These beef tongue tacos will make a great alternative to the usual holiday fare. If you think that making tacos one by one entails too much work, read on.
The idea is to serve the beef tongue and salsa in large shallow bowls (with, optionally, a variety of chili sauces on the side). The tortillas are heated, as needed, on a tabletop grill and everyone assembles his own tacos. It’s fun (what I’d call an interactive meal) and no one will ever complain that there’s too much or too little meat or salsa in his taco.
We did something similar once for New Year’s Eve. With a whole roasted duck and Chinese-style pancakes. We just placed them on the table along with sliced scallions and cucumbers, and a bevy of sauces, and just let everyone create their own duck wrap. And it was so much fun.
If you want to serve beef tongue tacos in a similar fashion, cook the beef tongue a day ahead, peel off and discard the skin, cut the tongue into slices then into slivers, then keep in the fridge. Fifteen minutes before serving time, melt butter in a cast iron pan, toss in the cold tongue and cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
- 1 ripe mango peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 2 medium red onions peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes deseeded and cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 1 to 2 chilies (bird's eye chilies were used here), finely chopped
- 3 to 4 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro stems and leaves
- lime juice to taste
Make the salsa
- In a bowl, lightly toss the mango cubes, onions, tomatoes, chilies and cilantro.
- Sprinkle in two pinches salt and juice from half of a lime.
- Taste. Add more salt and lime juice, if needed.
Heat the beef tongue
- Melt the butter in a cast iron (or other heavy thick-bottomed) pan.
- Spread the beef tongue in the hot butter, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, leave for the undersides to brown, then flip to brown the opposite sides.
- Transfer to a shallow bowl and drizzle the pan juices over the meat.
Serve the beef tongue tacos
- Heat the tortillas on a griddle, sprinkling them with a little water to soften.
- Place the heated tortillas on a plate and serve with the butter-browned beef tongue and spicy mango salsa.