Eating Nose to Tail


 

This is going to be a multi-entry series about the process of making a corned beef tongue.  I'll be brining my tongue for one week, after that the tongue will be ready for a nice long boil, and a peel.  Then all that's left to do is eat.   One tongue will be plenty of food for two people, which is the amount I generally cook for. I'm thinking of making some tongue sandwiches, maybe a hash and I will definitely be making Fergus Henderson's tongue and bread.

First the brine.  I'm using Fergus Henderson's ratio of 2 cups sugar to 2 1/4 cup salt (I used kosher) dissolved into 2 quarts of water, then I added 12 peppercorns, 12 juniper berries and 5 whole allspice berries. Brought this mixture up to a boil, then poured it into a couple bowls and cups to cool.  

Now the tongue.  I simply rinsed my beef tongue and put it in a bowl.  Now you're not supposed to use metal bowls to brine things, but this is the bowl I've always used so I'm using it again.  If I had a non-reactive bowl I would use that instead, but I don't.
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This seems like as good a time as any to introduce my partner Ross, who inevitably eats the dishes I make for this site.  Ross did not grow up eating many of the foods that I prepare for ENT, but he has a great palate and a sense of adventure when it come to what he'll put in his mouth. Ross is also a great writer and if I can manage it hopefully he'll make a dish and write a piece sometime in the future.  Because he didn't grow up eating tongue and headcheese I'll use him as a point of reference for those of you who are curious about these foods, but still a little skeptical. 

Back to the tongue.
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I'm going to submerge my tongue in this brine for a week in the fridge.  Nestled happily between my sweet tofu pudding and Inga my sourdough starter.
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This is definitely one of those recipe you have to plan in advance, hopefully it will be worth it.  Either way it's kinda cool to have a giant tongue in the fridge.
 


Comments

06/04/2009 13:36

"a tongue in the fridge is worth two in the..."

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Sydney
06/04/2009 14:36

Wicked :)

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Jules
06/04/2009 21:34

Nice pictures! My favorite is the first tongue picture. It is like the bowl is sticking its tongue out! Hee hee...

Questions (from facebook but recapped here for posterity and):
-I have never tried tongue (I will admit I am skeptical). I do like running my finger down (dead beef) tongues in the grocery store. It is amazing that even with the plastic wrap you can feel the funny texture (tastebuds?). Hmmm do cows have taste buds? I guess, since they know they like grass and hay and not human passer bys. Can you imagine if cows went on a human buffet style rampage? OH MAN!!!
-How long does tongue last for in the freezer? Fridge? Your post says that you intend to cook the tongue next week. Or does brining give meat super powers of longevity (a fountain of youth- for dead stuff)? If so, how long do these powers last?

Also "HI INGA"!!!

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Joel
06/04/2009 23:22

I like the swagger the bowl has, sticking its tongue out at us like it just doesn't give a damn.

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Sydney
06/05/2009 08:50

@Jules Cow's on a human buffet style rampage is the most awesome mental image I've gotten all day, thanks for that :P

About how long tongues last, in the freezer I would say a tad longer than you'd want to keep a more tender cut of meat like a steak. This tongue is going to be in its bring for 1 week, and then I'm going to boil it for 2-3 hours then I'm going to peel it. So it's a really tough muscly piece of meat so being in the freezer for a long time wont damage it's texture.

The brine is acting like a cure, which is why I'm keeping it so long, if it weren't in the bring I'd be much less comfortable with it in the fridge for a week.

@Joel The tongue is definitely one of the sassier pieces of meat I've ever worked with :)

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Sydney
06/05/2009 08:55

Inga send her best wishes, she's doing very well.

Inga is 200 and some-odd years old, my Mum bought her from King Arthur flour bakery, my guess is that she's a clone of their starter. She makes very dense hearty bread, and I've found her very hard to kill. Mum on the other hand has killed her twice.

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Jules
06/06/2009 10:00

Forgive my ignorance. But how long would one keep a tender cut of meat in the freezer for? I have always wondered about meats timelines while in the freezer.

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Sydney
06/06/2009 11:15

It's different depending on the meat. This seems to be a pretty good guideline, there's a chart on the bottom that lines out lengths of time for different meats.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp#11

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08/22/2013 00:33

Actually, I am a huge fan of this this guy Fergus Henderson. I have been following his recipes for sometime now. Although, I haven’t tried any of his tongue recipes till now. Do you think the tongue good for our health?

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Its pleasant discussion about this piece of writing here at this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

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