Estofado de Lengua Recipe from Uruguay

Estofado de Lengua - Beef Tongue Stew

Estofado de Lengua Recipe from Uruguay
Region / culture: Uruguay | Preparation time: 12 hours | Cooking time: 4.5 hours | Servings: 6-8


Estofado de Lengua - Beef Tongue Stew
Estofado de Lengua - Beef Tongue Stew

Estofado de Lengua, or Beef Tongue Stew, is a traditional dish that is popular in many Latin American countries. This hearty and flavorful stew is made with tender beef tongue, vegetables, and a rich broth that is sure to warm you up on a cold day.


Beef tongue has been a popular ingredient in many cuisines for centuries. In Latin America, beef tongue stew has been a staple dish for generations, with each family adding their own unique twist to the recipe. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, creating a delicious and comforting meal.


How to prepare

  1. Clean the tongue well, removing any bones and nerves. Soak it in cold water for 12 hours (overnight) and brush it thoroughly.
  2. Fill a saucepan with plenty of water and bring it to a boil. Immerse the tongue in the boiling water.
  3. Allow the tongue to boil vigorously for 10 minutes, then place the saucepan under a cold tap to renew the water and cool down the tongue. Remove the tongue from the saucepan.
  4. Using a sharp knife, peel off the thick skin from the tongue. Refill the saucepan with plenty of water and cook the tongue for 2 hours.
  5. Heat the pork fat in a pan and add the peeled and chopped onion. Sauté until the onion turns transparent. Place the drained tongue on top.
  6. Scrape and wash the carrots, then cut them into thick slices and arrange them around the tongue. Sprinkle with wine and broth, and add the bay leaf and thyme.
  7. In a mortar, crush the fried bread with a garlic clove and dissolve it in some of the cooking liquid from the tongue. Pour this mixture over the tongue, add 2 or 3 peppercorns and a little salt.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Then, cover the saucepan with parchment paper and the lid. Let it cook over low heat for 1.5 hours. Remove the tongue and carve it. Place the carved tongue on a serving dish and garnish with the carrots.
  9. Pass the sauce through a sieve and pour it over the tongue. Serve hot. If the sauce is too thin, thicken it with a tablespoon of cornstarch.


  • Add potatoes or sweet potatoes to the stew for a heartier meal.
  • Use red wine instead of white wine for a richer flavor.
  • Add olives or capers for a tangy twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Soaking the tongue overnight helps to remove any excess salt and impurities.

- Boiling the tongue before cooking helps to tenderize the meat and remove any excess fat.

- Adding a slice of fried bread and garlic to the sauce helps to thicken and flavor the stew.

- Cooking the stew low and slow allows the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender.

Serving Suggestions

Estofado de Lengua is traditionally served with rice or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce. A side salad or steamed vegetables can also be served alongside the stew.

Cooking Techniques

The key to making a delicious Estofado de Lengua is to cook the stew low and slow, allowing the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender. Be sure to check the stew periodically to ensure that it does not burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you are unable to find beef tongue, you can substitute it with beef cheeks or brisket. You can also use chicken or pork as a substitute for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

Estofado de Lengua can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The flavors will continue to develop as the stew sits, making it even more delicious the next day.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Estofado de Lengua in a large serving dish, garnished with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of paprika. The colorful vegetables and rich sauce make for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Estofado de Lengua pairs well with a full-bodied red wine, such as a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon. A side of crusty bread or rice is the perfect accompaniment to soak up the flavorful sauce.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover Estofado de Lengua in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the stew on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Estofado de Lengua contains approximately 350 calories, making it a filling and satisfying meal.


Estofado de Lengua is a low-carb dish, with only a small amount of carbohydrates coming from the vegetables and wine used in the recipe.


The pork fat used in this recipe adds flavor and richness to the stew. However, it is important to enjoy this dish in moderation due to its high fat content.


Beef tongue is a rich source of protein, making this stew a hearty and satisfying meal.

Vitamins and minerals

The vegetables used in this recipe, such as onions and carrots, provide essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium.


This recipe contains pork fat and beef tongue, which may be allergens for some individuals. It is important to check for any food allergies before preparing this dish.


Estofado de Lengua is a nutritious and delicious stew that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. It is a hearty meal that is perfect for a cozy night in.


Estofado de Lengua is a delicious and comforting stew that is perfect for a cozy night in. With tender beef tongue, flavorful vegetables, and a rich broth, this dish is sure to become a family favorite. Enjoy this traditional Latin American recipe with your loved ones for a hearty and satisfying meal.

How did I get this recipe?

I remember the excitement that washed over me when I first saw this recipe for Estofado de Lengua - Beef Tongue Stew. It was a cool autumn day, and I had just returned home from the market with a beautiful beef tongue that I had purchased on a whim. As I sorted through my collection of cookbooks, I stumbled upon a worn and weathered recipe card tucked away in the back of one of my grandmother's old cookbooks. The handwritten note on the card simply read "Estofado de Lengua" and underneath it was a list of ingredients and instructions that were both foreign and intriguing to me.

I had always been adventurous in the kitchen, willing to try new recipes and techniques, so I decided to give this one a go. As I read through the recipe, I could almost hear my grandmother's voice guiding me through the steps. She had been a wonderful cook, always whipping up delicious meals for our family with ease and grace. I had learned so much from her over the years, and I felt her presence with me as I embarked on this culinary adventure.

The first step in making the Estofado de Lengua was to simmer the beef tongue in a pot of water with onions, garlic, and bay leaves until it was tender. As the rich aroma of the spices filled my kitchen, I was transported back to my childhood, watching my grandmother work her magic in the kitchen. She had a way of turning the simplest ingredients into the most delicious meals, and I hoped to do the same with this recipe.

Once the beef tongue was cooked, I set it aside to cool and turned my attention to the sauce. The recipe called for a mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and a variety of spices to be sautéed in a skillet until they were soft and fragrant. I could feel my mouth watering as the scent of the vegetables filled the air, mixing with the savory aroma of the beef tongue.

After the sauce had simmered for a while, I added the sliced beef tongue back into the pot, allowing it to soak up all the flavors of the sauce. As I stirred the ingredients together, I felt a sense of satisfaction wash over me. This dish was shaping up to be something truly special, a testament to the traditions and memories that had been passed down to me through generations.

As the Estofado de Lengua simmered on the stove, I couldn't help but think about all the other recipes I had learned from my grandmother over the years. Each dish held a special place in my heart, a connection to my past and my heritage. Cooking had always been more than just a way to nourish my body; it was a way to nourish my soul, to honor the women who had come before me and shared their love and knowledge with me.

Finally, the Estofado de Lengua was ready. I scooped a generous portion onto a plate, garnishing it with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. As I took my first bite, I was transported back to that moment in my grandmother's kitchen, watching her cook with love and passion. The flavors of the dish were bold and comforting, a perfect blend of spices and textures that danced on my taste buds.

As I savored each bite, I couldn't help but smile. This recipe for Estofado de Lengua was more than just a dish; it was a link to my past, a connection to the women who had shaped me into the cook I was today. I knew that with each bite I took, I was honoring their memory and carrying on their legacy in my own little way.

And so, as I finished my meal, I made a silent vow to continue exploring new recipes, to keep learning and growing in the kitchen, just as my grandmother had done before me. For in each dish I cooked, I felt her spirit with me, guiding me with love and wisdom, and reminding me of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories.


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