Cow tongue is the bomb! As a student, I always went out of my way to get it (dirt cheap per pound compared to other cuts).
Really delicious way to prepare it:
1) Boil the living daylights out of it in salted water with some pepper corns and a bay leaf for 3 hours minimum
2) Let it cool down
3) Peel the skin off
5) In a large pot, sautee garlic and then some tomato in olive oil or lard
6) Add the tongue in, along with salt and pepper
7) Add a few glasses of white wine and chopped fresh parsley
NomNomPaleo uses tongue, here's a link:
I scrape off the pale layer under the membrane with a spoon because I don't like to look at the taste buds. You could try shredding it; lengua makes awesome tacos.
Dont give up on the tongue yet!!
Being as apprehensive as you were, I'm surprised more people didn't implore you to avoid a straight presentation on tongue! It does take some getting used to for many!
Give it another shot, but this time after cooking let it cool in fridge....slice it very very thin and season lightly. Get a couple slices of nice rye bread (I know, I know...its not primal...but this is a transitory thing!) and grill them in pan with a little butter. Put some of your favorite mustard on both sides and then put the tongue on. You could add some swiss cheese too.
Basically, the rye and the mustard are some distinct, familiar flavors that set off the gaminess of the tongue and complement it well. Much easier to appreciate than diving straight into an inch thick piece of tongue!