Cow tongue often raises eyebrows and causes all kinds of reactions.
After all, who would like to eat an animal’s tongue?
When you think about it… Yuck.
But then, the tongue is a muscle.
You do eat other muscles in beef – in fact, muscle cuts are among the most expensive parts.
Popular in some parts of the world, cow tongue has lost its popularity in the western world.
However, it represents a cut that anyone can appreciate.
Now, what does cow tongue taste like? What should you know before having such a dish?
What is Cow Tongue?
First of all, cow tongue is a muscle.
The idea of eating it feels disgusting because it gets in touch with everything the cow eats.
But then, other muscles in the body can see even more disgusting things, yet people eat them with no issues at all.
All in all, the primary role of the cow tongue is to help in chewing.
It is one of the cheapest parts when you go to a butcher, but on the same note, it is among the tastiest muscle tissues you can have.
The problem is you are less likely to find it in a regular butcher shop – instead, you may need to dig deeper and find Asian butchers.
Despite not being too popular in the western culinary culture these days, cow tongue has actually been a source of nutrients for people for thousands of years.
Now that you have a few clues about it, what should you expect in terms of taste?
What Does Cow Tongue Taste Like?
If you have never tasted cow tongue, you probably have all kinds of ideas regarding the aroma and flavor – most of them are wrong, though.
The taste is similar to most other beef cuts, so you are less likely to be impressed – probably a bit better though, and this is because of the texture.
Compared to other cuts, beef is a bit milder.
Despite being muscle tissue, it is relatively soft and has the type of texture that feels like it is about to melt in your mouth.
Now, in terms of texture, cow tongue is covered in pores.
In other words, it will absorb anything you throw at it.
Cook it in a certain sauce, and it will taste like that sauce.
Bring in some condiments, and they will immediately penetrate the meat.
This is what makes cow tongue so delicious – compared to other beef cuts, it embraces any flavor you throw in.
When cooked alone, cow tongue tastes like other beef cuts – sometimes, you would not even be able to tell the difference.
Some may say that beef tongue tastes a little like liver – you can get rid of the blood or metal flavor by keeping it in salty water for about half an hour before cooking it.
However, you are less likely to eat it alone anyway, but mixed into a more sophisticated dish, whose taste it will borrow.
How to Prepare and Cook Cow Tongue?
Some may dislike the chewy texture of cow tongue, but cooking it by the book will make it delicious.
There are more ways to cook cow tongue – just like for any other type of beef cut.
The most common one implies simmering for hours over a stove.
The meat will go soft, while gristle will become history – it will also be tender and easy to chew, without feeling too rubbery.
Spice it up with extra herbs and spices – keep in mind that such flavors will be more intense because the meat will absorb them.
Roasting cow tongue is another good idea – great for those looking for a quick dinner.
Each side must be thoroughly cooked to ensure the meat is not raw in the middle.
If roasted correctly, the meat should be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Grill cow tongue if you feel like it or fry it in a pan – something different, but definitely worth it.
You should marinate it first, and if you do choose to fry it, use some oil to make it crispy.
Despite its reputation, cow tongue can be delicious if cooked accordingly.
As a short final conclusion, what does cow tongue taste like?
To keep it simple, cow tongue will taste like most other beef cuts.
It feels a bit chewy and may sometimes taste like liver, but you can avoid these problems if you cook it the right way.
On the other hand, cow tongue is rich in pores, which will absorb anything.
Basically, no matter what you cook it in or what else you bring in, cow tongue will absorb those flavors and aromas straight away.
Whatever you use with it, expect those aromas to be enhanced.