Crispy Grilled Beef Tongue

The Nasty Bits

Recipes and stories for everything but the oink.

Crispy Grilled Beef Tongue

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Tongue is a stress-free option for the grill. You simmer the tongue in water or stock, adding aromatics and spices. If I'm really pressed for time and mental reserves, I may do nothing more than plop a tongue into a pot with water and keep the heat on low. A few hours of simmering does the bulk of the work. Once simmered, you peel the tongue and cut it into thickish slabs, perfect for tossing on the grill. Because tongue is so fatty, you don't have to worry about it getting tough or dry.

About the author: Chichi Wang took her degree in philosophy, but decided that writing about food would be much more fun than writing about Plato. She firmly believes in all things offal, the importance of reading great books, and the necessity of three-hour meals. If she were ever to get a tattoo, it would say "Fat is flavor." Visit her blog, The Offal Cook.

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  • Yield:serves eight to ten as an appetizer
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Tongue:
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef, veal, or pork tongue (about 1 beef tongue or 2 to 3 pork tongues)
  • 2 quarts stock low sodium canned or homemade chicken stock (or water)
  • olive oil, for brushing on tongue before grilling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Hainnanese Ginger Scallion Oil

Directions

  1. 1.

    Place the tongue(s) in a pot and cover with stock or water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then cover and cook until tender, about three hours, adding extra liquid as needed. Let the tongue cool, then remove the tongue from the stock and set the stock aside for another use.

  2. 2.

    When tongue is cool enough to handle, peel the outer membrane off the tongue and discard. Cut the tongue into 3/4-inch slices. Season with salt.

  3. 3.

    Light one half chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Brush the slices of tongue with olive oil. Grill until tongue is brown and a little crispy on the surface, then flip and grill on the other side, 10 to 15 minutes total. Remove from grill and serve with your choice of garnishes and seasonings.