15 November 2011

A Little Tongue

 Alright, I lied.  It's a big tongue.  A big 3.5 lb beef tongue.

As Sacramento lacks a decent Jewish deli where I can pick up some pickled tongue, I started pickling, or rather, started brining one last week.  Were it a beef brisket, it'd be called corning, but it'd still be brining.  I made it once before last August and smoked it on a camping trip.  It basically tasted like a really tender slice of corned beef, or as my friend Joe told me, it tasted "legit."

It takes about 5 days to brine this thick cut of beef, and the brine I used is just the simple one that I use for corned beef:

2 l water
225 g kosher salt
50 g sugar
13 g pink salt
3 crushed garlic gloves
1 tbs pickling spice

Heat all of this until everything is dissolved, of course, and place tongue and brine into a container or zip seal bag.

After 5 days brining in a cold spot, rinse the tongue, place it in a pot that it will fit in, cover with water, and add another tablespoon of pickling spice.

Bring the pot to a boil and simmer gently for 3 hours.

As with the first time, it was still a little disturbing that the tongue muscle still retains the tastebud texture after pulling the skin off.

Especially when you get real close to get a good look at it.

This is one of those cuts of meat that I don't use too often and much like butchering up half a pig or deboning a whole bird, I cannot help but think to myself that I would hate if someone was doing this to me: having my tongue cut out, brined, boiled and then the skin torn off.  Kinda brutal, so it's best not to dwell on it.  When it's finally turned into a sandwich all those thoughts melt away though.

A smear of Düsseldorfer Senf and homemade sauerkraut on a toasted roll and ya done.

And it all only took 5 days, 3 hours, and 15 minutes.  An extra hour or two if you want to smoke it.