Provencal Beef Tongue Sandwiches

Provençal Beef Tongue Sandwiches feature tender, nutrient-rich thin sliced beef tongue, roasted garlic and anchovy aioli, and peppery arugula all on a toasted baguette. If you have a daring palate, and like to try new things, or you’ve got childhood memories (as do I) this recipe may just pique your interest! 😋

Provencal Tongue Sandwiches

The first time you see something that you have never seen before, you almost always know right away if you should eat it or run away from it.

~~ Scott Adams, American cartoonist and creator of Dilbert

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Offal and Beef Tongue

Do you “run away” from non-standard cuts of animals (offal)? As a child, our family was on a very tight budget, and eating the less-desirable parts of animals was just a way of life. When you’re hungry, you eat what you’re offered, and eventually, I learned to love most of these foods.

My father was a PhD student until I was 7, and I married a PhD student. He finished when our oldest was 6 and we had the 3rd of our 4 sons. I continued to cook offal (organ meats) throughout Mark’s graduate school career.

Having moved to a border city with a very strong Hispanic influence, I once again found myself craving beef tongue. Organ meats are very definitely a part of Mexican cuisine. I loved it growing up, and I love it as an adult!

My tongue sandwiches began my adventure back to my roots; I was getting my “toes wet” so to speak as I tried to gauge interest. I am now updating this March 2016 post (it desperately needs new photos!), and since then, I have done lengua tacos (beef tongue), citrus-marinated chicken hearts, and Peruvian chicken anticuchos.

While they’ve never gone “viral,” you might be surprised to learn all 4 of these organ meats recipes get consistent traffic! I guess not too many bloggers love organ meats? 😂

🥩 Is Beef Tongue Healthy?

While I would recommend against eating tongue every day, it can be part of a healthy diet. Tongue is nutrient-rich, and especially high in iron. As a woman that has struggled with anemia her entire life, the iron is a major consideration. Iron offers:

  • high-quality protein.
  • a concentrated source of vitamin A
  • all the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
  • one of our best sources of folic acid
  • a highly usable form of iron
  • trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • a good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.

It is important to keep in mind that beef tongue is relatively high in fats and calories. A 3 ounce cooked portion contains 241 calories and 19 grams of fat.

🌡️ Is Tongue Safe to Eat?

Yes, but as with most food, you really need to know and trust the source. It is important that the tongue is properly cleaned and cooked.

🍲 Cooking Beef Tongue in an Instant Pot

A pressure-cooker is an invaluable piece of kitchen equipment when it comes to tenderizing tough cuts like tongue. I am including instructions for using one. It requires an hour under high pressure and a slow pressure release. However, you can use the same recipe and cook it 3 hours on the cook top or all day in your slow-cooker…

I prefer my Instant Pot because I can set it and walk away. You can do the same with a slow cooker, though you need to remember to start it early in the day.

Alternatively, cook it any time by any method. The tongue is twice-cooked (once for prep and once for the dish), so you can do it the day before or well in advance if properly stored.

After cooking the tongue, remove it with tongs to a bowl filled with cold water. I’d recommend saving the stock if you’re “into that.” I am.  πŸ™‚ Once the tongue is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin (it should remove easily).

For the sandwiches, I like nice, long sections not broken by fat or gristle. Cut them 1/4″ thick. They’ll go on a hot grill or griddle, and will be crispy and delicious in your sandwich. I save the smaller bits for my lengua tacos

📋 Sandwich Ingredients

  • sliced and grilled beef tongue – If you’ve already got your beef tongue prepared, this sandwich comes together quickly.
  • baguette – We like baguette for the tongue sandwich, but you can use your preferred type of bread.
  • roasted garlic and anchovy aioli
  • 2 to 3 ounces arugula
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon)
  • sea salt/fresh ground pepper

