Something New- Wenn du eine gute eingelegte Zunge machen würdest. - If you would make a good pickled tongue (beef)

I fully believe that everyone should try something new, and so I will be making one pickled and smoked cow tongue for this event.  I prefer "Neat's tongue", it sounds better.  The recipe I will be using is from Welserin, and it calls for first salting the tongues, and then smoking them. It is a long process, that I hope to speed up just a bit. Wish me luck!

Wenn du eine gute eingelegte Zunge machen würdest. - If you would make a good pickled tongue (beef)

27 If you would make good pickled tongue. They are best made in January, then they will keep the whole year

First take twenty five tongues or as many as you will and take them one after the other and pound them back and front on a chopping block, then they will be long. After that pound salt small and coat the tongues in salt. Take then a good small tub and put salt in the bottom, after that lay a layer of tongues as close together as possible, put more salt on them so that it is entirely white from salt. In this manner always place a layer of tongues, after that a layer of salt, until they are all laid out. Then weigh them down well so that they are covered by the brine and allow them to remain for fifty days, afterwards hang them for four days in smoke. When they have smoked enough, hang them next in the air, then you have good smoked tongue.

202 To make smoked tongue, recipe from Herr Jörg Fugger

Take fresh tongues and cut the throat completely from it. Then they should be well pounded or beaten, lengthwise, over a block or a chair, not too hard, so that they are not smashed or do not become mangled. One must beat them until they become soft underneath and also at the tip. They do not, however, become as soft at the tip as at the back on the thick end. When they are so beaten, then put them into a trough with salt for a good while. Then they should be salted like other meat and a nice red raw beet cut into cubes and also peas sprinkled under them and in between them and over the top of them, but not all too much, and let them stay thus for a day or overnight in a warm place. Then lay a small board over them and a good heavy stone and let it remain so for four weeks. If, after four or five days, they should not be covered with brine, finely chop some red beets and cook them in water and drain the water off the beets and pour a glassful of vinegar into the water. The water should be cool enough that one could just bear to dip a finger into it. One could also cook a few peas with the beets, if the broth would otherwise be too red, and put the red beets and the likewise red peas together with the salt on the bottom and in between and on the top. They can lie for five weeks or longer, and when they are hung, the thick ends should be turned to the top, poke a hole through them with a baling needle and hang them on a coarse thread in a kitchen, which has no chimney, and not over the fire in the thick smoke, so that the outsides become nicely brown, they become splendidly brown.




To cure the tongue

1 beef tongue
4 cups water
1/3 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. pink curing salt
Opt.  Spices for seasoning - juniper, pickling spice, common spices?? 

To cure the meat, I will be bringing all of the ingredients, with the exception of the tongue, to a boil in a pot, and then I will allow it to cool, at least to room temp if not overnight.  At which point I plan on adding the tongue and the spices to the brine and I will cure it  not for 50 days, but for at least a week, if not longer.  Each day I will be checking to make sure that tongue is properly covered with the brine. To do this, I am going to be placing it in a freezer bag.  With luck, this will mimic the very long curing process used by Welserin. I've included the pink curing salt in order to create the "red color" that the beets might have added in the smoked tongue recipe.

Once the tongue has been cured, I will cook it in a simple tock which will include onions, garlic, celery and carrots. If you want a super tender tongue it should be cooked in a low oven (250 degrees) for several hours. 

The next part is VERY IMPORTANT, you have to remove the skin from the meat while it is still warm.  Wait till the meat has cooled enough for you to handle and the skin will peel right off. If it is resistant, just put it back into the stock and allow it to cook a few minutes longer.  You can serve it right away if you like, or you can move onto the next step.  

Rub a little bit of oil over the tongue and season with salt and pepper.  Because this tongue is already cooked and all we want to do is impart the smoke flavor, cold smoking at 80 degree's is perfect! You should be able to smoke a three pound tongue for about two to two and half hours.  

Allow the tongue to cool, slice very thin, and serve.  Delish!