Bolivian Lengua Entomatada – Boiled Tongue In Tomatoe Sauce

Not a fussy child by any means, I did draw the line at some things, and watching my mother scoop another layer of dirty scum off the cows tongue boiling away on the kitchen stove I knew I was in for a grim and hungry night.

But mum I hate tongue!” was usually my response as I fled the kitchen in tears, much to the delight of my sister who loved the stuff.

Unfortunately for my sister things have changed. After many a long day cycling in the Andes,  where tongue is almost always on the menu in the small truck-stop cafes I pulled into, I now love the stuff.  The only problem is finding a good tongue in a restaurant in London, let alone a shop, is almost impossible these days.

In England these days our bovine diet is almost totally limited to what supermarkets determine are ‘the finer cuts’ and so you can imagine my delight when I found tongue on the menu of Parrilladas del Sur, a Bolivian cafe hidden in the gloom of The Old Kent Road.

After a cold bicycle ride through south London in late December, a plate of warm tongue smothered in rich tomaote sauce was the ideal antidote. Dense in texture and with a salty taste tongue could not be easier to cook at home and in these hard economic times it provides plenty of value.

If you ask your butcher nicely they should sell you an ox tongue for a few pounds, and so here is a typical Bolivian recipe that I found while Eating London’s World of Food from A to Z.

1. Cook the beef tongue in boiling, salted water until tender (about three to four hours) removing any scum that builds up on the surface with a slotted spoon.

2. Remove the tongue and when cool enough to handle remove the skin and cut into thin slices

3. Now peel and dice the tomatoes, garlic and onions and sweat in a little bacon dripping (cooking oil will do) for 10 to 20 minutes until sticky and rich. Season well.

4. Place the sliced tongue ion a serving dish and our over the sauce. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and garnish with some diced red onions and fresh diced fresh tomatoe.

5. Serve with rice  and boiled potatoes.

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 07:28 and is filed under A to Z of London Food, A to Z Recipe, Bolivian Recipes, Eating London A to Z, World Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1. I pulled into, I now love the stuff. The only problem is finding a good tongue in a restaurant in London, let alone a shop, is almost impossible these days.

  2. do try the Bolivian restaurant on the old Kent road = i cant promise it is very good but it is good and will fill you up
    Tom Kevill-Davies 
    The Hungry Cyclist – Pedalling The World For The Perfect Meal
    t. 0789 621 5282

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