Beef Tongue Tacos

I remember years ago when my coworkers and I went to our local taqueria  and one of my colleagues ordered beef tongue tacos. I didn’t flinch at all as I was used to plenty of my friends eating ‘weird’ things in my life. I always had an interest in beef tongue, and on a recent visit to my favorite taqueria, I decided to get a beef tongue taco, or taco de lengua, and base my own recipe off what my experience was with theirs. To say the least, the beef tongue taco was amazing, not only in how ‘beefy’ it tasted, but also in texture. I swear, if I served you own, you would most likely think it was some type of beef. That’s when I decided to take things in my own hands, and head back to the meat department and order a tongue.

I did not tell anyone the following day (well I told my daughter as she was baking a cake) what I was making as I wanted to surprise them when I was going to serve the tongue tacos the following day. Were they surprised? Yes.

Mexican Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe
Mexican Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe

Making the beef tongue takes a few hours to make, but it is totally worth it, plus you are left with some awesome beef stock when you are done.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 beef tongue
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 dried chili piquin
  • 2 whole onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bunch of cilantro stems (use the ends of the fresh cilantro)
  • flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • limes, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Start by taking the tongue and adding it to a large saucepan. Add water and make sure it covers the tongue by a couple of inches. Place this on medium heat, and boil for about 2 hours.

After 2 hours, remove the tongue and place onto a cutting board. Pour the water out and wash out the saucepan.

Return the tongue back to the pot, cover with water again, then add in your aromatics. Add the jalapenos, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, piquin, quartered onions, garlic, and cilantro stems. Bring this to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours.

After 4 hours, remove the tongue, and strain the stock. Discard the stock solids, but reserve the stock (it’s really great).

Next, take the tongue and rinse under cold water. Now it’s time to peel the outer layer as that is not desired. If you cannot easily peel it, use a pairing knife and trim all of it away, exposing the cooked beef tongue.

Mexican Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe
Mexican Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe

Discard the outer layer, then cut your beef tongue into strips, then into bite-sized chunks. Season with a pinch or two of salt. Mix, and get ready to sear it up for your tacos.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat, then add a tablespoon of oil. Once heated, add in some of the beef tongue, and cook until it gets a slight sear on them. Once seared, add a spoonful or two of the reserved stock. Heat through until the stock reduces, then remove from the heat.

Take a flour tortilla, load it with some of the beef tongue, and top with cilantro and onion. Squeeze some lime, and dig in.

Mexican Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe
Mexican Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe

It is everything I love about a simple taco. A slightly charred flour tortilla with a bite from the jalapeno and onion, along with the tartness from the lime. I’m in. Now with the nicely charred tongue, and now I have a new favorite taco.

Short of the story… DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRY NEW THINGS! The new things can be down right amazing.

Beef Tongue Tacos
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 beef tongue
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 dried chili piquin
  • 2 whole onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bunch of cilantro stems (use the ends of the fresh cilantro)
  • flour or corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  • limes, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
Instructions
  1. Start by taking the tongue and adding it to a large saucepan. Add water and make sure it covers the tongue by a couple of inches. Place this on medium heat, and boil for about 2 hours.
  2. After 2 hours, remove the tongue and place onto a cutting board. Pour the water out and wash out the saucepan.
  3. Return the tongue back to the pot, cover with water again, then add in your aromatics. Add the jalapenos, black pepper, salt, bay leaves, piquin, quartered onions, garlic, and cilantro stems. Bring this to a simmer, and cook for 4 hours.
  4. After 4 hours, remove the tongue, and strain the stock. Discard the stock solids, but reserve the stock (it’s really great).
  5. Next, take the tongue and rinse under cold water. Now it’s time to peel the outer layer as that is not desired. If you cannot easily peel it, use a pairing knife and trim all of it away, exposing the cooked beef tongue.
  6. Discard the outer layer, then cut your beef tongue into strips, then into bite-sized chunks. Season with a pinch or two of salt. Mix, and get ready to sear it up for your tacos.
  7. Heat a large skillet on medium heat, then add a tablespoon of oil. Once heated, add in some of the beef tongue, and cook until it gets a slight sear on them. Once seared, add a spoonful or two of the reserved stock. Heat through until the stock reduces, then remove from the heat.
  8. Take a flour tortilla, load it with some of the beef tongue, and top with cilantro and onion. Squeeze some lime, and dig in.

