How to Cook Beef Tongue

Updated July 20, 2017

Many people enjoy tongue, whether it is beef, pork or calve's tongue, and all are relatively cheap to purchase. The preparation and cooking steps are as easy as it gets. For the best texture, try finding a tongue under 1.36kg. Tongue can be cooked several ways, including smoking, boiling and pickling. This recipe uses the boiling method. Regardless of the cooking method, slow cooking is the key to making a potentially tough piece of meat melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Choose a tongue 1.36kg. or less and scrub it thoroughly with a kitchen brush. Next soak it in cold water for approximately 2 hours, changing the water frequently to remove excess salt.

Remove from the water rinse and return to the pan making sure the water covers the tongue by at least 2 inches. Add seasonings of your choice. Typically these would include carrots, celery, onions, peppercorns and several bay leaves. Garlic and cloves can also be added.

Cover the pot and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Remove the scum from the surface of the water when it appears. Simmer for approximately 1 hour per pound or until fork tender.

Remove from the water and remove the outer skin using kitchen shears. Remove the bone from the back by simply pulling on it and check for small bones and gristle and discard. Slice crosswise as thin as you prefer. Return the slices to the water to reheat.


Veal tongues tend to be smaller thus more tender. Simmer at as low of a temperature as possible. Soak tongue to remove excess salt. Serve cold with horseradish and brown mustard.


When removing the outer skin the tongue will be very hot. Immerse it in cold water briefly to make for easier handling. Then if you are serving it hot return to the hot water for a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Tongue (1.36kg. or less)
  • Large pan with lid
  • Water
  • Several carrots, onions and celery
  • Several garlic cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves
  • Kitchen shears
  • Scrubbing brush
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author