This crispy and delicious beef tongue recipe is crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Top it with fresh herbs, lemon, and piquant onion for a refreshing and flavorful treat. Packed with protein and nutrients, this cow tongue recipe makes a great appetizer, hors d'ouvres, or even a light meal.
Making beef tongue taste good can be challenging. And intimidating. But if you're up for trying something new and want extra nourishment, this beef tongue recipe is a must-make!
In addition to beef liver pate, this cow tongue recipe is a fantastic way to add more organ meats to your diet. It's like hitting two birds with one stone - exploring new flavors and providing wholesome, nutrient-dense meals.
What does beef tongue taste like? I liken the flavor of this traditionally valued organ meat to that of brisket or pot roast. It's excellent with a light garnish of crispy onion, fresh herbs, a sprinkle of coarse salt, and a drizzle of lemon juice.
Ready to jump into this easy 15-minute cow tongue appetizer?
Why You'll Love This Beef Tongue Recipe
Nutrient-dense - Beef tongue is an incredibly nutrient-rich cut of meat that elevates the nourishing potential of traditionally valued organ meats. It's a good idea to vary offal cuts (organ meats) to provide a broad range of nutrients.
Crispy texture - Each bite offers a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is satisfyingly crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.
Easy prep - When you have previously cooked beef tongue, this simple cow tongue recipe comes together quickly in a few minutes. If this is your first time cooking beef tongue, check out my step-by-step guide on How to Cook Beef Tongue.
💭Fun Fact: Beef tongue is considered a delicacy in many cultures around the world and is a versatile ingredient used in various cuisines. Most American cookbooks had tongue recipes until the 1950s.
Ingredients for Cow Tongue Recipe
Learn how to make this beef tongue recipe with a few basic ingredients plus various garnishes. This easy recipe takes only 15 minutes from start to finish.
Beef tongue has a mild taste that takes on the flavorings of other ingredients. That's why I first boil tongue in a large pot of water with simple aromatics like onion, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. You can also do this step in the Instant Pot or slow cooker but you want to start with a properly boiled beef tongue.
- Beef tongue: This unique and flavorful meat option is what makes this hearty appetizer stand out. Use cleaned and cooked tongue that has been properly chilled for precise slicing. Be sure to check out how to cook beef tongue for detailed instructions, tips, and tricks, and how to clean the cow tongue easily with the outer layer removed.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter to keep a close tab on sodium, but salted butter also works. To keep it dairy free, feel free to use ghee or avocado oil.
- Garnishes: I love to keep this cow tongue recipe simple with sliced white onion, coarse sea salt, fresh herbs like parsley, dill, or cilantro, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
- Spicy - Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes to the butter before sauteing the beef tongue.
- No lemon? Swap with another acidic ingredient like apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Creamy sauce - Create a tangy sauce by combining yogurt or sour cream with lemon juice and fresh herbs to drizzle over the crispy fried beef tongue.
- Vegetables - Add sauteed mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, or leafy greens like spinach and kale for extra nutrients and a pop of color.
Make it Nutrient Dense
Staying true to the heart of what Prepare and Nourish is all about, there are ways to ensure you get the maximum nutrition in this beef tongue recipe. Even though it's an incredibly simple recipe, you can take purposeful steps to turn this into a nutrient-dense meal.
Source beef tongue from grass-fed cow. This will ensure maximum nutrition. My favorite sources for grass-fed beef are your local farmer's markets. But when that's not accessible, Wild Pastures and US Wellness Meats both regularly carry good quality cow tongue.
Cook in pastured butter. I purchase local butter that is prized for its rich flavor and higher nutritional content. This is a result of cows being raised on open pastures where they graze on nutrient-rich grasses.
The complete printable recipe is below in the recipe card for your convenience.
The recipe for crispy fried beef tongue is very straightforward. Slice, brown, and garnish with refreshing toppings to turn this organ meat into a delightful appetizer.
Step 1. Slice
Cut the cooked beef tongue in half lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into medium-sized strips.
Step 2. Brown
Heat butter in stainless steel pan until melted and hot. Add cow tongue pieces and saute until brown on the bottom. Flip and cook the other side.
💭Pro tip: To brown properly, don't disturb the tongue pieces when frying them. They should release easily from the pan and become golden brown when you try to lift them off the skillet.
Step 3. Assemble
Transfer the fried beef tongue onto a small platter. Top with thinly sliced onion, fresh parsley, and coarse sea salt. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.
💭Pro tip: Once assembled, serve immediately or let them sit to absorb the lemon juice and other flavors.
Helpful Tips for Beef Tongue Recipe
Chill the tongue well - To make cutting easier, chill the cooked and peeled beef tongue in the refrigerator for a few hours. The firm texture will ensure precise cutting and handling.
Money-saving tip - When you have access to pasture-raised beef tongue, stock up and purchase a few. They freeze wonderfully.
Make-ahead tip - Cook tongue up to 4 days in advance following these pressure cooker boiled tongue instructions. When ready to make crispy beef tongue recipe, it will already be cooked, cooled, peeled, and ready for you.
Tools & Links to Make Cow Tongue Recipe
Below are some affiliate links that may be helpful to you as you make this cow tongue recipe. You can find some of these items cheaper at your local store, but having a link helps you know what you're looking for.
Crispy fried beef tongue makes a great protein-rich snack any time of the day. It's hearty, nourishing, and satisfying. You can also take it one step further and make lengua tacos with this meat.
Cow Tongue Recipe Pairing Suggestions
Storage and Reheating Instructions
How long does fried beef tongue last in the refrigerator?
To store: Transfer leftover beef tongue to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Storage containers: These glass snap containers are perfect for any leftover cow tongue.
To freeze: I don't recommend freezing crispy fried beef tongue because the texture will change during the freezing and thawing process.
To reheat: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add as little bit of butter. Place the beef tongue slices and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until heated through and are crispy again.
For extra crispy texture, you can transfer fried beef tongue to a baking sheet and broil them in the oven for a minute or two on each side. Keep a close eye to avoid scorching them.
Absolutely! You can adapt this recipe's technique for other animal tongues to enjoy a similarly crispy and flavorful dish. Every animal has a different nutrient profile, and switching things up is always a good idea.
Beef tongue is a traditionally prized organ meat that has incredible nutritional benefits. Cow tongue is an excellent source of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients, and its high collagen count may provide amazing benefits for hair, skin, and joint health.
Looking for more related recipes? Here are some ideas:
Did you make this? Please leave a ⭐ recipe rating in the recipe card below and leave a review in the comments. Thank you!💚
Crispy and Tender Beef Tongue Recipe
- 1 prepped beef tongue cooked, cooled, and peeled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ white onion, sliced
- ½ lemon juiced and cut into slices for garnish
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- Slice. Slice cooked beef tongue in half lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into medium-size strips.
- Brown. Heat butter in a large stainless steel skillet over medium high heat. Add cut tongue pieces and fry undisturbed until brown on the bottom, about 4-5 minutes. Flip the pieces and brown on the other side, for about an additional 2-3 mintues.
- Assemble. Transfer the fried cow tongue pieces onto a platter. Top with thinly sliced onion, fresh parsley, and coarse salt. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.
- To make cutting easier, chill the cooked and peeled beef tongue in the refrigerator for a few hours. The firm texture will ensure precise cutting and handling.
- Don't disturb the tongue when frying them to allow for proper browning or Maillard reaction. They should release easily from the pan and become golden brown when you try to lift them off the skillet.