A very tender, flavorful cut, lengua picante (spicy beef tongue) is made even more delicious by the sauce in which it is served, full of flavor and vegetables for an adventurous and satisfying meal.
Why we ❤️ it
Confession time: I was sorely tempted to start this lengua guisada recipe with an old Dominican tawdry joke about a butcher, a housewife, oxtail, and beef tongue. Luckily, and for the sake of the children who visit our site I won't go there, the joke would be lost in translation anyway.
This is one of those dishes that, to some, may sound unappetizing at first, but the reality is far from appearance. This beef tongue recipe is made even more delicious by the sauce (escabeche in the Dominican Republic) in which it is served.
What's lengua meat?
"Lengua de vaca" is how we say cow tongue in Spanish. Beef tongue is a very tender, flavorful cut. It requires a different technique than most beef cuts, but the result is well worth the effort.
How to cook beef tongue
The main difference between this dish and other beef dishes is that we need to start by boiling the tongue for a long time to remove the thick coating it comes with. We take advantage of this to add spices and seasonings to the boiling water, adding extra flavor to the cow tongue.
Once the thick coating on the tongue is removed, it is cooked in a tomato sauce rich in vegetables.
Lengua picante (beef tongue)
This stewed ox tongue dish goes great with Arroz blanco (white rice), a few slices of avocado, and some Tostones. It also goes great with Moro de guandules (rice and pigeon peas) and Moro de habichuelas (rice and beans).
I love to squeeze a few drops of lime juice, so you might want to serve with a few lime wedges.
About this recipe
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.
If you wonder whether you can cook this Dominican recipe for cow tongue in crockpot, the answer is yes. Although I haven't tested it, this is something that you may have to try on your own
This awesome free recipe contains Amazon affiliate links, we receive a small commission from any purchase you make at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
[Recipe] Lengua Picante (Spicy Beef Tongue)
To boil the tongue
To make the sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, cut into strips
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 12 pitted green olives, sliced
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper, cut into slices (optional)
- 6 large tomato, cut into cubes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 sprigs cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or more, to taste)
- 1½ teaspoons pepper (freshly-cracked, or ground), (or more, to taste)
- Place the beef tongue in a pot, add ½ gallon [2 liters] of water, and add oregano, a teaspoon of salt, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cook over medium heat the tongue, until it is tender throughout, which you can test by poking with a fork, and the skin will peel off very easily (40-60 minutes). Discard the bay leaf. Remove the tongue from the water (reserve 1 cup of the liquid it boiled in and set aside for later). Cool to room temperature.
- Peel the skin off the tongue. Discard skin. With a sharp knife, cut the tongue into fine slices.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the tongue slices and brown on one, then flip to brown the other side.
- Lower heat to medium and add the onion. Cook and stir until the onions become translucent. Stir in the garlic, bell peppers, carrots, olives, and Scotch bonnet pepper. Cook and stir for a minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over low heat until the tomatoes are soft.Add the broth that you had set aside and simmer until it is reduced to a thick sauce. Stir in cilantro leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove from the heat and serve per the suggestions above.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
Published Aug 02, 2011, revised