Bison tongue: I totally wimped out

TongueI didn’t mean to buy bison tongue.

The package said Bison Heart & heart is one of the organ meats I’ve semi-mastered. In that I know how to cook it (in place of stew meat in Cinnamon Beef Stew) & I’ve accepted that is yummy.

I’m still a little squeamish about the ventricles & aortas & whatnot, but heart is within my slowly-expanding offal repertoire.

Which isn’t too bad considering I just launched myself (reluctantly but resolutely) into organ meats 2 months ago.

I bought this particular package of heart because it was twice as big as the others. I thought that what I had was a less-manicured organ & that this would be a perfect chance for me to really grapple with the aorta situation. That was courageous, I thought.

So I was fully expecting something a little more disquieting than the well-trimmed hearts I’d previously encountered. I even recruited Matthew to take some photos to document my bravery. But what I found inside the package was a little too alarming.

I bailed.

Right from the outset.

Luckily Matthew is not so squeamish. It took us a little while to figure out that what we had was actually a humungous ruminant tongue, and not a heart at all. The whole thing was covered in tongue bumps & felt just like a cat’s tongue (Matthew made me feel it, and I couldn’t really say no, after all my earlier bravado).

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But even though I was super-impressed with his fortitude in processing the tongue, when it came to cooking it, I wimped out again. No doubt he would have cooked it, but one of the primary undiagnosed symptoms he is dealing with right now is severe nausea. And cooking isn’t conducive to his attempts at being functional. So I wasn’t going to ask him.

I was all prepared to make a bison heart stew in the slow cooker, but I had no idea what to do with this monstrous tongue.Heart

I kind of freaked out for a while.

Then I tried ignoring the situation & let the tongue just sit there on the cutting board.

Finally I just accepted that I wasn’t ready for tongue.

I buried it.

And that’s the whole, awkward story of how I’m still an offal wimp.

I’m an offal hero when it comes to bison liver, though. Read that gripping narrative (& find an excellent entry-level recipe) here.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Bison tongue: I totally wimped out

  1. That is totally fair. We had the hardest time handling tongue a few weeks ago, because even fully boiled, skinned, and then further cooked, it still manages to look like tongue. It also has a very strange, soft texture that hit my gag reflex spot on, so it’s probably for the best that you didn’t get to actually eating it. Tongue is officially on my “nope” list.

    • Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone! Tongue is still on my list, for some future unspecified time. But given that tongue is technically a muscle meat & therefore doesn’t have the health benefits of heart or liver I’m okay with sticking with those for now.

  2. Sylvia

    O Petra, you really missed out on a wonderfull delicacy. My mother used to make it at least once a month. Now I’m Paleo i have re-found it!
    Please give it another try, it is worth it!k

  3. Alice

    It IS gross to look at but trust me,it’s delicious. It has the texture of cold cuts, which was a little hard for me to get used to, but it’s so good that even my grandchildren all loved it. (They didn’t see it before I served it!)

  4. Bekki

    Oh my…I haven’t truly laughed so hard in a long time! I tried to introduce Grace and Paolo to NomNom paleo’s chopped liver. Let’s just say that my hours of effort were not met with gratitude. So, I have accepted that liver is a no no for them. As a child who grew up in poverty, heart, liver, and tongue were regularly on the table. My Dad and I loved them! I’m thinking that if I made tongue it would just be money wasted!

  5. Lovely Petra – My Mum STILL makes tongue for my Dad when he is very good to her ( she has stopped smelling the house out with tripe! That is one childhood memory I don’t want to revisit) and HER tongue is delicious.

    You have definitely inspired me. I shall do some research…

  6. Richard

    Hi,
    I have not had bison tongue, but have cow tongue from time to time. It is very high in gelatin and has a wonderful mouth feel. The way I make it is to pressure cook it for about 45 minutes, let it cool. (If you slice it when it is warm the jelly leaks out.) Remove the skin and cut it into large chunks that I then add to a curry or stew. Its really wonderful in a red curry.

    And reserve the water, and add it to the curry.

    Its not a nutrient powerhouse like liver or heart, but It is a wonderful gelatin rich cut, like shin but more so.

  7. Pingback: SUPER SIMPLE Ox Tongue with Green Caper Sauce | This Sydney Life

  8. Pingback: Have Heart! | petra8paleo

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