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.