Beef tongue? Who would want to eat that? Yuck! Your skin might crawl at the thought of eating the tongue of another animal, but it is a muscle just like every other cut of meat from cows.
Beef tongue is enjoyed in many parts of the world, although many Americans are missing out on this cut of beef. Fun fact, the beef tongue has found its way into American recipe books since the 1950s, but it has lost its popularity among chefs.
What does beef tongue taste like? The taste of beef tongue is similar to other cuts of beef. Although it has a more mild flavor, it has a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Beef tongue will take on the taste of the spices or sauce in which it was cooked.
Sometimes one might only be able to tell the difference if you are adept at identifying cuts of beef by tasting them.
Beef tongue has a lot of culinary uses around the globe. It may look weird, but it tastes great and could bring some modicum of change to dishes and recipes.
Nutritional Benefits of Beef Tongue
Before we get into how many nutritional benefits eating beef tongue has for the body, we need to mention that beef tongue is organ meat, so it has a high amount of cholesterol and should not become a regular staple in your diet. With that said, beef tongue does have a few nutritional benefits.
Cholesterol aside, beef tongue is a very good source of protein. Protein is very good for bodybuilding; muscles and general growth. The protein in beef tongue provides cells in our bodies with the building blocks needed to collect new protein in our tissues. A 3-ounce serving of beef tongue offers your body about 16 grams of protein. This kind of protein is quality protein, the kind that has all the essential amino acids that the body requires.
Beef tongue also offers the body minerals like zinc and iron, eating it can help to increase your zinc and iron levels. Zinc boosts immunity, helping the body to fight off everyday illnesses. Iron prevents anemia, a condition caused by a reduction in the transportation of oxygen around the body. By eradicating anemia, Iron gets rid of fatigue and helps cells in the body produce energy. Zinc also helps support wound healing in the body.
It also plays host to choline and vitamin B12, which both play roles in the nervous system. Vitamin B-12 helps the production of myelin in the body which helps to insulate the nervous system. Choline, on the other hand, is part of the chemicals needed for nerve communication.
Culinary Uses of Beef Tongue
Depending on how it is cooked, beef tongue can be tender, moist, and rich. Cooking beef tongue in a pressure cooker is one of the ways to enjoy it, but you can also cook it on a stovetop but it will take longer to get to that desired texture. There are many ways beef tongue can be enjoyed, it can be sliced on top of fresh crusty bread, together with a blob of mayonnaise, sliced onions or scallions, garlic, and enjoyed as a snack.
Beef tongue can also replace actual beef in recipes, especially recipes that ask for shredded beef. It can also be shredded and served in a corn tortilla, with dried onions, cilantro, and ketchup or tomato sauce in a taco. Beef tongue can also be enjoyed in a stew, you can add it to your stew to enrich it and give it substance.
It can also be cut up with other cuts of meat and served up as an appetizer or in whatever way you want to enjoy other parts of your beef.
Origin of Beef Tongue
Of course from the name, everyone knows where beef tongue comes from, it is the tongue of a cow. The beef we enjoy comes from the muscles and fleshy parts of the cow, but there are edible parts of this animal that many people do not pay much attention to. They are called offal meats and they consist of internal organs like the brain, heart, intestines, stomach lining (popularly known as tripe), and tongue.
Offal meats are cheaper than normal cuts of beef, although some of them are tasteless while some taste bad or smell weird. Beef tongue has the mildest taste of all offal meats because it is pure muscle. It tastes just like a cut of steak, just with a little bit of a difference.
In North America, beef tongue is a major ingredient in tongue toast, it is also widely used in Puerto Rican and Mexican Cuisines. In countries like Canada, beef tongue is exported in large quantities to other parts of the world.
Why is Beef Tongue Chewy and Expensive?
Beef tongue has been described as having a soft, mild texture, but it can be chewy if it is not cooked well. Beef tongue has a strong texture while it is still raw, so it needs to spend a lot of time cooking on low heat so you can get it to the desired texture without it drying out.
A cut of beef tongue is small when you compare it to the rest of the cow, supply and demand are what affect the prices of things. Beef tongue is increasing in popularity, and the demand has gone up. Since the supply is unable to meet up demand, beef tongue gets more expensive.
Facts You Don’t Know About Beef Tongue
- Beef tongue is similar in taste to cow heart and lacks the strong offal flavor that other offal meats have.
- Despite their high-calorie content, offal meats like beef tongue are very nutrient-dense, the amount of nutrients in them rivals what you have in other cuts of meat.