Jump to content

Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.


Tongue Pastrami/Pickled Tongue


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 thayes1c

  • participating member
  • 159 posts

Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:23 PM

I'm a big fan of pastrami and a big fan of lengua tacos, so when I saw a tongue at the butcher's shop I immediately thought "tonguestrami!" I've never had it before, but I know it exists and it sounds delicious. I'm going to use the Modernist Cuisine recipe, seeing as I've got copious amounts of the spice rub on hand, but I had a couple questions:

First, do I need to skin the tongue? I always find my lengua more appetizing if this step has been followed, but am not sure if it's necessary if it is going to be sliced. I was thinking about blanching and peeling after the cure and before the cook.

Second, what is the best temp/time to cook sous vide for a good sliceable texture? MC lists 154 F for 12 for a tender, juicy texture but don't know if thats equates to what I want. Other recipes seem to show much longer cooking times, like 24-48 hours, so I just want to make sure that I get the right formula.


#2 chefmd

  • participating member
  • 275 posts

Posted 20 August 2012 - 03:04 PM

What a great idea! Skin is generally easily removed after cooking but I have no idea if it is going to interfere with curing process. Perhaps do half and half for the sake of science?

#3 Tri2Cook

  • participating member
  • 4,093 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 20 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

Wylie Dufresne does his pickled tongue like this. Maybe not exactly what you have in mind but something to get the ideas flowing.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#4 HungryChris

  • participating member
  • 476 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 21 August 2012 - 11:36 AM

I have been pickling beef tongue for several years and have tried various methods, but never sous vide. So I can't be of any help there. What I do usually is pack it in the fridge submerged in Morton Tender Quick solution that I have also injected pretty well into the interior. I let this stay undesturbed for as long as 2 weeks. Then I soak it in a few changes of water, then gently simmer for a few hours with peppercorns, bay leaves and a little vinegar. The skin peels off easily after a few hours and would be unpleasant left on. The last time, I cured it, then par boiled it and smoked it. The end product was quite good, but the skin had to be tediously removed with a fillet knife after the par boil so I think I will just go back to the gentle simmer from now on. The first several I did had a center where the core had not properly cured and were the color of pot roast, but tasted fine.


#5 thayes1c

  • participating member
  • 159 posts

Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:57 PM

Well, just had a tonguestrami on rye with some sauerkraut and mustard. Pretty darn good. I don't think it's better than brisket pastrami, but still delicious. I brined it for 15 days with the MC equilibrium brining method and it was cured well throughout. I opted to use the cooking method from Thomas Keller's Under Pressure, cooking it sous vide for 24 hours at 158F. I peeled most of the skin off when the tongue was still raw (not very easy!), and the rest off after I had cooked it. The pastrami spice didn't adhere very well, even where the skin had already been removed, so it didn't have the spiciness I was looking for.

#6 Icanmakeit

  • participating member
  • 55 posts
  • Location:Modesto, CA

Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:59 AM

The outer skin must be removed. Par boil for at least an hour or more, remove the 'skin' and the bony membrane undernearth. It is so tough that even this few hours of cooking will not adversely affect the texture of the tongue especially if it will be cured or pickled further.I would never attempt to skin a raw tongue.
Coming from Dutch heritage, pickled tongue is something I would eat, but nobody else would so sadly, I don't make it even though I crave it a lot.

#7 sjemac

  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Foothills of Alberta

Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:00 PM

Not Pastrami but corned moose tongue and heart.

Posted Image
Posted Image
  • thatturtle likes this

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Charcuterie