This story is over 5 years old.

Lucky Lengua Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe

Everyone loves a little tongue. Ask your butcher to hook you up with one for these tacos from Auckland's Lucky Taco.
April 23, 2015, 8:08pm
Lucky Lengua Beef Tongue Tacos Recipe

Servings: 20 tacos


1 beef tongue (ask your local butcher)

For the stock: 
5 bay leaves
5 peppercorns
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon cloves
a good pinch of salt

For the tongue marinade: 
1/4 cup oil
1 orange, juiced
2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted
2 teaspoons chili flakes
2 limes, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

For the tacos: 
corn tortillas, Lucky Taco hot sauce, guacamole, shredded red cabbage, lime wedges, and fresh coriander


  1. For the tongue: Clean tongue with a small hand brush. It will be bloody (get over it). Place in a saucepan, cover with about an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Monitor and keep on a rolling boil for 1 hour.

2. Carefully carry saucepan over to the sink and pour hot liquid away. Run the beef tongue under the cold tap and rinse clean. Wash saucepan and refill with clean water. Place rinsed tongue back into saucepan and add all of the ingredients for the stock.


3. Bring tongue back to a boil and then reduce to a lightly rolling boil with lid half on the pot (so you don't lose too much stock). Cook for 3 hours, checking throughout that it's always got a slight rolling boil. Not furious—just turning over.

4. After 3 hours, pour contents of saucepan over large sieve. (Keep the stock to make soups and risottos—it's AMAZING.) Rinse the tongue under cold water. Peel off the thick skin. Wrap the tongue tightly in cling film and refrigerate overnight.

5. For the marinade: The next day, slice the tongue into matchstick-size lengths. Combine all of the marinade ingredients and pour over the sliced tongue. Leave to marinate for at least 1 hour.

6. Remove the tongue from the marinade and cook in a hot skillet in batches. (If you overcrowd the pan, the meat will not brown, it will broil.) You don't need any oil in the pan, as there is oil in the marinade. Let it get a nice brown char. Repeat until all cooked.

7. To assemble: Fill soft warm tortillas with cooked tongue, lashings of Lucky Taco hot sauce, guacamole, shredded red cabbage, a squeeze of lime, and fresh coriander. YUMBO.

From Auckland Likes Its Tacos with Beef Tongue and Lambs' Brain