Monday, September 3, 2012


"No 12 A Tongue. This is sliced, not very thin, through the thickest and best part, shown by the letters a b. The fat of the root, when it is liked must be carved by turning the tongue, and cutting in the direction c d."

"HAMBURGH PICKLE FOR BEEF HAMS AND TONGUE Boil together for twenty minutes two gallons of water three pounds of bay salt two pounds of coarse sugar two ounces of saltpetre and two of black pepper bruised and tied in a fold of muslin clear off the scum thoroughly as it rises pour the pickle into a deep earthen pan and when it is quite cold lay in the meat of which every part must be perfectly covered with it A moderate sized round of beef will be ready for table in a fortnight it should be turned occasionally in the brine Five pounds of common salt may be substituted for the quantity of bay salt given above but the meat will not be so finely flavoured Water 2 gallons bay salt 3 lbs saltpetre 2 oz black pepper 2 oz sugar 2 lbs 20 minutes."

"ANOTHER PICKLE FOR TONGUES BEEF AND HAMS To three gallons of spring water add six pounds of common salt two pounds of bay salt two pounds of common loaf sugar and two ounces of saltpetre Boil these over a gentle fire and be careful to take off all the scum as it rises when quite cold it will be fit for use Rub the meat to be cured with fine salt and let it drain for a day in order to free it from the blood then immerse it in the brine taking care that every part of it shall be covered Young pork should not remain more than from three to five days in the pickle but hams for drying may be left in it for a fortnight at least tongues will be ready in rather less time Beef may remain from one week to two according to its size and the degree of saltiness desired for it A little experience will soon teach the exact time required for the different kinds of meat When the pickle has been in use for about three months boil it up again gently and take the scum carefully off Add to it three pounds of common salt four ounces of sugar and one of saltpetre it will remain good for many months Water 3 gallons common salt 6 lbs bay salt 2 lbs loaf sugar 2 lbs saltpetre 2 oz boil 20 to 30 minutes."

"BEEF TONGUES A Suffolk Receipt For each very large tongue mix with half a pound of salt two ounces of saltpetre and three quarters of a pound of the coarsest sugar rub the tongues daily and turn them in the pickle for five weeks when they will be fit to be dressed or to be smoked 1 large tongue salt J lb sugar J lb saltpetre 2 oz 5 weeks."

"TO DRESS BEEF TONGUES When taken fresh from the pickle they require no soaking unless they should have remained in it much beyond the usual time or have been cured with a more than common proportion of salt but when they have been smoked and highly dried they should be laid for two or three hours into cold and as much longer into tepid water before they are dressed if extremely dry ten or twelve hours must be allowed to soften them and they should always be brought very slowly to boil Two or three carrots and a large bunch of savoury herbs added after the scum is cleared off will improve them They should be simmered until they are extremely tender when the skin will peel from them easily A highly dried tongue of moderate size will usually require from three and a half to four hours boiling an unsmoked one about an hour less and for one which has not been salted at all a shorter time will suffice."

"BORDYKE RECEIPT FOR STEWING A TONGUE After the tongue has been soaked trimmed and washed with extreme nicety lay it into a vessel of fitting size and place round it three or four pounds of the neck or of any other lean cuttings of beef with some bones of undressed veal and pour in sufficient cold water to keep it covered until it is done or instead of this use strong unseasoned beef broth made with the shin and any odd bits or bones of veal which may be at hand Let the tongue be brought to boil very gradually that it may be plump and tender Remove the scum when it first rises and when it is quite cleared off add a large faggot of parsley thyme and winter savoury three rrots a small onion and one mild turnip After three hours and a half of gentle simmering probe the tongue and if sufficiently done peel off the skin and serve it quickly If not wanted hot for table lay it upon a very clean board or trencher and fasten it down to it by passing a carving fork through the root and a smaller one through the tip drawing the tongue straight with the latter before it is fixed in the board let it remain thus until it is quite cold It is much the fashion at present to glaze hams and tongues but this should never be attempted by a cook not well acquainted with the manner of doing it and the proper flavour and appearance of the glaze For directions to make it see page 104 Where expense is not regarded three or four pounds of veal may be added to the beef in this receipt or the tongue may be stewed in a prepared gravy made with equal parts of beef and veal and vegetables as above but without salt this may afterwards be converted into excellent soup A fresh or an un smoked tongue may be dressed in this way but will require less time for the former salt must be added to the gravy."

From Modern Cookery for Private Families 1860
It is mentioned in Every Lady's Cook Book 1856, that "Cold biscuit sliced thin and buttered and a very thin slice of boiled ham, tongue, or beef between each two slices of biscuit is best" for sandwiches. There is also mention of mustard in these. So, I decided to provide tongue and biscuit sandwiches at our next picnic. I have made boiled tongue before and it is good but doesn't really have any taste. I wanted to try a pickle recipe this time and then boil it. So, I needed to pickle/brine the tongue that I picked up from The Family Cow.
I used a modified version, combining several of the above listed recipes. I only had one tongue to make so I really didn't need a lot of pickle/brine. I combined 1/2 gallon of water, 1/2 lb of kosher salt and 3/4 lb of raw sugar. I slowly brought this to a boil and then held it for 20 minutes. Once it was cool, I soaked the tongue for 4 days, covered in the fridge.
Once the pickling/brining was done, I  boiled it with carrots and herbs until it was tender, about 3 hours, and laid it out to cool. It was then peeled and sliced and arranged on a plate with mustard.

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