Calf Tongue with Onion Mushroom Gravy

2 Mar, 2021
Salsify Pasta with Creamy Leek Sauce

Calf Tongue

I decided I will use all parts of the animals and share these recipes with you. This is not the first time when I cook tongue. Tongue is a delicacy. It’s easy to prepare but you need time for that. This dish is absolutely healthy. It’s gluten and dairy free and a great food for people who are following paleo and ketogenic diet.

Tongue is a very healthy organ. It is a moderate source of calories what comes from the meat’s protein and fat. All that protein is the source of all the amino acids you need to build lean muscle. Tongue contains some essential nutrients, several minerals. Zinc is one of the most important. It’s an essential mineral, important for cell growth. Zinc especially crucial for immune system also.

Calf tongue is a good source of vitamins. It is especially rich in vitamin B-12. This vitamin keeps your blood cells healthy. B-12 promotes good nerve and brain function, too. Calf tongue has remarkable amounts of vitamins B-2, B-3 and B-6 as well.

Onion Mushroom Gravy and Side Dishes

I made onion mushroom sauce and steamed some of my favorite vegetables. I share my gravy recipe with you because it is very delicious and goes very well with the cooked tongue. I didn’t want to write about steamed vegetables in the recipe. It is up to you which one you choose, which one is your favorite.

I use Portobello mushroom in this recipe. I like the meaty texture of the large slices of Portobello. I know this probably sounds a bit weird because it’s a vegetable, but I can’t better define it. They are not just delicious but very pretty and decorative on the plate. This is another important aspect.

I add full-bodied Merlot to the gravy. This is optional of course but do not miss it if it is possible. Red wine gives an extra flavor to this gravy. The earthy taste of the mushroom and the red wine complement each other very well, make a perfect pair.


Wash Portobello mushroom carefully before cooking, because it is very unpleasant to feel the sand between your teeth later.

Calf Tongue with Onion Mushroom Gravy

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 4
Author: Andrea


  • Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker


For the calf tongue

  • 900 gram calf tongue raw
  • 150 ml smoked olive oil
  • 5 pcs bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorn
  • 1 big onion whole
  • 5 cloves garlic whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1.5 tbsp salt

For the gravy

  • 2 tbsp grass fed butter or ghee
  • 1 big onion
  • 2 cloves garlic finely cut or minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves finely cut
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves finely cut
  • 4 pcs Portobello mushroom sliced
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp tapioca flour
  • 200 ml beef stock/broth
  • 50 ml Merlot or other full-bodied red wine

For side dishes

  • Steam or fry your favorite veggies. I made asparagus and combined sweet potato with beetroot. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.


  • Make the tongue first. Massage the tongue in smoked olive oil and leave to rest for 1 hour. It gives a delicious flavor. You have two options for cooking. Use Instant Pot (IP) if you have, this is the fast method. Put all ingredients into IP and cover the tongue with water by 1 cm. Then close the lid and cook the tongue on Manual High Pressure mode for 50 minutes. Use natural release to release the pressure.
    The other option to put all ingredients into slow cooker or Dutch oven. Cover with water by 3 cm and simmer on medium low heat for at least 4 hours. It’s ready when you can push a fork into it without resistance.
  • When the cooked tongue is cool enough to handle, peel its skin and slice.
  • Make the gravy. Heat the butter or ghee in a frying pan. Sauté the onions for 4 minutes on medium heat until translucent. Do not burn it, stir frequently!
  • Add garlic, thyme, rosemary and cook for 1 minute, stir constantly. Garlic can burn very fast.
  • Add sliced Portobello mushroom, ¾ tsp salt, ½ tsp freshly ground pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Add tapioca flour, stir thoroughly and very fast.
  • Add beef stock, wine and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until it’s thickened. Add more beef stock or water if it’s too thick. The sauce has to be silky. Taste and season with salt and pepper if it's necessary.
  • Heat 3 tbsp butter or olive oil in a frying pan. Add tongue slices and fry for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Serve tongue slices with the gravy and steamed vegetables. Sprinkle with finely cut parsley. Enjoy!