots,olives, scotch bonnet pepper and cook and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over low heat until the tomatoes are soft.
  5. Add water that you had set aside and simmer until it is reduced to a thick sauce.
  6. Return the tongue slices back to the pan. Mix well and cook for a minute.
  7. Stir in cilantro leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot with arroz blanco or moro.

Notes
If you wish to cut on time, boil the tongue in a pressure cooker. It takes about 15 mins. in a pressure cooker, as opposed to almost 40 min to an hour in a regular pot.[b][b]If you wonder whether you can cook this dominican recipe for cow tongue in crock pot, the answer is yes. Although I haven't tested it, and this is something that you may have to try on your own

Comments

  1. Jeffrey

    I have not had lengua Dominican style none of my Dominican friends eat it… I have had Lengua in Mexican restaurants but have not made it at home… I will try this recipe. Is there a Dominican recipe for cachetes?

    • If it’s made with beef head, my grandma used to make a boiled goat head. Lots of oregano, pepper, garlic and some salt. I don’t now where to find a goat head nowadays, so I guess I won’t be testing that one soon. :)

  2. Alysha de la cruz

    My husband loves tongue but I have never had it before. I tried cooking it once and that was a terrible idea seeing as I had never done it before and was basically guessing as I went along. How do I know when it has boiled enough? How do I get that skin off? Is it supposed to smell terrible while boiling? How do you clean it properly? I’m sorry for the million questions I just really want to make this for my husband.

    • Pinch it with a fork, it should be very tender. That’s how you know when it’s done. I suggest you use a pressure cooker (15 – 20 mins), if you have one. Otherwise it may take up to 40 mins in a conventional pot. Once it’s cooked-through the skill will peel off very easily. Yes, it has a strong smell, but I wouldn’t call it “terrible”. :)

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