If some of this is unclear let me know. I have a cold, and my thoughts are a little cloudy. I found some of my notes and realized that I didn’t follow Hugh’s recipe to the letter. I made an error converting the weight of the salt, and came up with one pound, which is more then I use in a brine so it seem right. I didn’t that when I soaked for 24 hours after brining. So you may want to keep that in mind. I hope this helps.Beef Tongue
It is easy to tell which one have the curing salt in the brine.Selecting and Cleaning:
I’ve read the smaller tongues are considered better, because they are less tough and more favorable. I had one large and one small tongue, and did not notice much difference in texture, but they were prepared differently. I was fortunate enough to get tongues with the cartilage already trimmed out. If your tongue has any cartilage, it is best to trim that out.
Using a stiff vegetable brush, wash tongue in sink under running water, using the brush to scrub the tongue. Once cleaned, place it in a large container, cover with water and soak for three hours, changing the water at least once, or more if the water continues to cloud up. Remove from water, pat dry and place into the prepared brine. Place a plate on top to keep the tongue fully submerged. Brine
5 qt. Water (5 liters)
1 lb. Demerara or light brown sugar (500g)
1 lb. Coarse sea salt (454g, original recipe had 1.5kg)
1 tsp. Black peppercorns
1 tsp. Juniper berries
4 Bay leaves
1 Sprig of thyme
*3 oz. Pink salt; (instatcure #1, Prague powder #1) optional.
Origingal recipe called for 50g Saltpeter as optional.
Place all ingredients except the cure in a non-reactive pot. Place on burner at high heat, stirring until all salt and sugar is dissolved. Continue to boil for about 2 minutes. Allow to cool to 40°F; add cure - stir until completely disolved, and place prepared tongue into brine.
Or boil ingredients in 3 quarts of water, and then cool finish mixture with enough ice to bring it up to 5 quarts.
Refrigerate and brine for five days, stirring brine and turning the tongue over once a day. After five days, remove from brine and rinse under cold water to remove any seasonings that are clinging to the meat. Soak for three hours, changing the water once (the River Cottage Book recommend soaking for 24 hour, but I feel that removed too much of the flavoring).
Tongues pictured after being taken for brines. The one on the left is cured, the one on the right is the one that was parboiled then skinned.A Rub for Beef: (Yes! That includes the tongue) optional.
2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. of brown sugar
2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. of onion powder
1 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
(This was enough for both tongues.)
Crush the thyme leaves in the palm of your hand; add it to the rest of the ingredients and mix well. If you don’t like that much pepper you can reduce it to your taste. To kick it up a bit, you can add 1/4 - 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.Preparation
; Removing the skin prior to smoking:
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Make sure the pot is large enough to hold enough water to cover the tongue. Once water is at a rolling boil, add tongue and parboil for 20 minutes. Remove from boiling water and immediately place it in ice water. When the tongue has cool enough to handle remove it from the water and using a sharp knife peel the skin off. Wrap and refrigerate until ready to smoke. Prior to smoking let it sit at room temperature for an hour.Rub; Optional:
Because the tongue was parboiled, you need to either coat the tongue with oil or make a paste; so the seasoning will stick to the tongue. I made a paste. You can make a paste out of the rub by adding oil to about two tablespoons of rub until you get the consistency you want. Apply the paste to all areas of the tongue. I accidently grabbed peanut oil, and that worked out well.Tongue #2
; Skin Left On:
Just pat dry and air dry 2 hours prior to smoking.
Rub tongue with oil, and apply rub.Smoking
Preheat the smoker to 200°F. Place tongues in smoker, and apply 4 hours of smoke. I recommend a strong smoke like hickory. After applying smoke, continue to cook until they reach an internal temperature of 175°F. You can only use the fork test on the skinned tongue. You should be able to insert the fork in the thickest part and remove it without resistance. Tongues with skin, you will get a false reading do to the skin being so tough. I think if you should be able to use the fork test on the wide open end of the tongue.
I can’t locate all my notes, but I believe the total time was 8 hours.
Tongues with rub ready for smoker.
Remove from smoker, tent it with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes. You can server it at that time or refrigerate and serve cold. I haven’t tried reheating them yet, but I don’t forsee any problem with that. They are well marbled, at least at the thick end.
Tongues removed from smoker.
This is the tongue that was smoked with the skin on. The picture was taken after the skin was removed.Horse Radish Sauce Recipe:
(for cold tongue)
*4 Tbsp prepared horseradish
**8 ounces sour cream drained
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash hot sauce
*Prepared horseradish varies in pungency. Start with 3 tablespoons and adjust from there. You may find you 4 tablespoons is not enough.
**Or 4 ounces sour cream drained and 4 ounces of mayonnaise.
Spoon the sour cream into a bowl lined with a few layers of cheese cloth. Tie up the corners of the cloth to make a bag and hang it over the sink to drain. If you want to collect the whey, place a bowl underneath. Let it drain until it reaches your preferred consistency.
After the sour cream has been drained; starting with 3 tablespoons of horseradish, mix the other ingredients into the sour cream. Adjust the horseradish to your likening. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using. This sauce is good for sandwiches, or just topping the sliced tongue, served alone or on crackers.
While looking for smoked tongue recipes I learned that tongue is widely used in Mexican cuisine, as the meat filling for tacos and burritos.
Also I found this Asian style tongue marinade on line. I am going to make it into a dipping sauce to serve with tongue either hot or cold. I’m thinking of using sesame seed oil, adding brown sugar; reduce the sauce on med-high heat to thicken it. After I’ve reduced it I’ll add the onion and chili pepper (Serrano), lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, then add sesame seeds.Asian Style Marinade
(enough for half a tongue)
1/3 cup mirin
1/3 cup dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon oil
spring onion , chopped
small red chillis (a.k.a. cili padi) , chopped