 

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions

Every time I visit my local Mexican grocery store, I tend to shop around after devouring some tacos. I get the staples which typically include limes, cilantro, garlic, chilies, avocados, and tortillas. I my often look at the other great produce and always look at the great large spring onions. These are not your typical green onions that you find in most markets. These are the ones where the bulb is about 5 times larger than a standard green onion. They are known as spring onions, and as they look much like a scallion, they have just a bit more of a bite. This is when I decided to pick up a bunch and head home.

At first I was going to lube them up with some olive oil and salt, and toss them on the grill, but I figured my recent Mexican alambre had enough going on in terms of peppers, onions, and chilies, so I held off only to soak them in buttermilk and batter them the following day. These things were awesome, and now I know that I will be buying more of these spring onions!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe
Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions Recipe

Let’s get started:

  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil

Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator.  Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.

The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.

Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.

How to make buttermilk fried spring onions
How to make buttermilk fried spring onions

Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.

To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.

Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

My wife, who was hesitant of the mayonnaise mixture, was swiping that spring onion, and biting into the perfectly cooked onion. The onion was nice and crispy on the exterior, while warm and cooked through (not limp) on the inside, and well, the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture just took it one step further.

The only downside to this recipe is that I did not make about 4 bunches of spring onions. Now I know! Hope you enjoy!

Buttermilk Fried Spring Onions
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizers
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of spring onions, tips and tails trimmed
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the spring onions to a sealable bag. Pour in the buttermilk, seal, and let it marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Next, add the gochujang and mayonnaise to a small bowl, and use a fork to blend the two together. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready for use.
  2. The following day, add the flour, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl. Give a good stir. Take the spring onions, draining them from the buttermilk, and add them to the bowl.
  3. Give a good toss to make sure the onions are well coated, then heat up a skillet on medium heat, adding in the oil.
  4. Once the oil comes to temperature, about 350 degrees, gently add in a few spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes per side (if not fully submerged), until the batter is golden brown. Once golden, remove with some tongs and place on a paper lined plate to remove any excess oil. Season with a pinch of salt. Repeat.
  5. To your serving plate, take the gochujang and mayonnaise mixture, and with a spoon smear it onto the center of the serving plate.
  6. Line up the fried spring onions on top of the sauce, and serve.

 

Mexican Alambre

You know when you have that craving for tacos, or better yet fajitas? Yeah, I know, I pretty much have that craving all of the time! This dish, known as alambre, is a popular Mexican dish that should be on everyone’s menu, but is not. This Mexican alambre is a mix of beef, bacon, peppers, and cheese, topped with avocados and limes, only to be folded into nicely grilled flour tortillas. This feeds an army and is packed full of awesome flavors and textures, that I’m positive will have you making this more than once.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Alambre, in Spanish, literally translates to ‘wire’ and I suspect that it could be due to the fact that meats and vegetables were skewered and grilled before getting chopped up and folded into tacos. Regardless, I simply throw things on the grill to get a nice char before slicing and serving.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bacon,  cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional

Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.

To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree.  Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.

Mexican Alambre
Mexican Alambre

When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)

Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.

While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about 1/4 cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.

Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.

Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.

Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!

Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.

Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.

Mexican Alambre Recipe
Mexican Alambre Recipe

Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.

Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

This was a great meal to serve at the table. The kids loved the interactivity (and the rocking flavors), and it was a great conversation piece. My oldest, who typically does not like melted cheese (especially on tacos), nor peppers, was spooning this into about 4 tacos. I think he loved this Mexican alambre, and I’m certain you will to! Enjoy.

