Culinary Pen
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Corned Tongue

Written By Culinary Pen on Sunday, October 18, 2009 | 8:05:00 PM

I was in the mood for tongue this past week, but wasn't sure what I could do that would make it a bit more interesting or Autumnal. I've never corned tongue before, but it's apparently just like corning beef. Take your meat, slip it into a brine of saltwater, some sugars, and seasoning, then let it cure in the brine for 4-7 days, depending on the weight.

As a baseline, I turned to the River Cottage Cookbook for advice. A wealth of offal ideas, it's one of those cookbooks that never disappoints. Where else can you find no less than seven distinct recipes for blood sausage? I was so impressed with the flavor of Hugh's (the author) late-summer chutney that I decided to follow his corning spices exactly, rather than adding my own flourishes. At least for this first time.

Cloves, peppercorns, juniper, thyme, and bay were all boiled in a pot of water thickened with salt and brown sugar. A dash of sodium nitrite promised to keep the pink color of the tongue's inner flesh intact. The plan for right now is to let it cure for 4-5 days, then poach it in a light broth. Sliced thin, this should be perfect with horseradish sauce and dark bread. Updates to follow!
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