Monday, March 14, 2011

Corned beef tongue and corned beef sandwiches

Corned beef tongue on homemade rye

Yes, you read that correctly, and no, I believe corned beef is normally made from brisket.

However, when the March Charcutepalooza challenge was announced and we were given the choice between making corned beef with brisket or tongue, I went with my adventurous side. I'd never cooked tongue before and this seemed like the perfect excuse.

Did you know that cows have really enormous tongues? The one* I purchased weighed 3.5lbs.

Brined cow tongue mise-en-place

Beef tongue, pre-brining Spices for the brine

Tongue in brine, with brine injector

I followed this recipe. The process could not have been simpler:

Combine the tongue, brine, and seasonings in container; put in fridge and forget about for a week or so. When it's done brining, boil in fresh water with aromatic vegetables for a few hours; peel; chill; slice.

Yes, I said peel.

Boiling beef tongue for corned beefCooked beef tongue
Peeling the tongueAll clean!

(Thanks to the folks over at FoodTease I had some idea of what I was getting into with the peeling. Turns out it's super easy, especially if you start on the bottom. I thought it was fun!)

Results? Delicious! Corned beef isn't something I eat often, if ever, but I was really pleased with how this turned out. The real moment of pride came when a visiting friend, who didn't know what it was supposed to be, tasted a slice and remarked, "You know, this tastes exactly like corned beef." Success.

I sliced the tongue so that we could enjoy it on sandwiches:

Corned beef tongue

In the spirit of cooking things I've never cooked before, I also decided to make my own deli-style rye bread:

Deli-style rye breadDeli-style rye breadDeli-style rye breadDeli-style rye bread

I love trying new things. Especially when they're delicious.

Corned beef tongue on homemade rye

*I actually bought two, not realizing how large they'd be. My friend Jeters kindly took the other one off my hands; now everyone needs to bug her to make lengua for tacos with it!


Heather {LifeIsAnExperiment} said...

Wow! Very adventurous!

Foodbat said...

The real question is, did Andrew eat it?

Ayn said...

He did--and he liked it!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Ayn, you're incredible! I came over to this post from your friend's tongue post at I had to do a vegetarian post after that! I do eat meat, but well ... just nothing too exotic, shall we say! She made me laugh so hard about her chickening out and throwing the tongue in the freezer, I just had to mention it and link to hers.

Ayn said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jean! And, you should give tongue another try. Braising and then shredding for tacos is probably the most straight-forward and likely to be delicious. Check out this recipe on FoodTease:

David said...

Looks great! I never thought of making corned beef from a tongue, we'll have to give it a shot for sure.