Ox Tongue (Lengua) in Mushroom Sauce

Ox tongue in mushroom sauce served with mashed potatoes topped with browned onion bits. It really sounds continental but, believe it or not, most Filipino cookbooks include a version of this dish. My father had his own version too. This is mine.

Because of its price in the Philippines, ox tongue is served mostly in expensive restaurants and hotels. When served with mushroom sauce, a few slices are arranged on the dinner plate and served with a scoop or two of mashed potatoes. Neither is it a dish commonly served at home because of the extensive cooking time it requires. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it…

First of all, you don’t have to do everything all the same time. The mashed potatoes, for instance, can be prepared hours earlier and kept in the fridge. While simmering the ox tongue, do other things… read, go online, watch TV, sleep, do the laundry, clean the house… four hours is a long time. No reason to just sit and wait for the meat to cook. When I cook this dish, I prepare the mashed potatoes and cook the tongue in the morning. Then, I cool the tongue on a plate, remove the skin, cover it with cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge until it’s time to prepare dinner. The cooler the tongue, the easier it is to slice. If you slice it while still warm, the meat will disintegrate and your cooked dish will look terrible. Besides, you can’t brown the sliced tongue in butter unless it is cold and firm.

As to the mashed potatoes, the idea of mixing in the skin was something I picked up over a luncheon buffet at a local steak restaurant. I figured, why not? Aren’t most of the nutrients of the potato supposed to be in the skin? I had to sound off my kids first, though. When the said sure!, I went ahead.

casaveneracion.com Ox Tongue (Lengua) in Mushroom Sauce

Now we go to the browned onion bits… what’s the idea? Well, bacon bits on mashed potatoes just means adding something salty to it. But sweet onion bits over suffiently salted mashed potatoes is something else. To achieve this blend, it is important to use white onions. Red onions won’t do the trick. It is the delicate sweetness of white onions that is just perfect for this recipe. It is likewise important to add sufficient salt to the mashed potatoes.

Ingredients :

1 ox tongue (about 1.1 kilos)
2 tbsp. of vinegar
1 whole garlic
1 whole onion
6 peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 carrot
a few stalks of leek
1 can condensed mushroom soup
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. of butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 k. of potatoes
1/2 c. of milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp. of finely chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, sliced
4 button mushrooms, chopped

How to :

Scrape the ox tongue with a knife. Rinse well under running water. Place in a glass bowl and cover with water. Add 2 tbsp. of vinegar. With your hands, “wash” the tongue in the warer-vinegar solution. Rinse well. Place the ox tongue in a casserole and cover with water. Pierce garlic in several places with a sharp pointed knife. Add garlic, onion, carrot, leeks, peppercorns and bay leaf to the tongue. Set over medium heat and bring to a soft boil, removing scum as it rises. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 4 hours.

While simmering the meat, prepare the mashed potatoes. Using a brush, scrub the potatoes under the tap, making sure that no soil remains. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 tsp. of salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until tender. To test for doneness, insert a pointed knife at the thickest part of the potatoes. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a glass bowl. Cut the potatoes into small pieces. Mash with a fork (I did not remove the skin). Add 2 tbsp. of butter and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in 1/2 c. of milk in a thin stream. Blend well. Stir in the chopped parsley. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap.

When the tongue is tender, transfer it to a plate and cool completely. Remove the skin and slice crosswise into 1/4″ thick slices. Set aside. Strain the broth.

Over medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a skillet. Brown the chopped onion. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Increase heat to high and melt the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the sliced lengua and brown them in batches, removing them as they brown and adding more butter if necessary. Saute the sliced onion in the skillet. Add the chopped mushrooms. Dilute the mushroom soup with the meat broth. Use equal parts of soup and broth for a regular sauce; reduce the amount of broth by half for a thicker sauce. Pour diluted soup into the skillet. Lower heat to medium and bring to a soft boil, stirring to make sure that no lumps remain. Return the tongue slices to the skillet and heat through.

Serving suggestion:

Spoon the mashed potatoes at the center of the serving plate (see photo above). Top with the browned onion bits. Arrange the meat slices on both sides of the mashed potatoes. Pour the sauce over the meat. Serve hot.