🔪 Step by Step Instructions

  • Cook the beef tongue – Place tongue in the Instant Pot. Add water to cover. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 1 hour. Release pressure after 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove connective tissues and skin. The skin should come off easily. Cut into 1/4-inch slices across its length. At this point, the meat can be used as you desire.
  • Prepare the aioli – Add the garlic, egg, anchovy, lemon juice, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Pour in the olive oil in a very slow, steady stream until the aioli emulsifies. Remove lid, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Anchovies are salty, and we don’t even add salt! (See Tyler Florence’s Anchovy Aioli here)
  • Prepare the tongue – Grill or sear sliced tongue on a hot pan until it forms a little bit of a browned crust (see photo in post). This may take 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • Toast the baguette – Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil on cut side. Grill until toasted. Toss the arugula with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Assemble the sandwiches – spread the aioli on both slices of baguette. Arrange the sliced grilled tongue on one side, and the arugula salad on the other. Bring the 2 sides together. Cut into 4 portions. Serve and enjoy!

🌡️ Useful Stuff

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

Anchovy Paste
Instant Pot
Toasted Garlic

💭 Tips and FAQ

When I cook a beef tongue in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker, I try to plan ahead. The long, regularly-shaped pieces are great for this tongue sandwich. I save the tip of the tongue to cube up for tacos or to add to a stew.

I love having roasted garlic on hand, and will often do a couple bulbs at one time. See How to Roast Garlic in the Oven or Microwave Roasted Garlic. If you’re not into the extra step, but want the smoother, nuttier flavor of roasted garlic, you can buy it in the gourmet foods section or on Amazon.

What can I do with with leftover beef tongue?

Of course my lengua tacos are a perfect option! If you’re not in the mood for tacos, try adding to a stew or soup instead of beef. Since it’s already cooked, no need to simmer for hours!

How long can I keep the cooked beef tongue?

About 5 days in the refrigerator (my standard recommendation), and 3 months in the refrigerator freezer. I recommend keeping it in its boiled state until needed and then crisp it up or stew it.

How do I roast the garlic?

I love having roasted garlic on hand, and will often do a couple bulbs at one time. See How to Roast Garlic in the Oven or Microwave Roasted Garlic. If you’re not into the extra step, but want the smoother, nuttier flavor of roasted garlic, you can buy it in the gourmet foods section or on Amazon.

Is beef tongue sustainable?

YES! Eating the whole animal (or most of the animal) is a very sustainable practice. The fact that our culture doesn’t value offal, means the standard (muscle) cuts are more expensive because of the waste. If you are interested in sustainable cooking, this is a great ingredient to add to your cooking repertoire!

One long sandwich with sliced tongue, aioli, and lemony arugula salad on a cutting board before being cut into fourths.

I am sensing the “raised eyebrows” and skepticism of some of my readers. πŸ˜‰  Have you tried beef tongue? If not, are you willing to give it a whirl? I would really love to hear your thoughts on the appeal (or lack thereof) of beef tongue and/or this recipe… I hope to hear from you soon!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Provencal Beef Tongue Sandwiches

Instant Pot Provencal Beef Tongue Sandwiches

A unique sandwich with the flavors of Provence - garlic, anchovy, and lemon complement the tasty grilled tongue. A toasted baguette and a bit of lemony arugula salad round out this sandwich for the adventurous eater!

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 10 minutes
Pressure/De-pressurize 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

Beef Tongue

  • 1 - 2 1/2 to 3 pound beef tongue, rinsed and scrubbed if necessary*
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, cut in quarters
  • water to cover plus an inch

Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Aioli

The Sandwiches

  • 12 to 16 ounces of sliced and grilled beef tongue
  • 1 long baguette*
  • Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Aioli
  • 2 to 3 ounces arugula
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • a drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon)
  • sea salt/fresh ground pepper

Instructions

Beef Tongue

  1. Place peeled tongue in Instant Pot. Add water to cover. Add the remaining ingredients.
  2. Pressure cook 1 hour at high pressure.
  3. Remove from pan and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove connective tissues and skin. The skin should come off easily. Cut into 1/4-inch slices across its length. At this point, the meat can be used as you desire.*

Roasted Garlic and Anchovy Aioli

  1. Add the garlic, egg yolk, anchovy, lemon juice, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth.
  2. Pour in the olive oil in a very slow, steady stream until the aioli emulsifies. Remove lid, taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary. Anchovies are salty, and we don't even add salt!
  3. See Tyler Florence's Anchovy Aioli for original recipe.

