April 5, 2013

I have a story to tell you. A story that I may tell my grandkids someday. If you follow me on instagram (@summerharms) you probably know what I'm about to say. This week I had a new experience and it involved.... a tongue. You're either going to be proud of me, or write me off forever by the end of this post! Remember back in the fall when I told you guys that we bought 1/4 of a grass-fed cow? I forgot to mention that along with steaks, roasts, and ground beef, we also got the liver, the heart, and the tongue. Ha!

So, inspired by my recent reading of Farmer Boy, where they used every single part of every animal they raised, I decided to break out one of the more unfamiliar (scary) cuts of meat from our freezer. I couldn't let it go to waste, and I knew I had seen this recipe for Tacos de Lengua (Spanish for beef tongue tacos) from Cheeseslave, and apparently Martha Stewart is a big fan... so tongue tacos it is! It sounded easy enough. (It was!) It took me awhile to muster up the courage to go grab it from the freezer in the basement, and then for a couple days I just stared at it thawing in the fridge. I purposely did not thaw any other meat, so that the tongue would be our only option for dinner Wednesday night. There would be no way out. I was doing this!

Wednesday afternoon I started a pot of water boiling and added several cloves of garlic. I unwrapped the white butcher paper package and surveyed the content: a hunk of meat covered with black leathery skin. It... wasn't that scary, I guess. I quickly grabbed it and dropped it in the pot, added some salt, put on the lid, and walked away. Pretty soon my house smelled amazing. I let it simmer away for a few hours. It really wasn't bad at all so far!


When it was time to eat, I took the tongue out of the pot and laid it on a cutting board. It looked basically the same as it did when it went in, but it smelled good. Like roast beef. Grant helped me peel away the thick outer skin (it wasn't hard, but I just wanted someone else there with me for moral support). I sliced the meat into chunks and added it to a cast iron pan with sauteeing onion and garlic, and then seasoned it with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.


By the time we got our tacos assembled (with dollops of salsa, guacamole, and a little sauerkraut) the tongue meat was pretty coated with familiar flavors and it was hard to determine how different tasting it actually was. To me, it was faintly like corned beef. It was very tender! Hadley was obsessed with it. She ate about 4 bowls full. It was an adventurous, resourceful meal and I'm glad we did it. It was good! I'm not planning on buying a tongue every time we go to the grocery store (I don't even know where to find one) and I doubt that you are either, but in case you ever find yourself with a beef tongue in your freezer, you can keep these tacos in mind. :)

Happy weekend, everybody! Enjoy your meal a little extra tonight, knowing it's not scary at all!


16 comments:

Anneliese said...

my heart rate increased reading this. so proud of you! i really couldn't have done it.

noregretsliving said...

When you're in Omaha again and looking for tongue, I have 2 places for you! Los Portales restaurant on 13th street (just north of Henry Doorly Zoo) has tongue in some of their dishes - along with all kinds of other "cuts"!

If you want to buy it, No Frills on 24th & Venton has all kinds of stuff too. The beauty of South Omaha!

jayme

noregretsliving said...

Oh yeah -- and Los Portales has Goodrich ice cream there...not that I've ever partaked of that deliciousness...okay, I have.

Annabelle said...

That reminds me of the Ramona books when they had mystery meat for supper and found out it was tongue.

Mariel said...

Wow wow wow! Wow. So what are your plans for the heart and liver?! ;) You're the best!

Miranda said...

Ha! This is too funny. Good for you, Summer! My father raises cattle and we always have locally butchered beef in our freezer. When I was a little girl my grandma always got the heart and I loved it! I haven't eaten it in years and years...

Sharon said...

You are brave!

Whitney Lane said...

SUMMER! You are so brave. I have a strong feeling I would've chickened out before the first bite. I definitely think it's a story you'll have to tell Hadley someday!

Arliss said...

Love tongue tacos. Tacos del Peligros is Omaha has amazing as well.

marta said...

wow. i am so very impressed. if it's good enough for martha...

i love that you doctored it up and made it taste divine. way to go. p.s. you guys need to watch Steven Rinella's Meat Eater.. it's all about enjoying every inch of the meat you eat. he writes books too. check out his site. it's perfect for your hunting family reunions!

Amanda said...

I have to admit, a year ago, I would have cringed reading this (actually, I still did a bit), but now that I live in China, tongue sounds so normal! Since moving here, I've eaten so many "weird" things: bullfrog, turtle, sheep stomach, duck intestine, chicken hearts, etc. Surprisingly, with the exception of the sheep stomach, it's all been delicious! Hooray for trying new things! (Back home in Canada, I don't think I would have even tried tongue! It will be interesting to see what I'll be open to trying when I move back.)

Eeny said...

you are so brave.
Looking at it alone would have scared me. Even though I knew it will be so delicious.

My dad used to buy some kind of a marinated tongue "salad" at our local butcher. I loved it when I was little but as soon as I knew what it was and saw a tongue laying in the display at the butcher, I couldn't eat it anymore. I should be brave one day and try it again.

Bridget said...

I am so impressed, Summer. And it looks good too!

twinsontherun said...

We didn't get a tongue with our 1/4 cow..one of the lucky other 3/4 must have ;)
You are brave, lady!! I was with you until the picture of it on the plate and then the peeling part. I'm not sure i could do it!

Andrea said...

when my family lived in bolivia, we often ate "anticuchos" from the street carts. it was cow heart on skewers (actually they were bike spokes!) it was really good! i can't wait to see your post about the heart!

Nichole said...

Very proud of you! Not sure I could do it unless I was very very hungry :)

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about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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