Tuesday, March 15, 2011

March Charcutepalooza- Brining Corned Beef Tongue

I learned that I don't like beef tongue. I wanted to cook beef tongue and actually had one in the freezer. So when we received the March projects, I was excited. Yep, I don't like beef tongue.  The meat was soft and spongy and weird.

Doesn't this make you want to say la la la la

But I like brining and corned beef.  I followed all the directions, made my own pickling spices, waited 5 days while Mr. Tongue bathed in the brine. On day 6, I boiled the tongue for three hours. Then I put him in the fridge and saved a quart of cooking liquid and headed for the airport.

My plan was to serve the tongue at our Mardi Gras party on a Charcuterie Board.  I chose to use the small end of the tongue.  I didn't get a picture of the board, but I have 30 guests that will confirm that it included the corned beef tongue, beef tenderloin bresaola, duck prosciutto, pork soppressata, duck confit rillets and country pate using veal, pork, ham and chicken livers. I made some fermented pickles of carrot, red onion and cauliflower that I served with the board. Our guests didn't like the tongue as well as the bresaola and soppressata.  Here is a view of the leftovers that I photographed after the party.  I liked the flavor, it tasted like corned beef.  But I couldn't get past the texture. It was soft and weird.

Looks yummy...not
I found the vegetables kinda salty and I missed the vinegar that you expect from pickles. I also started some sauerkraut. I guess I didn't read the directions closely, as I missed the part where you are supposed to skim the scum... I checked it on day 13, found really cool looking mold.  I removed the plates I was using to weigh down the cabbage, as well as the towel without leaving mold in the juice.  I tasted the kraut and it was not sour, it was just salty. I left it on the counter for a couple days while I was deciding whether to pitch it or wait. I had the veggies and the kraut in a cool room, mostly 60 degrees. The kitchen is a warmer place and after a couple days the kraut started to taste like kraut.  So I decided to wait and place the cabbage in a bit warmer area to see what happens.

Oinkjoint Corned Beef Tongue Hash

 I used the large end of the tongue in a corned beef hash. It makes a great brunch dish.  Below is my recipe and it was quite tasty. 

1 lb corned beef tongue
1 red onion
1 parsnip
1 red bell pepper
1 leek
2 golden russet potatoes
1 T vegetable oil
2 cups reserved cooking broth from the corned beef
1 cup stout

Reduce the cooking broth and stout to half. Chop all the vegetables and tongue with a 1/2" dice. Heat the oil in a saute pan, add the onion, then the parsnip sauteing until soft. Add the red peppers and  leeks and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes until they are starting to brown.  At this point I seasoned the veggies with a pinch of ground coriander and black pepper.  Next, add the beef and let cook until heated through. Add the reduced broth/ stout mixture. Cover and cook on medium low until potatoes are tender and a gravy develops. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serves 4 people.

Onion and Parsnip 

Almost done

I placed a poached egg on top of each dish. I bet this would pair well with Guinness or satisfy those late night munchies.
Oinkjoint Corned Beef Tongue Hash - a stoner's delight