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Almond and tomatillo beef tongue (lengua almendrada)

Langue Verde Mexicaine 1

A typical meal from Mexican neighbourhood restaurants or comida corrida, where bistro classics of yesteryear were offered. Serve with hot tortillas or rice pilaf.


  • 3 lbs beef tongue or 2 veal tongues
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 4 pasado chiles
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 4 cups cooked or canned tomatillos
  • 4 green shallots
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander, chopped (opt.)
  • ½ cup white almonds
  • ¼ cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 4 Tbsp lard or olive oil


  1. 1

    Put the tongue in a pan of cold water and soak for 15 minutes. Discard the water.

  2. 2

    Refill with a generous amount of cold water. Bring to a boil and skim.

  3. 3

    Add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, cloves, oregano, bay leaves and pepper.

  4. 4

    Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook slowly until the tongue is tender when a small knife is inserted (2-3 hours). Turn off the heat and let rest for 2 hours.

  5. 5

    Place the Pasado chilies and raisins in a bowl and barely cover with warm water.

  6. 6

    Remove the tongue and discard the rough skin. Strain the broth and set aside.

  7. 7

    Drain the cooked tomatillos and put in a blender with the drained chilies and raisins. Add shallots, fresh coriander, almonds and ¾ of the sesame seeds. Pour 1 cup of broth and reduce to a creamy sauce. If needed, add more broth to achieve the desirable consistency for coating. Taste and add salt if necessary.

    Heat a pan on medium. Pour in oil and then the sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. Taste and correct for salt.

  8. 8

    Cut the tongue into attractive slices then poach in the sauce for 5 minutes to reheat.

  9. 9

    Place the tongue and sauce in a large dish, garnish using the remaining sesame seeds.