Friday, January 25, 2008

If you would rather not know how to prepare this at home--it would be in your best interest to turn away now. Today's FPF does have a bit of a gross out factor for some people and if you are used to just picking this up, thinly sliced, at your local deli and would prefer not to know--do not read further.

I was about six when I had my first tongue sandwich at Gottlieb's Deli in Savannah, GA. My mother ordered it for me. I was never been a picky eater and when your first solid foods include raw oysters, it takes a bit to shock you after that. My mother was very adventurous in the kitchen and prepared things like sweetbreads. And Southerners are accustomed to eating odd pig parts, so beef tongue didn't really phase me. Actually, I sort of suspect my mother of having gone through a phase where she tried to find something I would not eat. I'm guessing she lost interest when it became evident that there wasn't anything I'd turn my nose up at.

When I got to college in Columbia, SC, I couldn't find a place that served this up in nice little butcher paper packages by the pound. So, I found a butcher shop and had the butcher order them for me. Whole. Back then, you could get a whole one for a buck fifty, so it was good student food...as long as you didn't tell anyone what it was. I must admit, even I was a bit put off by the appearance of it the first time I saw one in its natural state. The great thing about the multi-cultural selections in today's grocery stores is that I don't have to search very far to find a nice beef tongue. They will be hanging out next to the tripe and thinly sliced beef liver.

I prefer beef tongue as a luncheon meat, served cold and thinly sliced in sandwiches. It is a finely textured and very fatty meat. It's perfect in little tea sandwiches with the crusts sliced off. I like it best with spinach and horseradish. I have seen some recipes for beef tongue served hot in a variety of ways. I certainly would not say no to it served this way, but cold is how I like it best.


Spiced Beef (or Venison) Tongue

1 Beef Tongue
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp salt
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp. Pickling Spices
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
6 whole cloves
1/2 tsp. whole allspice

Wash tongue and pierce all over with a sharp fork or skewer. In a large pot, place tongue in water and add the rest of the ingredients. (I've heard you can do this in a crock pot overnight, but I've not tried it.) Bring to a boil then cut back to low. Cover and cook for six hours. Peel the tongue while it is still warm(yes, there is a tough skin that has to be peeled). If you are a hunter, this is also excellent with venison tongue. Slice thinly, if you have a home meat slicer, that is preferable.

4 Comments:

  1. Daisy said...
    I didn't know you went to school in Columbia! Did you ever eat at Lizard's Thicket? Finger-lickin good! (the mac and cheese was to die for)
    Rita said...
    I must say that this particular blog entry is the most unique I have seen to date.

    Can't say I am closer to eating tongue however..... :)

    Happy eating!
    Jessica Gottlieb said...
    It's my married name.

    And tongue in the deli counter has always grossed me out.
    samaBlog said...
    have you tried this in a pressure cooker?

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