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.

 

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.

 

Taco Fried Rice

Do you dream of tacos? I know I do, and when you have a really great taco, it’s hard not to dream of them. One of my favorites in this city, and I know everyone has their own, is at El Rey Supermercado. I love their tacos al pastor, or carne asado, loaded up on corn tortillas drizzled with their salsa verde. This recipe inspired me, not only due to my love of tacos, but of fried rice as well. I wanted to create a fried rice that was inspired by taco ingredients, and this one hit the mark.

Taco Fried Rice Recipe
Taco Fried Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck, cooked and drained of any fat
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers, roasted, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 12 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic chili salt
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups of cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably 1 day old
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned black sliced olives, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional

Make the rice ahead of time, and make sure it is cold. Preferably leftover rice, as I think it works better for fried rice.

Make your meat mixture. To a large skillet, cook your ground chuck, then place a lid over it and drain off any excess fat. Place back on the burner on medium heat, then toss in the onion, peppers, black beans, and seasonings. Give this a good stir, cooking the seasonings, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the water, cover, and keep on very low heat to make the ground chuck and beans nice and tender.  Cook until the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Place the meat mixture into a bowl, and then wipe out the skillet.

Taco Fried Rice Ingredients
Taco Fried Rice Ingredients

Now onto the fried rice. Return the large skillet back to the stove, and heat to a medium heat.

Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble, swirling it along the way.

Add in the cold rice, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to warm up, start flattening it down, building a nice light golden crust on the rice. Once that crust begins to form, add in the beaten egg, stir, and then add in the meat mixture, and stir, flattening it along the way, getting a nice crust in the process. Cook for about 7 minutes or so, then get ready to serve.

Add the taco fried rice to a bowl. Crush some taco chips on the top for more texture, then top with shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, fresh cilantro, and dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or salsa. If you want add a small dollop of sour cream, or heck, any of your other favorite taco toppings.

Taco Fried Rice Recipe
Taco Fried Rice Recipe

After serving this, my wife and daughter really fell in love with it. It’s everything you may expect in a classic taco, but mashed into everything you love about a fried rice. Even my oldest, who may sometimes be my pickiest of eaters, stuffed this mixture into a warm tortilla and made a burrito out of it! What’s not to love about that! Hope you enjoy!

Taco Fried Rice
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Ingredients
  • ½ lb ground chuck, cooked and drained of any fat
  • 2 whole jalapeno peppers, roasted, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, chopped
  • 1 whole small onion, diced
  • 12 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tbsp garlic chili salt
  • salt, to taste
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 cups of cooked jasmine rice, cold and preferably 1 day old
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • Crushed up tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • canned black sliced olives, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce, optional
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, optional
Instructions
  1. Make the rice ahead of time, and make sure it is cold. Preferably leftover rice, as I think it works better for fried rice.
  2. Make your meat mixture. To a large skillet, cook your ground chuck, then place a lid over it and drain off any excess fat. Place back on the burner on medium heat, then toss in the onion, peppers, black beans, and seasonings. Give this a good stir, cooking the seasonings, then reduce the heat to low. Add in the water, cover, and keep on very low heat to make the ground chuck and beans nice and tender. Cook until the water has evaporated, then remove from the heat. Place the meat mixture into a bowl, and then wipe out the skillet.
  3. Now onto the fried rice. Return the large skillet back to the stove, and heat to a medium heat.
  4. Add in the butter, and let it come to a bubble, swirling it along the way.
  5. Add in the cold rice, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once it starts to warm up, start flattening it down, building a nice light golden crust on the rice. Once that crust begins to form, add in the beaten egg, stir, and then add in the meat mixture, and stir, flattening it along the way, getting a nice crust in the process. Cook for about 7 minutes or so, then get ready to serve.
  6. Add the taco fried rice to a bowl. Crush some taco chips on the top for more texture, then top with shredded cheddar cheese, black olives, fresh cilantro, and dashes of your favorite hot sauce, or salsa. If you want add a small dollop of sour cream, or heck, any of your other favorite taco toppings.

 

Salsa Macha

Salsa macha may not be something you have heard of before, but trust me it is such an unusual and awesome salsa that it’s texture alone will have you wondering. Salsa macha is unlike your common red or green salsa that you may have come to know, and typically referred to as ‘macha’, the feminine version of ‘macho’, this one lives up to its name. It’s bold, unique, and strong in every way.

Salsa macha is a blend of chilies, oil, and nuts, and is just crazy out of this world. I’ve been stirring this up and drizzling over morning omelettes, and dipping warm tortillas in it. It reminds me of a red chili sauce I made a couple of years ago, but a bit different in terms of the chilies that are involved.

Salsa Macha Recipe
Salsa Macha Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 chile arbol peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 chile morita peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 chili ancho peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add in all of the chili peppers and garlic. Toss the chilies in the skillet for about three minutes. This helps bring out the oils. Remove from the stove, and set to the side.

Next, heat a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil, and carefully add in the chilies, pecans, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.

During this time, add the oregano to a small bowl, and season with the salt and pour in the vinegar.

How to make salsa macha
How to make salsa macha

Once the chili oil is cooled, pour it into a blender, along with the vinegar and oregano mixture, and blend until smooth.

Pour the salsa macha into a seal proof jar, and use it up. A little goes a long way. You may think it is super spicy but it is not the case, at all. It’s more of a smokey flavor with a hint of chili. There is something about this that I question every time I use it. It’s like the Mexican version of pesto in a way when I think about it, and trust me that is not a bad thing. To store, simply place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it up. The ingredients sink to the bottom, and the oil comes to the top, so give it a good stir when you are ready to reuse. Hope you enjoy!

Salsa Macha
Author: 
Recipe type: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 chile arbol peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 4 chile morita peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 chili ancho peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 puya chili peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed
  • 2 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • ½ cup of pecans
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add in all of the chili peppers and garlic. Toss the chilies in the skillet for about three minutes. This helps bring out the oils. Remove from the stove, and set to the side.
  2. Next, heat a sauce pot on medium-low heat. Add in the olive oil, and carefully add in the chilies, pecans, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes, then remove from the heat, and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. During this time, add the oregano to a small bowl, and season with the salt and pour in the vinegar.
  4. Once the chili oil is cooled, pour it into a blender, along with the vinegar and oregano mixture, and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the salsa macha into a seal proof jar, and use it up. A little goes a long way. You may think it is super spicy but it is not the case, at all. It’s more of a smokey flavor with a hint of chili. There is something about this that I question every time I use it. It’s like the Mexican version of pesto in a way when I think about it, and trust me that is not a bad thing. To store, simply place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it up. The ingredients sink to the bottom, and the oil comes to the top, so give it a good stir when you are ready to reuse. Hope you enjoy!