How To Cook Cow Tongue Russian Style With Tips

         The most common way to cook beef tongue in Russian cuisine is by boiling it with herbs and spices and serving it with horseradish sauce or mustard. We serve it also in salads, sandwiches and in aspic (it is old fashion way to serve cow tongue). Easy but some secrets to cook it right every time I am going to share with you. I learned from my own experience and going to share it with you. I live in the USA. Not every tongue will be the same taste and I am going to explain why some extra steps we must have in preparation to make sure, it comes out very good. The beef tongue is not popular in Louisiana where I live and I am getting what is available. It is nothing to do with freshness. I cooked tongue for most of my adult life, so I know the right taste of it. One day I bought tongue or lingua de res (another name) to make this Russian delicacy and cooked as usual. I was surprised how terrible was tasted and I trowed it away, the taste was so different than should be. My real Louisiana story from the past! If I tasted the tongue for the first time in my life, I definitely don’t want to eat it again. In this recipe, I am going to share how I cook cow tongue on the stove and it always comes out good. The key is the pre4paration of the tongue for cooking.

         So keep it in mind, we do not always try delicacies with the right taste of it and the opinion will be for the rest of our life. My advice, give second chance if you can. For example, my husband’s friend told us, he tried beef tongue ones and it was soupy taste and he doesn’t like it. The reason is so simple cow tongue will be a soupy taste if we overcook it.

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How To Clean Beef Tongue Before Cooking

         I use 2 stages of cleaning the beef tongue to be sure it will be delicious at the end. I just share how I prepare for cooking the beef tongue. Some people think the milk stage is not necessary. However, it is the way how I do and I know it really works. Soaking in milk very well-known technique to remove not desirable odor out of seafood, fish, liver.

Very Important!

    Don’t remove the skin before cooking. The way how we can remove the skin from the raw tongue is just to peel with a knife but it will be wasting some meat for sure and more difficult than if we cook before skin it. Another reason to not remove the skin before cooking is the tongue will be not presentable look if you serve as a cold cut on a meat platter.

1. Clean The Beef Tongue In Water And Soak In Cold Milk

  1. Clean the beef tongue under running water and then place in cold milk. Soak beef tongue in cold milk for 1 hour. Discard milk and wash the tongue.

2. Boil In Water

2. Place the beef tongue in boiling water and boil on medium for 15 minutes. Make sure the beef tongue is completely covered with water. Clean after boiling with running water. This step is the final step for deep cleaning the surface of the tongue.

*It is the right time to start boiling water in another pot.


1 beef tongue

1 carrot

1 rib of celery

1 onion

1 leek (the bottom)

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

Salt to taste

Cooking Direction:

  1. Bring water in a pot and salt it slightly more than you usually salt the beef broth. Place the tongue, spices, and vegetable in boiling water and boil on medium heat for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Make sure you let the salt dissolve before trying the salinity of the water.

2. Remove the beef tongue from broth and place in icy cold water. The skin will be so easy to peel off after a few minutes in icy water. On the sides, I sometimes cut with a knife because the skin does not come out easily. Return peeled tongue back to the pot and boil on medium heat for 20 minutes more or longer.

How Do I Store Boiled Beef Tongue?

       Discard vegetables and cool off the beef tongue in broth. Keep tongue in broth until ready to serve. Boiled beef tongue keeps it moist and doesn’t dry out.

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How To Know When Cow Tongue Is Cooked?

       The tongue is cooked if we insert a fork into the middle of the tongue flesh and juices coming out are clear. The softness depends on the time we cook, then longer than soften it will be.


Can We Overcook Cow Tongue?

     Yes, we can overcook the beef tongue. I never cook it longer than 2 hours. If we overcook beef tongue, the taste will be soupy and not pleasant to eat.

Old Fashion Russian Way To Serve Cow Tongue

The old fashion Russian way to serve beef tongue is to serve sliced as an appetizer with horseradish or in aspic.

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