I’m very much a fan of tongue, and have posted about it once or twice in my career as a blogger. I usually simmer it as Mother did, on the range, but I decided slow-cooking would be a fun way of preparation. I could go out for the afternoon and come back, and dinner would be served.
Beef Tongue, one or two (I used two — makes excellent leftovers). Use your kitchen scissors to cut holes into the skin, so flavors can seep into the meat.
A good tablespoonful of cloves
Pickling spices, another good tablespoonful *.
1-2 onions, peeled but whole (unless really large; then halve them)
1-3 tomatillos, peeled (optional)
Any other veggie that takes well to slow cooking and would be good with vinegar that happened to come home with you… Add as many as appeals to you!
Apple cider vinegar, to come up a third of the way of the height of the stuff in the crock pot. (Alternatively, reserved dill pickle vinegar once the pickles are gone, which is how Mother handled this.)
Water on top of that, to nearly cover the above. This makes a water / vinegar ratio leaning a bit heavier on water.
Toss everything in and set crock pot on high, and cook for 4.5 – 5 hours. Admittedly, I’d set the timer for 5 hours, and came around the yard at the 4.5 mark, and the aroma was heavenly. [Okay, I use the crock pot on the porch in the back yard, since my kitchen lacks space/outlets for a lot of these amenities...] Aromas of clove, onion, meat… I removed one tongue at 4.5 hours and the other at five hours, and the samples I had for Sunday night dinner from each worked wonderfully. I can’t vouch how it will be after being on all day while at work – next time I may experiment and put it on low for all day. But set at high, the skin came off the tongue with ease, and the texture of the meat was perfect at 4.5 or 5 hours. Some foods really can’t take all-day crock-potting while one is at work (9 hours is great for brisket, but…), but that’s a future experiment.
Slice, and serve with: a good brown deli or Dijon mustard; or horseradish; or horseradish mustard. Serves 3 per tongue (well, beef tongue sizes WILL vary), but you do also have veggies going in that crock pot.
Tongue can be re-heated for future meals, or served cold. Old-time New York delis still serve tongue sandwiches, and it goes nicely in Mexican tacos (sometimes you can find it in Mexican restaurants); and putting it into green leafy salads is a tasty option in the Goats and Greens household.
Since this is something we grew up on, I consider tongue comfort food. And, yes, kid’s food. Hey, apparently we didn’t know better, but I still love it today. Yes, I know, I know… But until I subbed in sweet potato for bread, meatloaf (also served often then) was NEVER REMOTELY a comfort food, just something to tolerate as it was always dry and never moist.
* Pickling spices: you can make your own mix, but I use the pre-mixed jar from Carluzzi’s, a local grocery chain, which sources from The Nutmeg Spice Company**. It appears to have lots of bay leaf, more clove, and mustard and coriander seed, possibly other things. I WILL upgrade to making my entire spice mixture myself, eventually.