The Recipe

Russian Beef Tongue 
With Beef Soup, Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms and Garden Salad

As Alla Zagoruyko and Yulia Converse, from Tver, Russia, taught Lindsay Sterling in Yarmouth, ME, August 2014

Serves about 6-8 people
Cooking Time: 2 hours

Beef Tongue (and Soup):

1 Beef tongue
1/2 bay leaf
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into segments
small bunch parsley stems
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into thin half-moons
small handful angel hair pasta
two small handfuls green beans, cut into segments 
8 tsp pickled horseradish (or jar for the table)

Cover beef tongue with water in a large pot. Bring up to a boil and simmer with bay leaf, parsley stems, yellow onion, and salt. Simmer for about an hour and twenty minutes. Make the salad, mushrooms, and mashed potatoes below while this is cooking (recipes below). When tongue meat is almost done, add carrot pieces. Test tenderness of meat by piercing it with a knife. When it is tender, it's done (after about an hour and half of cooking). 

Remove tongue from broth and place on cutting board. While the tongue is cooling briefly, make a soup out of its cooking broth in the pot by simply breaking a small handful of angel hair pasta over the pot so that 1 inch segments fall into the broth.  Then add a handful or two of green bean segments. Once the green beans and noodles are cooked, turn off heat.

Carve off any additional meat attached to the tongue, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and add them to the soup. Peel off and discard the dark skin layer from the tongue, and slice the tongue crosswise to make 1/4 inch thick medallions. Serve on a platter along with separate serving dishes full of  salad, sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.


1 small head lettuce
1 carrot, shredded on a box grater
1 Tbsp thinly sliced yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cucumber
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 
3 Tbsp olive oil

Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl. 

Mashed Potatoes:

10 small-medium potatoes, peeled and cut in half
1/2-1 cup milk
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 tsp salt

In medium sauce pot, cover potatoes with water and boil until soft. Strain. Mash potatoes in the pot with a potato masher, adding milk, butter, and salt for the right consistency and taste. Mash as little as possible to achieve fluffy, not waxy, mashed potatoes.

Sauteed Mushrooms

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin segments
1/2 lb. mushrooms, washed and sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces

In a large sauté pan on low heat, saute onions in until soft, without browning. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté on low. Mushrooms will become soft and juicy, but then juice will evaporate. When it does, add a tsp butter and brown mushrooms. 

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2014