I’ve given details on preparing tongue a couple times (here for buffalo, here for pork). This corned beef tongue was brined with curing salt and lots of pickling spice. As you can see in the picture, the tongue has some insanely thorough fat marbling. It actually looks a bit like Wagyu beef! Fantastic sandwich…
The tongue is one of those cuts that sounds way, way weirder than it really is.
The tongue has two sections. There’s the part that we usually think of when we consider an animal’s tongue: the part at the front that can move freely around the mouth. Then there’s the base, at the back of the mouth. The meat from these two sections is different.
The tip meat has a very close, dense texture, and is lean. The base meat has a coarser texture, and is a bit fatty.
The meat from both sections is very tough in its raw state. As you can imagine, the tongue is a highly exercised muscle, and requires extensive cooking at low temperatures, usually … Continue reading.
A while back I wrote a post on cold-cut Bath chaps: a boned-out pig’s head, cured, rolled around the tongue, tied, poached, and sliced. While I was extremely happy with the look of those Bath chaps, they were pretty bland. I figure that the cure leached into the poaching liquid.
I had another go at the chaps with this fall’s pig. This time, instead of using a whole head, I used only one jowl, cured, and wrapped around the tongue.
After rolling and tying, I seared the meat over high heat. Once chilled, I vacuum-packed the chaps and simmered them for two or three hours. This was not proper sous-vide: though the meat was vacuum-packed, it wasn’t cooked in … Continue reading.
A simple variation on the brine and boil theme.
The rule of thumb for brining hams is a half day per pound of meat. Tongues seem to take a week for the brine to penetrate, even if they only weigh two pounds. This could be because the meat is dense and fine-textured, but that’s only a theory.
As is easy to imagine, the tongue is a highly exercised muscle. It contains lots of connective tissue that moist heat dissolves into delicious, succulent gelatin. As such tongues are almost always boiled.
I had just made some good buffalo stock, so I decided to braise this particular tongue. I didn’t expect braising to affect the tongue much differently than boiling; I just … Continue reading.