Savory Delight: Slow-Cooked Beef Tongue (Lengua)

Embark on a culinary adventure with our Slow-Cooked Beef Tongue (Lengua) recipe, delivering a savory delight that transcends traditional flavors. Slow-cooking transforms this unique cut into a tender masterpiece, ensuring every bite is a rich and flavorful experience. Whether you’re a seasoned enthusiast or trying something new, the melding of spices and the succulence of slow-cooked beef tongue will transport your taste buds to a realm of culinary bliss. Get ready to savor the extraordinary with this savory slow-cooked delight!

Food Region

Slow-cooked beef tongue is a dish cherished in Latin American and Asian cuisines, offering a fusion of flavors and textures.

Food History (Detail Expand)

Beef tongue, or lengua, has been a traditional dish in many cultures for centuries. Its tender and flavorful meat lends itself well to slow cooking, which helps break down its natural toughness. Whether served in tacos, burritos, or as a main dish, beef tongue is a culinary gem with a rich history.

Ingredients (Expand and Listed)

For this slow-cooked beef tongue (lengua) recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 beef tongue (approximately 2-3 pounds)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lime wedges (for serving)

Cooking Step or Instruction of Making

  • Begin by thoroughly cleaning the beef tongue under cold running water. Trim any excess fat or membranes.
  • In a large pot, place the beef tongue, chopped onion, minced garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorns, and a pinch of salt.
  • Fill the pot with enough water to cover the beef tongue completely.
  • Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let the beef tongue cook for about 2-3 hours or until it becomes tender.
  • Remove the beef tongue from the pot and allow it to cool slightly.
  • Once cooled, peel the outer skin off the beef tongue. It should come off easily.
  • Slice the beef tongue into thin rounds or strips and set aside.
  • In a separate skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the sliced beef tongue and sear until it develops a golden-brown crust on both sides. 
  • Remove the beef tongue from the skillet and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add the beef broth, tomato sauce, cumin powder, paprika, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Return the seared beef tongue to the skillet, ensuring it’s coated with the sauce.
  • Cover the skillet and simmer for an additional 20-30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the beef tongue to absorb the sauce.
  • Serve your slow-cooked beef tongue (lengua) hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and accompanied by lime wedges for an extra burst of flavor.

Serving Process

Plate your slow-cooked beef tongue (lengua) with a generous drizzle of the flavorful sauce. Serve it with warm tortillas for a traditional taco experience, or pair it with rice and beans for a hearty meal. Don’t forget to squeeze a lime wedge for that zesty finish!

Storing Process

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors often intensify after a day or two, making it even more delicious upon reheating.


Slow-cooked beef tongue (lengua) is a delightful dish that offers a unique taste experience. Its tenderness and rich flavors make it a favorite in various culinary traditions around the world. Whether you’re familiar with this dish or trying it for the first time, you’re in for a savory delight that’s worth savoring.

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