Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Beef Tongue Vinaigrette and A Review of Under Cooked #CooktheBooks

 Slices of tender, lean, beef tongue marinated in a garlic, onion and pepper vinaigrette.  This dish is delicious to serve as an appetizer by itself, as part of a charcuterie or as a topping for a green salad.

Beef Tongue Vinaigrette

If you have never tried beef tongue this would be a great first recipe.......

I was reading Under Cooked, a Memoir by Dan Ahdoot. This novel was chosen by Debra of Eliot's Eats for our December/January read in our Cook the Books Club.  You have the rest of this month and all of next to read this selection and join us.  Learn how in our Guidelines Post.  

This memoir is all about food and how Dan obsesses over food to the point that it affects his relationships.  I also obsess about food, the difference is that for Dan food seemed to be all about control and/or power.  For me, food is all about love and/or comfort.

Under Cooked

Perhaps this was because Dan was raised in a strict Jewish home where certain foods were forbidden. The only food rule in the house where I was raised was that you at least had to try foods you were not familiar with before saying that you didn't like them.

For me, this rule was only applied once, when it came to liver.  I did have to try it before I admitted that the taste was okay but the texture bothered me.  After I tried it that one time, my Mom was happy to let me eat the bacon that she rendered to use the drippings for frying the liver and onions while the rest of the family dug into that liver like there was no tomorrow.

Beef tongue

Something that Dan and I have in common is our Eastern European heritage.  My maternal grandmother was from Czechoslovakia.  This meant that a lot of the foods that Dan had grown up eating were also part of my childhood food memories.  One of the foods both Dan and I grew up enjoying was beef tongue.

Beef Tongue Vinaigrette

I get beef tongue once a year when I pick up my 1/2 cow that I order from my friend Vicki to fill my freezer.  My mom used to always make soup with her beef tongue or we would eat it slathered with Miracle Whip on sandwiches.  It is also a common taco ingredient in Mexico where they call it Lengua.  It makes a wonderful stew as well.

Beef Tongue pin

Being all muscle, beef tongue needs a slow braise.  I often just put it in the slow cooker with bay leaf, onion and carrots and let it cook all day.  Once it is fork tender, you need to remove any hard muscle around the edges and at the base, before peeling the skin to reveal the scrumptious, lean, meat inside. Strain the stock and use it for soup or stew as you would any other beef broth.  

I had never heard of Dan Ahdoot and never would have picked up this book had it not been assigned for Cook the Books.  Evidently he is a comic and actor as well as an author.  I understand he was in Cobra Kai.  I binged on Cobra Kai a few years ago but I can't place Ahdoot at all.  The memoir is entertaining and did make me laugh out loud a couple of times.

Foodies Read Bingo

It is almost the end of the year and that means the end of the 3 month long Foodies Read Bingo that I have challenged myself to complete a coverall on.   I am using this read to mark off A Book that I only read because it was Foodie.

Here are the links to the other categories.......

I will be sharing the last book that I am reading for this challenge on the very last day of the year.  Stay tuned for that.

Appetizers, Beef, Vinaigrette
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Beef Tongue Vinaigrette

Beef Tongue Vinaigrette

Slices of tender, lean, beef tongue marinated in a garlic, onion and pepper vinaigrette. This dish is delicious to serve as an appetizer by itself, as part of a charcuterie or as a topping for a green salad.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 4 HourInactive time: 4 HourTotal time: 8 H & 20 M


  • 1 beef tongue
  • 2 onions, divided
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 3 small leeks, white and light green parts, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil


  1. Wash the tongue and remove any visible fat and nodules. Place into a slow cooker.
  2. Add 1 of the onions, cut into chunks, the carrot, bay leaf, salt, pepper, half of the garlic and leeks. Pour in water to cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  3. Remove the tongue to a cutting board and allow to cool. Discard the cooking liquid and vegetables.
  4. When cool enough to handle, cut any hard parts from the base of the tongue. Starting at the largest part and going towards the tip of the tongue, peel off the skin and discard.
  5. Cut the tongue into thin slices and store, covered,in the refrigerator until you make the vinaigrette.
  6. Place the onion and bell peppers into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Remove to a deep bowl and add the garlic, cider, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and whisk until combined.
  7. Before serving, layer the beef slices onto a plate or platter. Spoon the vinaigrette over it, cover and refrigerate for several hours and up to 24 hours to allow the meat to absorb some of the vinaigrette

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

13.76 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.91 g

Carbs (grams)

10.65 g

Fiber (grams)

1.9 g

Net carbs

8.74 g

Sugar (grams)

3.9 g

Protein (grams)

1.34 g

Sodium (milligrams)

39.85 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0.09 mg


  1. Thank you for clueing me in that we had a new Cook the Books selection. Oye. My boys come home and my whole schedule and brain go out the window. Just ordered it. Looking forward to reading and, maybe, trying your tongue recipe. I have a beef heart in my freezer though. No tongue.

    1. I am anxious to see how you prepare your heart. I have never made it.

    2. I haven't done the heart yet, but I will likely make it the way Dan does: quick sear served with chimichurri. Stay tuned!

    3. I've only fixed tongue once, and knowing my husband, just said it was beef. Forget now how I cooked it, but remember we both liked it fine. No one around here usually carries tongue, but if I find any your recipe sounds like a winner!

  2. Looks good but I'm sorry to say I just can't get beyond the "tongue" part. Will enjoy from afar....

    1. That last comment was from Cathy B -- the site wouldn't let me ID myself

    2. Yes, I find that when I serve tongue I am best off not saying anything other than beef.

  3. My mother also applied the rule about trying a food item at least once and beef liver definitely didn't get past that single tasting (chicken liver is a different story, since we all liked chicken liver pate'). My mother didn't cook tongue so I was never asked to taste it. Thank you for all the information about how to prepare and cook tongue and how it's used. Very interesting recipe :)

    1. Thanks Simona, if you ever do get an opportunity, give tongue a try. It is very tender, delicious meat.


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