How to Make Tacos de Lengua

Learn how to make tacos de lengua from Brooklyn Taco Co. chef/owner Jesse Kramer in this Howcast video.

Today I’m going to show you how to make one of my favorite tacos, tacos de lengua, which actually translates to beef tongue. So I have all my mise en place here. I’m going to sautee them first, because they take a few minutes. I have onions, garlic, a little bit of oil. I’m going to step over here, get that going. And we’re going to sweat them to bring out the flavor. I love that sound. So good. On low here. All right. And then I have some jalapenos with the seeds and veins removed to take a little of the hear away. All right. So I’m going to add that. All right. If you use jalapenos, wear gloves, guys, because the oil will irritate your skin. And if you touch your eyes, you’re going to hate yourself. All right. And then I have a little mint up front there, which will also add a nice flavor to the braising liquid. All right. So that is sweating, smells delicious. All right. I have some stock here, some aromatics, which I’m going to add next. So I just want to talk about this really quickly while this is sweating. So beef tongue is a muscle, and it is very firm, and it requires a long time to cook. So give yourself at least two and a half hours.

The front is very lean. The back is more fatty, and the fat is what makes this thing amazing. So if you ask me, this is my favorite piece. But we’re going to chop it up and mix it together so it’s a little more even and uniform. So I think we’re perfect here. Nice color. I’m just going to add the aromatics. Add the mint. Stir it up a little bit. And I’ve got some water here. You want to submerge it. You can also roast the tongue. It’s entirely up to you. I’m just a fan of braising, because you can let the meat stay in the liquid, and it will make it a little easier to preserve. It will allow it to keep a little more flavor. I’m putting in vinegar now. It adds a nice acidity to it. Lastly, I’m going to put some stock. I’m a huge fan of stock. It just adds a nice base flavor. If you want to be neutral, you can use vegetable stock, which is what I do a lot.

You can use chicken if you want. If you’re going to use beef, I would use it just to cook beef. So we have vegetables here. With this, you don’t really need to do anything to it to prep. When it’s done cooking, you’re going to be able to peel this really coarse, these are the taste buds, you’ll be able to peel that right off. That’s how you’ll know it’s done. So now I’m going to take the tongue. I’m going to put it in the braising pot here. And I would say you don’t necessarily need to submerge the whole thing here, because you’re going to put a top on it, and it’s going to keep the heat going all around.

But that liquid’s going to reduce over time, and you’re going to have an amazing little broth/sauce that you can ladle over it. And about two and a half hours later, we’re just going to take a little knife and see if we can easily cut a piece off. See if it’s ready. All right. So we’ve been patiently waiting for the lengua to braise. We’re at about 3 hours now. You should really just feel inside. You want the meat to just pull off. So tender. So what we’re going to do now is take this beautiful beef tongue. Put it down. Watch out. It’s really hot. You can use your knife to help you. But see how it just peels right off. It’s so beautiful. That’s how you know it’s done, too. I’m going to hold off doing it all, but I’m instead going to cut my favorite part of the tongue, which is the bottom part down underneath, because it has higher fat content, and it is so delicious. So here we are. It’s right here. You can see the beautiful layers of fat in the middle. That is what’s going t make your taco absolutely amazing. You just chop it up. I’m going to save a little bit of the broth here to soak the meat in, because once you cut this up you’re going to be exposing a lot of the meat to the flavor here, whereas before it was right in the center of the tongue. Now you have the opportunity to really just absorb all that flavor. Oh my gosh. This is so good. All right. So, tortilla pan heating right behind me. This right here. Awesome. We’re going to go simple here. We want to highlight the flavor of the beef. We have tomato salsa, fresh avocados, lime. Everything is very mild. It’s going to show off how awesome our beef is. So I’m just going to check this. We’re going to add a little color. And then we’re ready to build this baby. And guys, once you taste this, you won’t even think twice that it’s tongue. All right. Here we go. Tongues. Oh my God, amazing. See how moist that is? This is why I like to braise instead of roast. You can see you still have some of the jalapenos and onions in here. Beautiful. All right. Awesome. If you want to spice it up a little bit, we have some hot sauce. Lime. All right. Wow. So good right there. That is a taco de lengua.