The Sandwiches

  1. Grill or sear sliced tongue on a hot pan until it forms a little bit of a browned crust (see photo in post). This may take 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  2. Slice baguette in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil on cut side. Grill until toasted.
  3. Toss the arugula with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To assemble the sandwich, spread the aioli on both slices of baguette. Arrange the sliced grilled tongue on one side, and the arugula salad on the other.
  5. Bring the 2 sides together. Cut into 4 portions. Serve and enjoy!
  6. * See Notes

Notes

Beef tongue purchased at a supermarket is likely to be cleaned already. If not, be sure to scrub and rinse it prior to cooking.

I departed from Tyler Florence's Anchovy Aioli in that I used 5 cloves of roasted garlic. If you use raw, use his recommended 2 cloves minced garlic. See How to Roast Garlic.

Macro Nutrients (approximation only from MyFitnessPal): 561 calories; 20 g protein; 38 g fat; 38 g carbohydrates

Analysis done using 3 ounces of slice tongue per serving, 2.5 ounces baguette, and 1/4th of the aioli. Calorie count will vary based on your portion sizes.

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 561Total Fat: 38gCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 20g

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29 Comments

  1. This looks great!! I’d love to try this out. I grew up eating beef tongue as korean bbq where we grill beef tongue sliced thin, marinated with sesame oil and chopped green onion. After marrying a Hispanic husband I fell in love with lengua tacos. I find pork tongue sold at a Hispanic grocery store at a much affordable price. Somehow no one seems to cook with pork tongue but I found them to be very similar in taste and texture. I recommend it if you ever encounter one!

    1. Hi Marika! Thanks for stopping by… I have not had pork tongue; I’ll have to look for it. I live in McAllen, TX at the border, and I am guessing I can find it. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Like you, I grew up in a family with a limited budget and a mom who made delicious meals from all of the cheapest cuts of meat. Tongue is delicious! One of my favorite preparations is served as an appetizer in Basque restaurants. The tongue is cooked and cooled. When cold it is thinly tsliced and generously drizzled with a garlicky vinaigrette. It’s sooo good. Can’t wait to try your recipe. It sounds divine!

    1. Ooooh! I love the sound of thin-sliced tongue drizzled with a garlicky vinaigrette! Yum! Thanks for stopping by Christine. Have a great week!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you for combining the ingredients I use every day (arugula, lemon, anchovies, baguettes) with the ingredient I crave a lot but never knew what to do with – beef tongue! Lengua tacos are so easy to buy freshly made that I never bothered to make tongue at home. Now I’m inspired because this is a perfect way to pair tongue with all of my usuals! I love it. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you SO MUCH Rachel! It is such an awesome combination, but tongue is one of those polarizing ingredients, and this recipe hasn’t gotten much traction… I’m so glad to find a fan πŸ˜‰

    1. My momma is in heaven smiling down at a conversation about beef tongue! I guess years of grad school can be a blessing! We just learned to love so many inexpensive and delicious foods… I was thinking about her while I was writing this one πŸ™‚

    1. Well, thank you Sam! You must love your hubby as much as I do mine πŸ™‚ He’s such a big supporter of this blogging adventure! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried beef tongue, but it sounds like such a delicious sandwich that I’ll just HAVE to make it! πŸ™‚

  5. I had to look! Although this is a non-traditional cut of meat, it does look good. I don’t know if it’s for my family, but I know a lot of foodies who like to try everything. I bet they’ll enjoy this!

    1. It’s definitely non-traditional! Haha πŸ™‚ I’m still waiting to see a comment that say “yuck,” or I just can’t do this. Thanks Susan!