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Beef Tongue

Beef Tongue

Tired of serving the same roasted chicken breast or lean grilled steak each night? Bored with fish and pork? Why not step out of your comfort zone and try something completely different and exciting.

An exotic and often overlooked choice in North America, beef tongue is often used in Latin American cooking, frequently showing up in Mexican and Puerto Rican dishes. With a pleasantly tender texture and relatively mild taste, cow's tongue is a great place to start if you want to expand your culinary horizons into organ meats. And, as a bonus, cow tongue is great for you, supplying nutrients you need to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

One of the most abundant is zinc, an essential mineral important for cell growth and especially crucial for immune function. You'll also get smaller (but still significant) amounts of iron and phosphorus, along with traces of potassium.

It also has B vitamins, which collectively support your metabolism, helping to break down proteins, fats and carbs into usable energy for your tissues. Cow's tongue is especially rich in vitamin B-12, which keeps your blood cells healthy and promotes good nerve and brain function. Eat one serving of cow's tongue, and you'll get enough to meet your needs for the day. You'll also get significant amounts of vitamins B-2, B-3 and B-6.

If you're new to eating cow tongue, fear not. Start by thinly slicing the tongue so that it's easier to cook. Peel the tongue with a knife and braise it in a slow cooker until tender. Use the tongue as a filling for sandwiches, or use a richly-spiced braising liquid to make flavorful tongue to use as a filling for tacos.

Tongue toast is a traditional open sandwich prepared with sauteed beef tongue and scrambled eggs. It is seasoned to taste with black pepper and onions. The tongue can be served on buttered toast with a poached egg instead of a scrambled one. While it is primarily prepared as a dish for breakfast, it can also be eaten for lunch and dinner.