Don't freak out. Just look at these tacos and breathe.
First of all, I need you to know that the vegetarian train has officially derailed for now. This is because I keep finding wonderfully fresh and locally grown meats. Guys, this is a big deal for us Big Islanders! In years past it has been next to impossible to find meat that hadn't been shipped here from the mainland.
So, that leads us to beef tongue. Don't freak out. It's grass fed, affordable, and easy to prepare. But mainly, I needed to satisfy my curiosity.
A little like pot roast, my only gripe is its overly soft texture. I was glad I'd opted to stuff the shredded tongue in tacos so there was a variety of textures. Major bonus is the cost of this cut of meat, one tongue could easily feed a family of six for $3.00 (Hawaii prices). Just don't tell them what it is, they'll never know.
Shredded Beef Tongue Tacos
serves at least 6
1 beef tongue
1 yellow onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp chili pasilla molido (or other mild chili powder)
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 TBL cumin
salt and pepper
taco fixins: tortillas, cabbage, tomatoes, salsa, avocado, beans, whatever you like
Rinse the beef tongue and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub well with chili powders, cumin, and salt and pepper.
Place chopped onion and garlic in a slow cooker. Rest tongue on top of onions. Add water until it just covers the tongue. Add the bay leaf and another TBL or so of salt. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
When the tongue is finished cooking (it will be soft when pierced with a fork) move it to a cutting board and remove the outer "skin" with a paring knife. This was very easy, it just peels right off. With the knife and a fork, begin shredding the meat but pulling in a downward motion with the fork.
Drain off the liquid in the slow cooker, but don't throw it out! Save it for a soup base or use as stock. Add shredded beef back into the slow cooker with the onion and garlic and mix. Discard the bay leaf.
Use shredded beef as a filling for tacos, we ate it with black beans, cabbage, avocado, tomato, and cilantro. Simple and delicious. Enjoy!