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  1. cocinero xxx says

    hi connie.. i was just surfing the net and chanced upon ur site.. very interesting and with a very personal touch.. i was just enjoying reading through ur stories as well as looking through ur recipes.. i was wondering if u could suggest any exceptional authentic filipino cookbook- a must have.. ive been based in spain for the past couple of years finishing my culinary studies and just realized how in dire need i am of a bible with regards to authentic filipino cuisine.. i am actually cebuano/spanish and have more background on spanish cuisine rather than filipino cuisine, and personally i think its a shame on my part.. i will leave it here and i hope u find time to reply.. appreciate it.. muchisimas gracias!

  2. jen says

    :razz:hello pls. send me a copy on how to cook it step by step pls. connie its my nanay’s bday she want me to cook lengua but i dont know how to cook it pls. teach me how. god bless

  3. dorothy Aragon says

    its great its help me a lot,b coz my cousins want me to cook lengua for her birthyday. i think i can make it with your help…
    its really great thank you and more power

  4. happy joy says

    Hello again Ms. Connie! I am thinking of preparing this dish but I’ll try to use pork tounge instead, may idea po ba kayo kung gaano ko katagal dapat palambutin ang pork tongue?

  5. Kwinsky says

    Hi Connie, is it ok to cook the tongue in pressure cooker? para mas mabilis? I am working kaya I don’t have much time to prepare yet I want to cook delicious meals to my family. Thanks!

  6. francisca says

    hello, its just a simple recipe and yet di mo pa tinaype ang procedure.dami mo pang satsat.try mong pumasok sa ibang website marami kang mapupulot na good recipes libreng libre.bakit tayong mga pinoy mga mukhang pera.are you trying to sell your recipe? no thank you.

  7. kcaj says

    hi! my MIL cooks lengua pero not with mushroom sauce. yung luto niya is red sauce. my husband loves it so much, i do too. the thing is she doesnt want to share her recipe! so im just wondering if you have by any chance yung lengua recipe na tomato sauce ang gamit. thanks!

  8. Demy says

    Thanks for the recipe. I was searching for a mushroom sauce for the salisbury steak nasana gagawin ko. Ill try this recipe. thanks

  9. says

    Hi, can you please send me a step by step procedure on how to cook “Ox Tongue in Mushroom Sauce”.

    i live in MD, USA and I havent had a good Lengua in years.

    Thanks a lot.

  10. Ester says

    I’m going to try your recipe as the photo looks so good. Do you add the carrots, leeks, bayleaf, etc. to the tongue as you do the garlic? or do you add this to the water?


    pls send me a copy of your recipe!i want to surprise my husband(works abroad) who is coming home very soon with something new…he loves this dish whenever we are in an occassion.help pls?thanks a lot

  12. jason says

    this is a nice one, i’m in qatar and believe it or not, tounge of cow or goat is just around 70 pesos per kilo here, i cooked sinigang na ulo of goat last week and i don’t know what to do with the tounge. Puno na kasi kaserola so i set aside the tounge. i cooked lengua before using tomato sauce but i remember eating lengua in white sauce, ito na yun!!! Thanks connie more power and God Bless!

  13. iska says

    hi connie..

    i love ur recipes! unfortunately i don’t like ur attitude.. u are a public figure, u have ur website, yet the way u answer comments/questions, made by ur readers may it be STUPID or relevant, you should answer it in a nice way and how an EDUCATED WOMAN is expected to answer such.

    u have a character. don’t be so rude.
    thank u and GOB BLESS

    • says

      An educated woman does not allow anyone to abuse her. Bloggers who answer abusive and plainly nonsensical comments are those desperate for readers which I’m not.

      Don’t be self-righteous especially in a blog that isn’t yours. You don’t set the rules here.

      • Ogz says

        iska : connie isn’t a rude blogger, she just happen to get rude comments by some “self-righteous” readers like FRANCISCA and you ISKA.

        hi connie, i’m on your side, rude people on this blog deserves rude reply. Keep posting! I’m following :)

  14. Ritchie says

    That’s right Connie don’t take any bull$&* from these people. You’re one the few Filipino’s who makes sense to be one.

  15. belskie fr Iloilo says

    Hi Connie,
    I am an aspiring cook for my family, as I can only count on my left hand the dishes I know how to cook… Ox tongue is one of my favorite and was very inspired to cook it on my own upon seeing your recipe, what with its mouth-melting picture…’Guess will update you of the result next week. Happy Sunday!