Mexican Alambre
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 6 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 whole white onion
  • 4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 whole roma tomatoes, cored, and thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 lbs bottom round beef, thinly sliced
  • 2 morita chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili pods, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups of water
  • flour tortillas, warmed
  • avocados, slided
  • 2 cups of Oaxaca cheese
  • Salt, to taste
  • sour cream, optional
  • sliced limes, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by marinating your beef. I like to do this overnight, but 4 or more hours should be sufficient.
  2. To a small sauce pan, add the water, the garlic, and the 4 chili pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until the pods are softened. Let the mixture cool. Take the pods, garlic, and about a cup of the water and blend until you have a fine puree. Pour this mixture into a sealable bag, throw in a generous pinch or two of salt, and add in the beef, seal, and give the beef a nice massage to ensure the marinade penetrates the beef. Place in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill.
  3. When you are ready to start making this, you have a couple of options. First is to grill the vegetables and beef (which is what I prefer), or you can cook everything in one big wok or skillet. (Hint: chose the grill)
  4. Heat up your grill. I like to use a combination of charcoal and cherry wood as the smokiness really gets into the great flavor of the beef.
  5. While the grill heats up, add the bacon to a large skillet, and cook on low heat, adding about ¼ cup of water during the cooking process. You don’t want the bacon to be fully crisp as you normally might eat for breakfast, but somewhere between soft and crisp. Continue cooking the bacon on low heat, reserving some of the fat.
  6. Next, add the whole bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno peppers to the grill, cooking over the coals. Your goal here is to get a nice char, while not fully cooking the peppers. Once you get a bit of the char, remove them from the grill, and take them inside to slice. Remove any of the seeds from the jalapenos if you don’t want this to be spicy.
  7. Once you slice the peppers, and onion, add them to the cooked bacon, along with the sliced tomatoes and cilantro. Give this a good stir, and season with a pinch or two of salt.
  8. Return back to the grill, and cook your beef until it is about medium. Don’t overcook your beef!
  9. Take the beef inside, and slice into 1 inch strips, then add the beef to the bacon mixture, giving a good stir.
  10. Top the mixture with the Oaxaca cheese, then cover, and remove from the heat. You want the cheese to melt into the mixture.
  11. Now you are ready to serve. Uncover, and place the skillet onto some heat resistant pads on the table. Top with fresh limes and sliced avocados, along with a plate of warmed flour tortillas.
  12. Take your tortilla, take some of the alambre, and fold it into the tortilla. Give a squeeze of fresh lime juice, lay on some avocado, and some sour cream if you prefer, and dig in.

 

Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia

Gosh, I do love jalapeno poppers, don’t you? I love the actual surprise, not only with the piping hot cheese but the uncertainty if the jalapeno is going to be on the mild side, or the hot side. I prefer the hot side. With that said, Filipinos are notorious for making really awesome egg rolls, what they call lumpia, or lumpia shanghai.  My wife introduced me, or should I say her family introduced me to these styles of egg rolls. Their wrappers are crispy, and inside is an array of things such as ground pork, potatoes, small shrimps, and green beans.  This is how my in laws make them, and one that I often make for my family, only with this exception. The exception being the fact that I had four large fresh jalapeno peppers on my cutting board, just staring at me and wanting me to do something with them. That’s when I figured I would try out some new egg roll, or lumpia wrappers, and instead of going the classic lumpia way, I decided to stuff some and fry them up. Were they excellent? You bet your butt they were.

Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia Recipe
Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of egg roll wrappers
  • 1 lb ground pork, cooked and cooled
  • 4 jalapenos, stems removed, cored and seeds removed
  • 1 russet potato, skins removed, cubed and cooked until just tender
  • 2 cups of cooking oil (I use canola)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste

Gently fold the cooked, cubed potatoes into the cooled pork mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and give a gentle stir.

Take one cored jalapeno pepper, and using a small spoon, stuff the meat mixture, gently packing it in, into the jalapeno. Fill it to the top, and repeat with the remaining peppers.

Reserve the remaining meat mixture for making more lumpia, or use more jalapenos and repeat the process with however many you would like. Again, I only went with four as I knew I would be the only one eating the ones with peppers.

Next, take one egg roll wrapper and lay out with the point in front of you, can towards you.

Place the stuffed jalapeno pepper, about a quarter way, in the middle, closest to you. Fold the sides over, take the point closest to you, and begin to roll, bringing in the sides if necessary. Refer to this image if needed. Roll just about 90% to the top, then brush the point with the beaten egg. Roll and seal.

How to make Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia
How to make Jalapeno Stuffed Lumpia

Do the same with any remaining pork mixture, using about 1/2 cup per lumpia.

Heat the oil in a small pan, and bring to a medium heat. Once heated, add a few of the lumpia and cook until the wrappers are a golden brown.

Remove the lumpia with some tongs or chopsticks, and place them onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil.

Continue cooking the remaining lumpia.

Let these cool for a few minutes before digging in. I plated mine on a bed of lettuce, sliced in half to expose the delicious pork, and showered the plate with some roasted peanuts.

Grab a cold beer or glass of wine, and dig into these jalapeno stuffed lumpia. I hope you enjoy!