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.
Cuban Tongue Tacos
For the brine:
- 1 package (Trim the fat off under the tongue) Rumba® Beef Tongue
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 chipotle pod (canned)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 shallot (peeled, cut in half)
For the wet rub:
- 3 chipotle pods
- 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of cumin powder
Other ingredients, aka sides:
- 1 pineapple (remove the top, place in smoker with the tongue)
- Guacamole or avocado crema
- Apple wood chunks (2 small chunks)
- Pre heat smoker to 250 degrees.
- First thing first. We need to pressure cook our tongue. Add the water, salt, chipotle pod, garlic cloves, shallot, and Rumba Meats Beef Tongue into a pressure cooker. Place lid and secure the pressure cooker. Set timer for 45 minutes.
- Pro Tip: This step is crucial in adding flavor and loosening up the skin on the tongue. Do not skip this step. 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, place on sheet pan.
- In a molcajete or blender, place the chipotle pods, white distilled vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and cumin powder. Work the ingredients to create a paste.
- Place wet rub on the Rumba Meats tongue and make sure to spread it on to the surface of the tongue. Wrap it in foil. Place the tongue in the pre-heated smoker set at 250 degrees for 2.5 hours. At this point add the pineapple as well.
- After 2.5 hours, remove tongue and pineapple from smoker and let it rest for 25 minutes.
- Now the fun part: assembling the taco. Tortilla, sliced Rumba Meats tongue, avocado crema or guacamole, pineapple, cilantro, and radishes. Other add in could be queso fresco or tomatillo salsa. Be creative. Enjoy.