Lengua (Ox Tongue) in Garlic and Butter

Is that “Eeeeeeew!” and “No, thank you!” I hear from the uninitiated?  Lengua is not for the faint of heart…or tummy for that matter.  It is a dish I’ve loved since I was a little girl.  My late Nanay (maternal grandma) made the best Lengua Estofado (Ox Tongue with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Potatoes), if I may share my biased objective opinion. Hee hee!   My mom’s version, however, is simpler, in that the lengua slices are cooked in garlic and butter.  For the sauce, she simply uses cream of mushroom with loads more of mushroom for the gravy.  Is that cheating?  Not in my book! :P  Hubby prefers lengua with mushroom sauce, too, for the simple reason that that’s also how his maternal grandma made it.   If Hubby and I have discriminating tastebuds, it’s because our grandmas fed us well, too well.  Nothing beats grandma’s cooking, you know!

Of course, lengua is at it’s gorgeous best when it’s already sitting pretty ion a platter, gravy on the side or drizzled on top.  Cooking it is a whole different story.  Not that it’s hard, just plain, well, eeeeew.  Hee hee.  What’s a domestic goddess with lengua cravings to do?  Eating in a restaurant would have been the easy way out.  But I decided to do my ancestors proud.  A few weeks into domestic life here in the US three years ago, I cooked lengua myself. And I tell you, my Nanay must have been smiling at me.

I made this dish for hubby’s birthday celebration.  It is one of his favorites dishes after all.  If you have a pressure cooker, bless you.  It will not take you very long to wait for the tongue to become tender.  As for the pressure-cooker deprived me, I boiled the ox tongue for more or less three hours.  The long wait was well worth it.  The lengua was oh-so tender. ;)


Ox Tongue
1 onion, quartered
salt and pepper
garlic (lots of it)
butter (for frying)


1 can cream of mushroom
water or (ox tongue) broth
1 can sliced mushrroms, drained


1.  Boil the ox tongue in salted water and the quartered onion until tender.  Like I said, it took me approximately 3 hours.  Save some of the broth for the gravy.  When desired tenderness is reach, take the ox tongue out of the pot and cool until cool enough to handle.
2. Peel off the leather-like outer skin of the tongue.  It’s not too difficult to peel, but you will need a knife to help you along.  Remove some of the fat under the tongue, too.
3.  Slice the tongue into 1/2 inch thick pieces then season with salt and pepper.
4.  In a skillet, melt about 1-2 table spoons butter.  Then add some garlic.  At this point, it’s upto you how garlicky you want the ox tongue to taste.
5.  Brown the tongue slices in the butter and garlic, then arrange on a serving platter.  Pour warm gravy over the ox tongue slices.

For the Cream of Mushroom Gravy…

1.  Cook the cream of mushroom as per instructions on the can.  Substitute water with the ox-tongue broth.
2.  Add the mushrooms and simmer for a minute or two.
3.  Pour sauce over the ox-tongue slices or transfer to a gravy boat.

Funny how I’m making myself hungry as I type this entry.  I should cook lengua more often.  Hee hee. We just had this on November 28th. Do you think Christmas Eve is too soon to have it again?  Holiday parties galore in the new few days, one after the other.  I already have dark circles under my eyes getting ready for ’em.  Still, there’s so much more that needs to be done.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ;)

Happy Mid-Week! Cheers!

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8 Responses to “Lengua (Ox Tongue) in Garlic and Butter”

  1. Iris says:

    yum! usually when i eat lengua i try not think what it’s made of =)

    pero meron bang way to “cheat” it? like using some other part instead of the tongue? =)


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Iris! Hmmm, I can’t think of any other substitute for lengua, except maybe a very tender cut of beef. You’ll have beef in garlic and butter with creamy mushroom sauce. Still sounds good to me! :)


  2. Jigi says:

    Yummmm…. i did this too (http://thechefswife.blogspot.com/2009/04/i-dare-you-ox-tongue-lengua-in-mushroom.html) and I must say I was a proud first timer… thanks for sharing :) and just proves this versatile dish can be done in lots of ways… we just have to be adventorous

    .-= Jigi´s last blog ..Baby Hannah @ 7mos =-.


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Jigi! We love lengua. What’s keeping me from cooking it more often is the fact that I don’t have a pressure cooker. Maybe it’s about time I get one soon. :) Regards to you and your family!


  3. Pinky says:

    Now this is “lengua love” at its finest! :) Yummy!

    As for me, I think I’ll have to wait till I’m back in Manila to sample this delish dish again… no use trying to cook it myself since I’d be the only one eating it :( The rest of my fam, as you might very well know by now, is “innards-averse” and are quite “non-adventurous” with trying out the more “exotic” types of meat.
    .-= Pinky´s last blog ..Chicken Potato Apple Salad =-.


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Pinky! I get you. It’s a blessing that Dondi and I like the same food, at least most of the time. Hee hee. :)


  4. dang says:

    i love lengua & almost always i cook this from my friend;s recipe which is somewhat similar with yours except that i normally use the crock pot, set at low for 8 hours for one tongue bought from sams or walmart ($10 or less ang isa i think)..
    yun lang weng..keep on cooking!:)


    munchkinmommy Reply:

    Hi Dang! I got myself a slow cooker over a year ago. I still haven’t used it. But I got it out of the box already over the holidays thinking I was finally going to use it…but didn’t. Hee hee. Hopefully, magamit ko na one of these days. :) I will keep on cooking. Thanks! :D