Spanish Cow Tongue Recipe

March 26, 2007 By: erik Category: Food, Recipes, Spain, Wine 49,408 views

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Cow Tongue ServingDue to the request from Uncle Steve, I present to you the recipe for cow tongue, as prepared by Marga and her family…


  • 1 cow tongue
  • 1 large or 2 small leeks
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 tomato
  • flour
  • 2-3 eggs
  • salt
  • white wine (optional)


  1. Coarsely chop up all the veggies and place them in a pot with just enough water to cover them.
  2. Place tongue in pot (the cow’s, not yours). It’s not that important that it be completely covered by the water, because you can turn it a few times while its boiling.
  3. Add a few pinches of salt (2-3 teaspoons?)
  4. You can optionally add about a glass of white wine, as well
  5. Boil for 60-90 minutes, depending on the thickness of the tongue.
  6. Allow to cool
  7. While it’s still warm (it’s easier when warm), remove the skin from the tongue.
  8. Cut into thin cross-section slices. The thinner the better.
  9. Purée the vegetables in the pot. We use a handheld mixer (see photo below).
  10. Bread and fry each slice
    1. Heat oil in frying pan (we use sunflower oil)
    2. Pour some flour on a plate
    3. Beat 2 or 3 eggs in a bowl
    4. Cover each slice of tongue in flour
    5. Dip each slice in egg
    6. Place each slice in hot oil until golden brown
  11. Place each breaded and fried slice in the pot with the sauce
  12. Simmer on low heat for a few minutes to let the flavors mingle
  13. Serve with a healthy serving of silly tongue jokes.



The tongue slices look pretty similar to sliced roast beef. Well, it is sliced roast beef, if you think about it.


Marga’s mother has one of those circular-saw-like meat slicers like the butchers and deli chefs have. Use one of those if you can.


The boiled veggies. You can see some of the beef fat on the surface. Mmm!


Puréeing the veggies into a thick orange sauce. No Spanish household is without one of these mixers. Many, many recipes call for turning veggies into sauce like this.


The slices moving from plate to flour to egg to frying pan, and eventually….


…to pot with sauce.


I sprinkled mine with dried parsley to make it look like a photo from a real recipe book.


Serve with good bread and a fine Rioja. The Spanish eat bread with every meal, and the best part of this dish is mopping up all the sauce on the plate with fresh bread.

¡Que aproveche!

  • Uncle Steve

    Oh, Erik, you have outdone yourself this time…. Thank you.

    On one hand, I feel remorseful that I’ve let ‘go bad’ tongue from Mule Deer, Moose, Rocky Mountain Elk, and even Bison.

    But on the other hand, I’m glad to add a tongue recipe to my book; I’ll use it next chance I get. I’m enough of a recipe-hound (I do most of the cooking in our family) these days, that I can discern a potentially truly great one when I see one, and that’s what I saw in what you posted.

    I presently have no tongue (c’mon, that’s too easy…), but this fall in just a few months, I expect to be hunting for Moose, Caribou, possibly Black Bear and/or Brown/Grizzly Bear, and putting in for a long shot Bison tag… I’ll let you know when I make this recipe; I’m looking forward to when I can…. hey… it says cow tongue in the recipe…. they sell that here…. (I think Linda is starting to to get worried about ‘whats for dinner’ right about now….)

    Hey, who brought up this tongue stuff, anyway????

  • Glad you liked it!

    And for those of you with domesticated felines, if they’re not too curious (otherwise it might be dangerous), you can let them out of their bags and feed them a little of this dish. Then, when asked, you don’t have to say anything. 🙂

  • That looks similar to the chinese ox tongue.


    Thanks for the cow tougue recipe,I will try it 2marow.

  • Emily

    I have been searching all over for a decent tounge recipe.This one actually sounds quite good.I can’t wait to test it on my kids tonight!!!I’ll let you know how the big after dinner reveal goes.Ha! Ha! This is going to be fun!

  • Erik B.

    Hi, the recipe looks good, My mom is danish and we ate beef tongue occasionaly. I am the cook at home, mostly, and will try out your recipe. Thanks for posting it. Regards, E.B.

  • adam

    Great sounding recipe but way too much work for me. I just boil the tongue. Let it cool on a plate. Put it in the fridge. Then when I want a sandwich I slice some and use it like lunch meat. I take the skin off and I have great lean lunch meat with no preservatives.

    The best blood sausage I ever ate comes ready to eat. Made by Kowalski in Hamtramck, MI. Years ago we fried it in thick slices until it had like a crust. Do both sides. Serve with hot boiled potatoes and saurkraut out of a can. Yahoo! Nowadays, I nuke it in the mic’. Delicious all by itself. I’m getting lazier. Way better than German blutwurst IMHO!

  • Collin

    This looks digusting!!!!!!

    • david

      naive fool

    • Veronica Morra

      Don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it!

  • I anxious to try this recipe. My Mom prepare cow tongue in the early 40’s for sandwiches for school lunch. Of course she did not share her secret as to what we were eating……

  • atarunomiko

    Looks delicious. I love variety meats.

    Just FYI, that stuff floating on top of the boiled veggies is not beef fat, but protein. At that temperature all the beef fat would be completely melted. The congealed protein is very nutritious. I see people scraping this “fat” off their burgers all the time, and it makes me kind of sad.

    Besides, fat (in moderation) is not bad for you, and is actually good for you, provided it is not processed as it is in junk food. Even saturated fat – cave people ate plenty of fatty meats and yet did not die of heart disease. Just bear in mind that they got plenty of exercise and no Oreos.

    Fat is necessary in our diets for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Too low-fat a diet is unhealthy and, due to a number of reasons, both psychological and physiological, can actually contribute to obesity.

  • Harmony

    Its a strange recipe but im sure if i didnt know what it was i’d love it. I had to look this recipe up for my spanish class. Everyone had weird and whacky recipes but they are all probably great when you eat them.

  • I love the seasonings, so simple, thanks for the pictures. Cooking my first Moose tongue. Grew up with beef tongue (German Mon & Ukrainian Dad)

  • JL

    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe. I made it recently, and it was awesome!

  • Nanny

    I will try this, thank you! I too have been looking for a good tongue recipe because I’m too cheap to throw any of the cow out …

  • William

    I’m late to the party on this recipe, but thanks for sharing. It was delicious. I used olive oil to fry the tongue. Next time? Tallow! 🙂

  • mashanet

    I think this is the best recipe for cooking beef tongue and I mean it as I have served about a decent cattle range worth of tongues over my lifetime.

  • Mashanet

    I think this is the best recipe for cooking beef tongue and I mean it as I have served about a decent cattle range worth of tongues over my lifetime.

  • LandSharkBrian

    Hey Erik- just got done with a four day bicycle tour of Michigan, USA, with your exact namesake. Going to a “Carnivore’s Ball” tonight, but will not have time to prepare the tongue in the method you describe. Will try it tomorrow and let you know the results. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  • Veronica Morra

    I am making this!! I have eaten Hungarian Style Beef/Veal tongue. This looks richer but it is making me salivate!!