Beef Tongue with Rosemary Mustard Reduction

November 5, 2012 in Categories: by

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If you haven’t tried beef tongue, you are missing out.  It is the most tender and delicious meat and can be prepared in a variety of ways (tongue tacos being especially popular).  Although it is a muscle, it is more nutrient dense than other muscles, and like the heart, is really considered an organ meat.  It’s also typically quite inexpensive.  I buy 2.5-3lb grass-fed beef tongues for $6 each from my local farmer.  You can also buy them from US Wellness Meats (although, they are considerably more expensive).

 It can be a little strange cooking something that looks so much like exactly what it is (and I think we’re all a little used to being very dissociated from the animal our meat comes from).  But, if you can come to terms with handling a giant tongue, then this recipe is absolutely exquisite.  (Note:  the whole tongue appearance thing doesn’t bother me at all.  But if it does bother you, you could slice the tongue very thin, cube it, or even shred it before eating.)

 Tongue is delicious but this sauce is crazy awesome.  My only big mistake the first night we had this meal was that I didn’t make a side dish that could absorb all that extra sauce.  I highly recommend serving with something like mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice or even paleo biscuits just to mop up all that tasty goodness.

 Variation:  If you’re lucky enough to get lamb tongue, you can use several in place of the cow tongue.  They only needs to be boiled for about 1 hour 15 minutes


Ingredients (Beef Tongue):

  • 2.5-3 lbs beef tongue
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary (about 1½  Tbsp dried rosemary)
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2 tsp dried thyme)
  • 8 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Water to cover, about 6 cups

Ingredients (Rosemary Mustard Reduction):

  • Cooking liquid from beef tongue
  • 2 Tbsp brown or Dijon-style mustard (something grainy is especially good)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (wine could be substituted)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Place the whole beef tongue in a large stock pot.  Place vegetables and herbs around the tongue (ideally, it should be a pretty tight fit in your pot).  You don’t even need to bother peeling the garlic or onions here.  They are just in the pot to give flavor to the broth.  Pour water over the top, just enough to cover the tongue.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 3-3½ hours.  Check the level of the water every half hour or so and top up as required.
  3. Remove the tongue from the pot and let cool.  Pour the broth through a fine mesh sieve (or a few layers of cheesecloth) into a smaller pot and discard all of the vegetables and any other bits.
  4. Bring broth to a boil and maintain a rolling boil until it has reduced to 1½ cups or less (about 10-15 minutes, depending on how much liquid you started with).
  5. Add rosemary to broth and boil another 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add butter, mustard and lemon juice.  Wisk to combine.
  6. Meanwhile, as soon as beef tongue is cool enough to touch, peel off the white leathery skin on the outside (you might need a knife to get it started, but then it should come off very easily) and discard.  Slice as you like it (if your reduction is still going to be a few minutes, cover with tin foil to keep warm).
  7. Pour rosemary mustard reduction over the tongue and serve!



This is just what I was looking for! I’ve had a beef tongue in my freezer, and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. And this recipe looks extremely easy. Thanks a bunch! I’ll give it a shot this week.

Mustard comes from the seed of the mustard plant. Many people on the AIP can handle seed-based spices, but no, this is not compliant with the strictest version of the protocol.

Oh and there it is again Sarah! This keeps popping up in my world of following you 🙂 I really do want to give this a try. So, for AIP and FODMAP I need to eliminate the garlic and onions, I’m not sure how tasty the broth would be without them. Hmmm…I might have to wander the grocery store for ideas. Do you have any suggestions for an AIP sauce? And again…you reduced?!! 😉 Our non-sauce non-reducing Paleo Mom is changing her ways! Also, considering a crock-pot version of this. Why haven’t you got a crock pot yet?! Thank you for this recipe…you really challenge me to consider new things.

a shot in the dark here, but if you’re not eating the garlic and onions, are their indigestible fibres not irrelevant? Or is it the case that if the taste is there then the undesireable components are too?

if it is a FODMAP issue, adding green onion or leek greens should be fine and garlic oil if you like (the greens don’t have the high FODMAPy bits. It is the water soluble parts of the whites/bulbs of alliums that are bad for FODMAPs, so cooking in broth and then having the water would be distilling exactly what you don’t want.

I just made this for dinner last night. It was delicious! This was my first time eating tongue and I have to admit I was a little squeamish while preparing it. I got over it, took the plunge, and tried it. I’m so glad I did. I will definitely make this recipe again.

I am an Inuk (Eskimo) and we eat every part of the caribou. This includes the whole head including the brains and eyeballs. Inuit even eat the lungs and the meat in the caribou hooves. Being a modern day Inuk, your site gives me new ideas to cooking these delicacies as we are known to mainly boil our meat in plain water. Inuit make a delicacy known as “papqut” which is taking bone marrow from the legs, putting it in the stomach of the caribou, tying it up and hanging it to age and ferment for a few weeks then we eat that with dried caribou meat. This may sound a little gross to some people but I just wanted to point out that animal organs play a big part in our diets. 🙂

We made this last night! Our first time trying tongue. We already love heart and some other offal but we hadn’t given tongue a go until last night. We ordered through a local grass-fed beef farmer on the Sunshine Coast, found your recipe.. and wah-lah! We really liked it!! Thanks for your recipe, we’ve shared it on Fb 🙂

Fantastic! I have made tongue before and was skeptical of this recipe but it was wonderful! I added a couple of bay leaves and used chicken stock and a little dry white wine rather than water and i thicckened the reduction with some arrowroot. It was great. Company worthy.

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