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.


undercover caterer said...

It doesn't gross me out to eat it but why does it have to be so ugly? Was it hard to get the skin off?

Skipper said...

Yea, it's one of the uglier ones.

The skin slides off pretty easy when it's still warm. The first time I made it, I let it cool completely in the refrigerator and all the fat and gelatin hardened so that the skin would only come off in little bits instead of in large sheets.