Blog: result of my beef tongue challenge

By Joanne Grew

This year I have set myself my usual challenge of avoiding chicken for Lent.

But what’s different about this time round is that I have decided to break my boring eating habits by seeking out beef tongue as its replacement.

In an ideal world, I would like to say so far, so good. However in reality, it’s so far, so OK (ish).

I began Lent by cooking boiled beef tongue with mushrooms in a garlic, onion and coriander sauce. Things got off to a bad start when I first saw the huge tongue raw complete with dark patches and dimples.

Visualising this sloppy tongue sitting in a cow’s mouth as it mooed away, I wondered if I could stomach it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by its tasty, rich flavour, it was the greasy, slimy and rubbery texture that got to me.

And then came the sickly aftertaste that I can still almost taste. It kept coming back, no matter how many times I cleaned my teeth, ate or drank afterwards.

I was not going to let one meal put me off though. And luckily, things have got better since. Eating it cold and thinly sliced in a sandwich with a slap of mayonnaise is the way forward for me. This way, the texture is bearable, you get the nice flavour and somehow manage to avoid the aftertaste.

It’s unlikely that beef tongue will become a regular part of my diet once Lent is over. But at least I can say I tried it before I knocked it.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.