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Braised Beef Tongue

Written by Lois M. Rodriguez. Photographs by Lois M. Rodriguez.

Chef John Tesar of Dallas’ Spoon Bar & Kitchen and TV’s Top Chef, Season 10 was on hand at Fort Worth's inaugural Food + Wine Fest to share some of his restaurant’s seafood creations.

While Spoon Bar & Kitchen focuses on morsels from the ocean, Tesar will soon open his “modern steak” restaurant Knife, dedicated to meats, including steaks, but geared to alternative cuts of “real Texas beef” from boutique ranches offering the most prime cuts.

The following is a recipe that Tesar demonstrated for a crowd at Fort Worth’s Sundance Square. It’s for seared braised beef tongue, a meat that he says is overlooked, but adds that beef tongue offers the “truest beef taste” that also happens to be inexpensive (under $5 a serving).

Seared Braised Beef Tongue, Salsa Verde, Arugula and Caramelized onions

Braised Beef Tongue

  • 1 beef tongue (about 3-4 lbs.)
  • 2 Spanish onions
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 lemons
  • water to cover

Place all ingredients in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn to simmer, cover with parchment paper and foil. Simmer for 3 hours.

Turn off heat, remove covers and let sit for another 20 minutes.

Remove beef tongue and while still warm, peel outside layer and chill beef tongue.

Salsa Verde

  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ bunch of mint
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. capers
  • 2 anchovies
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • Black pepper, sea salt, juice of 2 lemons

Place herbs and garlic in food processor and pulse until coarsely shopped. Add anchovies and capers. Slowly incorporate with olive oil until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.


  • Braised beef tongue , sliced into 2-3 oz. steaks
  • Salsa verde
  • 2 bunches of arugula
  • 1 red onion, sliced and roasted with ½ tbsp. oil until soft and caramelized
  • Maldon salt for garnish

In a Teflon pan over high heat, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and sear tongue steaks on both sides until golden brown (just like cooking a steak).

Toss arugula in a bowl with 1 tbsp. of salsa verde and red onions.

Place greens and onions evenly on six plates, and place seared beef tongue on top of each.

Finish with Maldon salt and a drizzle of salsa verde.

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