  16. happyjoy says

    Ms. Connie, kakaasar ibang readers mo.. pwede bang di na lang i-post yung mga comments nila..

    pwede ko naman na di basahin ang comments’ section, kaya lang baka may ma-miss akong tips.. hay buhay nga naman!

    basta ako, masaya ako na hanggang ngayon, buhay pa tong blog na’to.. sobrang helpful.. wag po kayong magsasawa!!!


  17. arixia says

    hi!tita connie…

    ..can i have the ingredients of lengua mushroom sauce and how to cooked it step by step!..
    b’coz my mom want’s to cook it for my 18th birthday!!!..on 25th day of august!..pls!..

    ill wait ur reply!!!..

    thank you po!….

  18. Joanne says

    Hi there!! I would like to cook this recipe. Is there anyway i can have a step by step recipe im new at cooking. :) thanks!

  19. Ogz says

    This photo and recipe looks yummy and easy to make. I’m using this recipe for our potluck, as usual recipes from Connie is guaranteed a hit.

  20. carol says

    Hi Ms. Connie. How selfless of you to share your recipe. God bless you.

    Do you cook for commercial purposes? I live in Pasig. The caterer I order food from for special occasions is located in SFDM and we seem to have problems with delivery so I am hoping to find somebody new.

    Thank you for your most anticipated prompt reply.

  21. Lia says

    My daughter loves lengua in mushroom sauce but I have not attempted to cook it because it takes so long to tenderize the ox tongue. I have a pressure cooker at home. Would you recommend this to shorten the cooking time? Assuming you do recommend it, how long should I keep it in the pressure cooker? I use the pressure cooker a lot to tenderize tougher cuts of meat like shortribs but I’ve never tried it on ox tongue. Looking forward to your response. Thanks!

    • says

      Trouble with pressure cooker is you can’t check occasionally if the meat is done without going through the hassle of de-pressurizing then building up pressure again. Usually, ox tongue takes 4 hours to cook. Generally, it’s only half as long in the pressure cooker. But that depends on the quality of the meat.

      • Lia says

        Thank you. That’s a good point on the pressure cooker. While it does get the cooking done faster, it’s really quite a hassle when you have to check the meat for doneness every couple of minutes. Maybe for my first time, I will just cook it the conventional way. Cheers!

  22. aim says

    hi ms. connie… thank you for the great idea. we’ll be having our fiesta this comming sunday and planning to serve your recipe…

    please do post other recipe suited for fiestas…

    thank you

  23. Tata says

    I love your recipe, Ms. Connie! Ox Tongue in Mushroom Sauce is always a hit during get-togethers. Thank you for sharing it.

  24. trish says

    hi tita connie..i’ve been searching for a lengua recipe for ages as this is my favorite!! i decided to do this last week for my husband’s bday. hindi pa siya nakakatikim ng lengua kaya sabi ko, it’s time na malaman nya ang lasa. ang masasabi ko lang…thank you soooo much!! i love the details you gave at sobrang laking tulong lalo na sa paglinis ng lengua. i omitted some ingredients since wala akong carrots & leek that time. and i added cream (mga half cup) para mas maging creamy yung sauce..talagang perfect! thank you sooo much! i love to cook & bake but i’m pretty new at it. kaya naman lagi akong nandito sa blog mo naghahanap ng bagong maluluto at ma-bake! thanks again!!

  25. Daisy says

    Hey Connie!

    Stumbled onto this recipe by chance when searching for an ox tongue recipe. This one looks really good so I’m going to try it. My grandma usually does the cooking, so I have no idea how to prepare one. She usually just boils it with salt, but I love the idea of adding garlic and other spices to it.

    Anyway, kudos to your recipe! Happy cooking!


  26. Omega says

    Hi miss connie!

    I just finished cooking lengua following this recipe of yours. And i must say, it was really yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I was hesitant in handling ox tongue in the beginning but your detailed process and side tips made it much easier and really helped in knowing what to expect when handling ox tongue.

    Thank you again and more power!

  27. Jane says

    Thanks Ms. Connie for this recipe.. Im on my 11th week of our first pregnancy, at ang hirap maglihi ng wala sa Pinas. Your site helps me a lot to cook the food I want. Cheers to more sumptuous meals !

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