Cuban Apple Smoked al Pastor Tongue Tacos
Rumba Meats® Beef Tongue
- 5 Servings
Original Blog & Recipe by
Ronaldo Linares is a Cuban/Colombian/American former US Marine, classically trained chef, and Executive Chef of Martino's Cuban in Somerville, NJ. His Cuban-inspired, passion-infused culinary style has been featured on Food Network's "Chopped," BBC America's cross-country chef competition "Chef Race," and he's appeared on Better TV, Fox News, and Telemundo.
Cuban Tongue Tacos
As a young kid, one of my favorite cuts was the beef tongue. My mother would add it into the pressure cooker along with all types of aromatics, the house would be filled with pure joy. Tongue has been part of my upbringing and part of my signature dishes as a chef. My favorite way to cook tongue is to smoke it, and for this recipe we are paying homage to my culture using pineapples and limes, that are ingredients found in my Cuban culture but with my culinary point of view. The techniques you are about to read in the recipe will make you feel as if the tongue was sliced off the trompo. The first part of the recipe is important, it adds a lot of flavor and helps loosen the skin of the tongue. The wet rub adds a slight spice that combines perfectly with the apple smoke you are about to do. After you eat the smoked pineapple you will never eat a pineapple any other way. I am honored to share this recipe with you using Rumba Meats tongue.
For the brine:
- Rumba Meats® Beef Tongue (1 package (Trim the fat off under the tongue))
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 chipotle en adobo chile pepper, canned
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 shallot (peeled, cut in half)
For the wet rub:
- 3 chipotle en adobo chile peppers, canned
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of cumin powder
Other ingredients, aka sides:
- 1 pineapple, top removed
- Sliced radishes
- Guacamole or avocado crema
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
- Corn tortillas
- Apple wood chunks (2 small chunks)
Pro tip: pressure cooking tongue prior to smoking preparation adds flavor and makes it easier to loosen skin on the tongue. Do not skip this step
- Preheat smoker to 250ºF, adding 2 chunks of applewood for smoking.
- Trim the fat off under the beef tongue.
- For the brine: Combine tongue, water, salt, 1 chipotle chile, garlic and shallot in a pressure cooker. Secure pressure cooker and cook for 45 minutes, or until internal temperature of tongue reaches 160ºF.
- Once the timer goes off, release the pressure and remove the tongue. Place in an ice bath to cool and help loosen skin around the tongue. Once cooled, insert the tip of a knife at the bottom of the tongue and drag to the opposite side. Remove skin and discard, place tongue on a sheet pan and set aside.
- For the wet rub: Combine 3 chipotle chiles, vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and cumin in a molcajete or blender. Grind or pulse until ingredients form a paste.
- Spread wet rub paste evenly over beef tongue. Wrap in foil. Place the tongue, along with pineapple, in the pre-heated smoker set at 250ºF for 2½ hours.
- Remove tongue and pineapple from smoker and let it rest for 25 minutes. Thin slice tongue. Trim pineapple and dice.
- Now the fun part: assembling the tacos. Arrange smoked beef tongue on a serving platter with pineapple, tortillas, sliced radishes, guacamole or avocado crema, chopped cilantro and lime wedges. Be creative. Enjoy.
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