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.
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.
(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:
In the spirit of cooking things I've never cooked before, I also decided to make my own deli-style rye bread:
I love trying new things. Especially when they're delicious.
*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!