Why is a healthy lifestyle proponent and food writer writing about beef tongue? While you probably shouldn’t eat Provencal Beef Tongue Sandwiches every day due to cholesterol and fat content, beef tongue does have a lot to offer nutritionally; it provides high-quality protein, it is considered to be complete with all the essential amino acids, it is an excellent source of vitamin B-12, etc. 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! 😀
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
Do you “run away” from non-standard cuts of animals? 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 it, and eventually, I learned to love most of these foods. My father was a PhD student, and I married a PhD student. I continued to cook organ meats throughout Mark’s graduate school career. Having moved to a border city with a very strong Hispanic influence, I once again find myself craving beef tongue. I loved it growing up, and I love it as a grown-up.
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. However, you can use the same recipe and cook it 3 hours on the cook top or all day in your slow-cooker… 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. 🙂 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.
As I thought about what direction I wanted to head with my Provençal Beef Tongue Sandwiches, the first idea that popped into my head was to dress the sandwich with an aioli (garlic mayonnaise). Taking this a step further, I wanted to incorporate roasted garlic and anchovies. The flavors of Provence include olive oil, anchovies, garlic, and lemons. I was looking to include a bit of acidity and textural variation, as I feel this makes a more interesting sandwich. The final version of this sandwich is a grilled crusty baguette spread with a roasted garlic and anchovy aioli (recipe by Food Network’s Tyler Florence), arugula dressed lightly with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, and an appropriately sized portion (3 ounces) of grilled beef tongue. Now, that’s a sandwich!
I am sensing the “raised eyebrows” and skepticism of some of my readers. 😉 Have you tried beef tongue? If not, are you will 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!
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!
60 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 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
- 5 cloves roasted garlic, mashed to a paste*
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste*
- a few grinds pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 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
Place tongue in pressure cooker. Add water to cover. Add the remaining ingredients.
Pressure cook 1 hour at 10 or 15 pounds.
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 it's length. At this point, the meat can be used as you desire.*
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
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.
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.
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.
Bring the 2 sides together. Cut into 4 portions. Serve and enjoy!
* See Notes
Beef tongue purchased at a supermarket is likely to be cleaned already. If not, be sure to rinse it and scrub 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. For instructions on roasting garlic
Macro Nutrients (approximate 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.