Contains: Nightshades (but you can opt out, and season differently.) Is: Offal, not awful. Paleo, Whole30, gluten-free.
This recipe and the follow up preparations will work with beef tongue as well as bison. Being that tongue is naturally a tough meat, a long sous vide time will result in tender, tasty steaks in either case.
After sous-viding, I took half the tongue and put it into a salad, cold. I saved all the juices in the bag and used this with the other half, quickly reverse-seared, and served up with a creamy horseradish sauce, along with asparagus, at a different meal. So, here are two recipes for the price of one sous vide preparation.
I prepared this tongue using a sous vide plan for medium rare tongue steaks – never having had medium rare tongue before, I was also game to try this. The site said 131 F / 55 C for 2 to 3 days, but I decided to up this to 133 F / 56 C, simply due to the fact that if the temperature gauge in the sous vide device was a little bit off, this could be below the USDA cooking recommendations of not sous-viding at less than 130 F / 54.5 C for extended periods of time. I cooked this for about 2 hours short of three full days, which meant in my case that it was ready for breakfast. Or, brunch.
The drippings from the bag post sous vide are lovely. I accidently took a sip from the mug I’d set them into (thinking it was my coffee mug) – after the true shock of realizing this wasn’t coffee – I discovered this might in itself be a base for a tasty broth or soup. (I didn’t do that, as you will see below.) While I considered thickening the sauce, I am usually just as satisfied with “au jus” – and the potato added a touch of thickening anyway.
For the steak preparation, I very lightly seared the steaks in a pan. I wanted to keep the interior medium rare, so I went with a thick steak cut. You can add vegetables as you choose or have to hand.
A good horseradish sauce dip to the side completed this dish.
For the steak salad, I didn’t sear the meat – although that’s always an option should you like. I served it cold, but it could just as easily be added to the top of a salad, warm.
I didn’t eat this tongue all on one day – spaced it out over two or three. The salad I treated as a brunch, skipped lunch, and had something unrelated for dinner.
Sous Vide Bison Tongue: Steak Style
- 1 bison (buffalo) tongue
- 2 tablespoons paprika (make your preferred combination of smoked, hot, or mild Hungarian)
Procedure: Poke holes in the tongue with a paring knife.
Rub down the tongue with the paprika.
Place in the sous vide bag and use either water displacement or vacuum sealing to seal the bag, removing as much air as possible.
Set in a 131 F / 55 C water bath, and sous vide for 2 – 3 days. (I ran this about two hours shy of three days).
Remove, allow to cool just enough to handle, and pull off the skin. On bison, some of the skin will come off (the tougher parts) but the thinner, less tough pieces, I allowed to remain.
What to do with the tongue, now prepped??
Two recipes follow, steak or salad!
Bison Tongue Steaks au Jus with Potato and Asparagus
(Up front, a tongue steak isn’t going to look like a ribeye or even a flank steak. It is a different style of steak, just as filet mignon, ribeye, or flank really don’t resemble each other, either.)
- Sous vide bison (or beef) tongue as prepared above. (I used half a tongue for two people; this will vary depending on size and interest.)
- Sous vide juices.
- 1-2 potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold or similar.
- 1/2 large onion, chopped.
- 8 or MORE stalks asparagus, tough bottom ends broken off and discarded; tops either chopped or hand-broken into lengths of preference. Optionally, leave the used portions of stalk unbroken.
- About 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon paprika.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the potatoes: Remove bad bits. You will not need to skin these potatoes unless desired. Coarsely scallop them to about half an inch in thickness. Simmer in a pot of water about 15 minutes. Drain when done and set aside. Meanwhile, finish any mis en place, and start cooking the rest:
Add butter to a medium-hot skillet, and then add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion until at least translucent. Browning them lightly (not burning) would also be tasty.
The asparagus used consisted of medium-thickness stalks. For medium or thick stalks, add these now. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring.
Season the tongue with the paprika.
Add the room temperature (preferably) tongue and sear on both sides, about 3 minutes a side of each steak, raising the heat if desired. Add any salt and pepper to the skillet, and then, if one has not already done so, add any thin-thickness asparagus.
Add the drained cooked potatoes, and the au-jus from the cooking bag. The latter will serve to deglaze the pan.
Cook until the juices and food are hot all the way through, and serve. Have horseradish sauce or a good Dijon or spicy brown mustard on the side.
Leftovers: Reheating stovetop is best, but a microwave serves in a pinch.
Bison Tongue Salad
(You can make this salad with just about any tongue preparation method). Serves 1-2 people.
- Cooked tongue (chilled or room temperature), sliced into bite-sized pieces.
- 1 whole tomato, preferably farm-stand quality.
- Leaf lettuce of your choice.
- Chinese chives, scallions, red onion slivers – your choice
- Your favorite dressing, to taste.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Artfully assemble each salad on a plate, and serve.
- Sous Vide Bison Tongue, Braised & Pan-Fried Style. A higher temperature with a somewhat shorter cooking time.
- Slow Cooked Beef Tongue. This is more or less Mom’s recipe although she used a stockpot to simmer the dish in. But the flavor profile is hers.
- Beef Tongue Lettuce Wraps.
- Tacos de Lengua / Beef Tongue Tacos. I had these once at a Mexican eatery in Danbury, CT, and another time in the Chicago outlying area. Loved them! So I create a version here.
- Lamb Tongues with Turnip Greens.
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