Nose to Tail Eating – Preparing Beef Tongue


Remember Gus?

If not you probably need a quick catch up session. Start with the day a bought a cow. Follow on with this chat we had about Gus. And finish with this final post where I sum everything up. Then you will have a slightly better idea about why I am extra passionate about nose to tail eating at the moment. Since our journey with Gus ended, we have a large collection of beef waiting to be turned into delectable dishes. We requested the offal back from the abattoir, meaning some of these cuts are a little bit out of the ordinary. And our first task was preparing beef tongue!

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Now – I eat almost anything. I’m also happy handling raw meat and fish. This sort of thing just doesn’t phase me. However the tongue made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Knowing it was the same tongue that had taken grass out of my hand and belonged in Gus’ head? Yeah – a bit close for comfort. But that was exactly why it was important to cook this beef tongue. Nose to tail. Waste not want not. Out of respect for our friend Gus.

I also LOVE sliced tongue. Tongue sandwiches were a treat throughout my childhood… Funnily enough I never really stopped to think the appearance of the original product!

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The recipe below is how I set about preparing beef tongue from the very start point. Instead of rolled tongue – which sounded awfully complicated – I decided to slow cook the tongue and shred the meat. Allowing me to use the resulting shredded beef tongue in many types of recipes, instead of just the one!

Shredded Beef Tongue

30 minPrep Time

8 hrCook Time

8 hr, 30 Total Time

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  • 1 Beef Tongue
  • 2 Onions - cut into chunks
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic - crushed
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 1tsp Salt
  • Approx 200ml of good quality Beef Stock


  1. Clean the beef tongue thoroughly. I scrubbed the rough textured tongue under cold running water - until the water ran clear. It is worth noting that there are a number of glands at the base of the tongue that the squeamish amongst us may want to remove. I left them in - and I promise that once the tongue is cooked and shredded you won't even know they were there!
  2. Place all ingredients into the slow cooker. Add stock until the tongue is covered.
  3. Cook on low for approx 8 hours, or overnight!
  4. Remove the tongue from slow cooker and leave until it is touch cool.
  5. Now for the tricky bit! Slice lightly down one side of the tongue. You just want to cut through the skin. Then peel the skin from the tongue. Watching out for bubbles/blisters as they will be full of water - that may be hot. Careful now! See photos for guidance.
  6. One the skin is removed, shred the tongue with two forks.
  7. Voila - shredded beef tongue ready for your recipes!

Preparing Beef TonguePreparing Beef Tongue (1)prepare beef tongue 4 preparing beef tongue (2)

So – are you up for the challenge? I can highly recommend it, and I promise to follow very shortly with what I made with the tongue. Though I am sure you can imagine all of the dishes a succulent shredded meat like the one above could lend it to.

Spoiler: My favourite was is Taco De Lengua