Barbacoa beef tongue with seasoned cauli-rice [delicious, not scary] [Good Food for Bad Cooks]


I thought, what with the ever-circulating images of Miley Cyrus’ attempt to knock Gene Simmons off the tongue over-exposure throne (gross) and, of course, with Halloween coming up (scary), it was time to share this recipe.
It’s honestly not so gross or scary. Tongue is pretty much the easiest, most foolproof meat you can make. You won’t screw it up, I promise. It is always incredibly tender, easy to shred, and delicious.
If you can get over the fact that it’s tongue.
Another hurdle, besides the heebie-jeebies tongue might give you, is the #1 requirement for enjoying the deliciousness: after cooking the thing, you must PEEL it before you can eat it. Yes. You must.
If you don’t peel the outer “tongue-y” layer off after cooking, you’ll end up having to smother it in something to hide the tongue-y layer and then you’ll get busted by your two daughters, Ramona and Beezus, for trying to disguise the tongue as “regular” meat.
It took me awhile to actually WANT to eat tongue. That’s ok. Be patient with yourself and your taste buds. Sometimes you have to give perfectly good tongue to your cat Picky-picky because you’re just not ready. Before you know it, you’ll be chowing tongue and raw beef liver and eating all the “Odd Bits” which are leaps and bounds more nutritious than anything else.
The great thing about tongue is that the outer layer keeps all the juices in and helps the tongue cook perfectly. (That’s why you don’t need to cook it in much seasoning – it doesn’t seem to penetrate.) The bad thing about tongue is that you must peel that outer layer off to get to the delicious part.
Just warning you.
Once you peel, shred, and add seasoning, it doesn’t even look like tongue. See?

The Quimby sisters would’ve never known.
So as I typed out the recipe, I realized how COMPLICATED things start to sound when you start typing them out. Here’s all you really need to do to enjoy this recipe: put a tongue in the slow cooker with some onions and broth and cook on low for about 8 hours. Peel and shred. Then smithereen (yes, that’s an action word) some cauliflower with peppers and sauté.
Cool. Now here’s the step by step. (Be sure to let me know in the comments how you coulda/woulda made this recipe better!)

Barbacoa beef tongue 

Serves 2-4.
NOTE: make the beef tongue ahead of time, and the cauli-rice about 30 minutes before it’s time to eat!

What you need & what to do:

For the beef tongue & cauli-rice seasoning, which you’ll add after-the-fact…
…to make it REALLY easy, you can use any of YOUR FAVORITE seasonings, or you can do what I did and…

  • Use this recipe, EXCEPT (of course) the vegetable oil and roast, which you don’t need at all. I also substituted chipotle chile powder, because I didn’t have chiles in adobo. You can also use ANY SPICE OR SPICE BLEND YOU FAVOR – I just love the barbacoa flavor!

Make seasoning & set aside.
For the beef tongue…

  • You need a beef tongue (duh). You can order from US Wellness, or find your own locally.
  • One onion
  • 1 cup beef broth (homemade is easy, but in a pinch, you can also use Pacific Naturals veggie broth)

Place all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. When done, peel the outer layer away (it comes off easily), slice off any extra rough areas, and shred the meat. Return shredded meat to slow cooker and add enough seasoning to coat. Keep it on the “warm” setting so flavors can meld while you make the cauli-rice.
For the cauli-rice…

  • One head of cauliflower, chopped and pulverized into rice-like consistency (I use ^this, which works amazingly well)
  • One green pepper and one red pepper, chopped
  • Chopped jalapeño or hot pepper (optional, for people who aren’t wussy spice wussies like me)
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil (I like ^this one, which doesn’t smell coconutty) or ghee for sautéing

Sauté the onions and peppers in cooking oil/fat over medium heat until slightly soft. Add riced cauliflower and a dab of seasoning and continue to sauté until slightly soft (about 5 minutes).
Paleo: Top all with cilantro and enjoy! You can eat with a fork, use lettuce boats, or eat with your fingers, which is super Paleo.
Primal: Add a dab of soft, raw milk cheese or sour cream.
Traditional: Enjoy with your soft cheese or sour cream in organic corn tortillas made with sprouted corn.
Enjoy! And – since you know I’m a bad cook – feel free to let me know (in the comments below) how I got it wrong, how I could have done better, or how YOU’VE been successful with recipes like this!
Thanks for reading!

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13 Responses

  1. This is great! I’ve finally been able to happily and easily eat sardines since your post on how to get over ourselves and JUST EAT THEM. Like I had been with the sardines, I’ve been thinking for a while about eating tongue. It’s time to just EAT the tongue ALREADY! Thank you!

  2. I have a tongue in the freezer now! I am going to try this … It looks like with this recipes, I’ll even be able to convince the hubs to eat it!

  3. We love tongue. Can’t wait to try your recipe. Here’s another way. After cooking, cooling and peeling. Put tongue in baking dish, lay some thinly sliced onion on top and pour sauce over all. SAUCE: 8 oz. tomato sauce-1 Tbl brown sugar-1Tbl vinegar-1 Tbl dry mustard- dash Worcestershire, hot sauce and garlic powder. Bake at 350 deg until heated through. Serve with Horseradish. Enjoy!

  4. Hey Liz, I tweaked your recipe to cook my first tongue ever. I used your recipe but used Peruvian anticucho seasoning instead of the barbacoa (aji panca – red chilli – paste, garlic, oregano, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper), it was delicious! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  5. Liz,
    This might be a dumb question- but for the beef tongue. How much are you using? The recipe called for 4-5 lbs of chuck. I wasn’t sure if it translated or not? Additionally, how much of the chipotle powder did you sub instead of the chiles? Thanks!

    1. Never a dumb question! I just use the whole beef tongue, which is probably around 3lbs? I believe I used about 1 Tbs of chili powder. I need to go back and make these older recipes easier to replicate. I will work on that!

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