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The Whole Foods Kosher kitchen

Moroccan Beef Tongue Tajine with Swiss Chard Recipe

Posted on 11th of September, 2013 by Lévana


Beef Tongue: Yum! Thank G-d for an appreciative crowd who welcomes tongue: Growing up, beef tongue was a great treat. I only make it twice a year, like this past week for a large Sukkot Family Dinner, but would make it more often if it were not known to raise so many eyebrows and send so many people heaving at the mere mention of it. Quite often, I notice that when I leave the beef tongue slices whole, all bets are off, whereas dicing it mitigates the objectionable look and the off-putting associations…. I really apologize for being so …. apologetic about including beef tongue. Only in America by the way. Everywhere else it and all offal cuts are an expensive delicacy, whereas here it is expensive all right, but frown-upon. 

I love the addition of the Swiss Chard. Beef tongue is somewhat costly and very fully flavored; the addition of the greens adds to its bulk, and makes it a most interesting tajine. Sweet and Sour works like a dream in this dish.

I start with fresh (not pickled) beef tongue, so I can control the cooking time and salt content better; the salt used in kashering is ample enough to salt the whole dish;  also, I don’t want the pickling flavors superimposed on the flavors I am choosing to go with. I love pickled beef tongue boiled, cooled and sliced, as a cold cut, with a nice Dijon mustard, nothing more.


1 fresh (not pickled) beef tongue, 3 ½ to 4 pounds

2 bunches Swiss chard, leaves and ribs, sliced thin

3 cups canned crushed tomatoes

6 cloves garlic, minced

Good pinch saffron

4 bay leaves, or 1 teaspoon ground

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 cup raisins (dark or golden)

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


Put the beef tongue in a wide heavy pot, add enough water to cover it, and cook, covered, on a medium flame for 2 hours.
When the beef tongue is cool enough to handle, peel it, and cut it in 1-inch dice. Return it to the pot with the Swiss chard, tomatoes, garlic, saffron, bay leaves and turmeric, and 2 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce the flame and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Add the currants, sugar and vinegar and cook for 20 more minutes.
Transfer all the meat and vegetables to a platter with a slotted spoon, and check the liquid in the pot. If it is too thin, reduce it on a high flame, just 2-3 minutes, until it is thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Pour the liquid over all. Serve hot.

Filed under: Beef Recipes, Beef Tongue Recipes, Kosher Ingredients, Kosher Recipes, Meat Recipes, Moroccan Food, Moroccan Recipes, Recipes, Sephardi Recipes, Swiss Chard Recipes, Tajines Recipes

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3 Questions

  1. Fern Kettner, on Said:

    Pic doesn’t seem to match recipe–meat sliced rather than diced, olives and parsley on top rather than chard all through–is there a picture of this dish somewhere else, perhaps two recipes and pics got reversed? Considering making this for a seder, along with chicken, but feeling a wee bit nervous about it (family loves it, don’t know about tongue for guests but hey, why not?). Thank you.

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Fern, you are right. Good catch, thank you so much! I have recently asked an assistant to go over some of the techie stuff on my site, and a couple pixtures that replaced mine are not working (techies are not often cooks!) I will make the correction very soon. Meanwhile. The recipe is tried and true, and fantastic!

  2. aaa, on Said:

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the
    challenges. It was truly informative. Your website is very helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!