Pan-Fried Venison Tongue Recipe

Tongue, when cooked until tender, has a uniquely silken texture that is even better when contrasted with the crunch of breadcrumbs crisped in butter. We used larger nilgai tongues on this episode of MeatEater TV Season 9, but venison, elk, or pronghorn tongues would work great here, too. The trick is to get them tender first, slice them slightly thick so there’s just the right amount of the breading, and serve them with a tart, brightly flavored sauce.

Serving size


Time to make

3-4 hours


2 pounds venison, elk, or antelope tongues, rinsed well
2 bay leaves
1 onion, halved
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 stick butter

1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp. grain mustard
Juice and zest of 1 lemon or lime
1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
¼ cup chopped pickles
¼ cup chopped parsley (or use a combination of parsley and tarragon)
1 tbsp. capers, roughly chopped (optional)
Hot sauce to taste

Also works with

Any big game tongues


  1. Combine the tongues, bay, onion, and a big pinch of salt in a pot, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Skim any foam that rises to the surface and cook until the tongues are tender, anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the size of the tongues.  Once tender, remove from the pot and cool.
  2. While the tongues are poaching, make the sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Peel the outer skin from cooled tongues with a sharp paring knife and then cut into ¾-inch-thick slices against the grain.  Dredge first in the flour, then the beaten egg, then the breadcrumbs, making sure to coat well with each layer.  Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium-high flame until hot.  Pan-fry the breaded tongue until browned, about 1-2 minutes per side.  Drain well and serve hot with the sauce.