Photo by Mely Martinez

Tacos de Barbacoa de Lengua de Res (Beef Tongue Tacos)

Servings: 4 servings per pound

If you've never tried beef tongue, this is the easy way to go. The texture is soft that almost melts in your mouth. The leftovers, if any, are great for sandwiches, flautas, scramble with eggs, etc.

This recipe is made using a Crock-pot; it's a good idea to do it overnight and have your barbacoaready for breakfast, specially Sunday like we do in northern Mexico. If you do not have a Crock-pot, cook in a large pot in your stove for about 2½ to 3 hours. This will depend also in the size of the beef tongue; a medium-size beef tongue is about 2-2½ pounds. A faster way will be using the pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes after the valve starts whistling.

The way we serve it at home is buffet-style with the tortillas, chopped onion, cilantro, salsa, some lime wedges and salt. Everyone prepares their own tacos. It also freezes well if you have leftovers.

¡Buen Provecho!


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  1. Rinse the beef tongue with water and place in your crock pot. Add onion, garlic, salt and water. Cover and set the Crock-pot on low for 8 hours. Cook until tender. If after 8 hours the meat is not tender enough to shred, cook a little bit longer. Not all Crock-pots work alike.
  2. Remove the beef tongue from the Crock-pot and place in a large dish. Remove skin using a knife to make a cut at first and discard. Trim off any fatty tissue at the bottom end.
  3. Shred the meat using 2 forks and place in a serving bowl with some of the cooking broth that has already been degreased and strained.
  4. To serve, get warm corn tortillas, 1 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 cup of chopped white onion, and a salsa of your choice.

Chef Notes

When buying the meat, make sure it's coming from a trusted source. Since not a lot people buy this cut very often, chances are you will find it frozen.

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