Beef Tongue with Tomato

Lengua Entomatada


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    3 cups

Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

Lengua (beef tongue) is a delicacy that mi mamá would make with green chile. It must be boiled for several hours, making it quite tender. Once it’s boiled all you do is sauté it with onions, garlic, and tomatoes, allowing the lengua to just melt in your mouth. She would make it occasionally on Sundays, when the family would visit after mass. My daughter Veronica came up with the idea to fill gorditas with lengua. The lengua entomatada tucked into the gorditas is a uniquely delicioso combination.


  • 2½ to 3 pounds beef tongue
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Gorditas


  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can peeled or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder


Prepare Tongue

Place beef tongue, water, onion, garlic, and sea salt in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Once it’s tender, take the tongue out of the stock to cool off. Peel off the outer layer of skin when you are able to handle the tongue. It’s easier to take the skin off while the tongue is warm. Dice tongue into ½-inch cubes and set aside.

Strain the stock and set aside. It’s always better to refrigerate the stock so you can skim the fat off and discard. If you have a fat separator then you don’t have to refrigerate.

Make Sauce

Puree tomatoes in a food processor or blender and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add pureed tomatoes and let come to a boil as you stir.

Add diced tongue, ½ cup reserved stock, black pepper, and garlic powder. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken. If it’s too dry you can add more stock, however, this recipe should not be runny if using for filling gorditas.

If using for gorditas, fill each gordita with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared tongue and garnish with cilantro.


This recipe can also be used to make a beef lengua chile stew by adding more stock and ½ cup salsa casera.