Hello, Good News! Welcome to another article where we share with you some amazing recipes that you can try at home. Today, we are going to talk about tongue pickles, a delicacy that is not very common but very tasty and nutritious. If you have never tried tongue pickles before, you are in for a treat!
Tongue pickles are made from cured and cooked tongue of beef or calf, sliced and preserved in a vinegar-based brine with spices and herbs. They have a tender texture and a tangy flavor that goes well with sandwiches, salads, cheese boards, or as a snack on their own. Tongue pickles are also a great way to use up leftover tongue meat from other dishes, such as boiled tongue or tongue tacos.
Why You Should Try Tongue Pickles
Tongue pickles may sound weird or gross to some people, but they are actually very delicious and healthy. Here are some reasons why you should give them a try:
- Tongue is a lean and high-protein meat that contains many essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and niacin. It is also low in fat and cholesterol compared to other cuts of beef.
- Pickling is a traditional method of preserving food that enhances its flavor and shelf life. Pickling also adds probiotics and antioxidants to the food, which can improve your digestion and immunity.
- Tongue pickles are easy and inexpensive to make at home. You only need a few ingredients and some basic equipment, such as a pot, a knife, a cutting board, a jar, and a fridge. You can also customize the recipe according to your taste and preference.
How to Make Tongue Pickles at Home
Making tongue pickles at home is not very difficult, but it does require some time and patience. Here are the basic steps you need to follow:
Step 1: Prepare the Tongue
The first step is to prepare the tongue for pickling. You can use either beef or calf tongue, depending on your preference and availability. You will need to rinse the tongue well under cold water and trim off any excess fat or skin. Then, you will need to cure the tongue in a salt-sugar solution for several days in the fridge. This will draw out the moisture and add flavor to the meat.
To make the curing solution, you will need water, brown sugar, coarse sea salt, black peppercorns, juniper berries, and cloves. You can also add other spices or herbs if you like. You will need to heat the water in a large pot and dissolve the sugar and salt in it. Then, you will add the spices and bring the solution to a boil. After that, you will turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
Once the curing solution is ready, you will place the tongue in a large plastic container and pour the solution over it. You will need to use something heavy, such as a ceramic bowl or a plate, to weigh down the tongue in the liquid. Then, you will cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for four to five days.
Step 2: Cook the Tongue
The next step is to cook the cured tongue until it is tender and easy to peel. You will need to remove the tongue from the curing solution and rinse it well under fresh water. Then, you will place it in a large pot with water and some aromatics, such as a bouquet garni (a bundle of herbs tied together), a carrot, an onion, a celery stalk, and a garlic bulb. You will bring the water to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer for three to five hours, depending on the size of the tongue.
You can check if the tongue is done by inserting a fork or a knife into it. It should go in easily without much resistance. When the tongue is cooked, you will remove it from the pot and plunge it into cold water. This will help you peel off the rubbery skin from the meat. You will also discard any bones or cartilage from the tongue.
Step 3: Slice and Pickle the Tongue
The final step is to slice and pickle the cooked tongue in a vinegar-based brine. You will need to chill the tongue thoroughly before slicing it into thin pieces. You can use a sharp knife or an electric slicer for this task.
To make the pickling brine, you will need vinegar (white or apple cider), water, sugar (white or brown), salt (kosher or pickling), and spices (such as mustard seeds, bay leaves, allspice berries, and red pepper flakes). You can also add other ingredients, such as sliced onion, chopped garlic, fresh dill, or lemon zest. You will need to heat the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a large pot and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then, you will add the spices and bring the brine to a boil.
Once the brine is ready, you will pack the tongue slices into clean glass jars and pour the hot brine over them. You will need to leave some headspace (about half an inch) at the top of the jars and wipe the rims with a damp cloth. Then, you will seal the jars with lids and bands and process them in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. This will ensure that the jars are properly sealed and sterilized.
After processing, you will remove the jars from the water and let them cool completely. You will hear a popping sound when the lids seal. You will also need to check if the lids are concave and do not move when pressed. If any of the lids do not seal, you will need to refrigerate those jars and use them within a week. The sealed jars can be stored in a cool and dark place for up to a year.
A Table Breakdown of Tongue Pickles
To give you a better idea of what tongue pickles are and how to make them, here is a table breakdown of their main components:
|Tongue||The meat of beef or calf tongue that is cured, cooked, peeled, sliced, and pickled.|
|Curing Solution||A salt-sugar solution with spices that is used to preserve and flavor the tongue before cooking.|
|Cooking Liquid||A water-based liquid with aromatics that is used to simmer the cured tongue until tender.|
|Pickling Brine||A vinegar-based liquid with sugar, salt, and spices that is used to pickle the cooked tongue slices in jars.|
|Jars||Glass containers with lids and bands that are used to store the pickled tongue in a cool and dark place.|
FAQs About Tongue Pickles
What do tongue pickles taste like?
Tongue pickles have a tender texture and a tangy flavor that is similar to corned beef or pastrami. They are slightly sweet, salty, sour, and spicy, depending on the ingredients used in the curing and pickling process. They are delicious on their own or with bread, cheese, mustard, horseradish, or other condiments.
Are tongue pickles healthy?
Tongue pickles are healthy in moderation. They are high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol compared to other cuts of beef. They also contain many essential nutrients, such as iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin B12, and niacin. However, they are also high in sodium and sugar due to the curing and pickling process. Therefore, they should be consumed in small amounts and with plenty of water.
How long do tongue pickles last?
Tongue pickles can last for up to a year if they are properly sealed and stored in a cool and dark place. However, they may lose some of their quality and flavor over time. Therefore, it is recommended to use them within six months for optimal taste. Once opened, they should be refrigerated and used within a week.
How can I use tongue pickles?
Tongue pickles are very versatile and can be used in many ways. Here are some suggestions:
- Make a sandwich with rye bread, tongue pickles, cheese, mustard, and horseradish.
- Add some tongue pickles to your salad for a protein boost.
- Serve some tongue pickles with crackers and cheese as an appetizer or snack.
- Chop some tongue pickles and mix them with mayonnaise, celery, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper to make a tongue pickle salad.
- Use some tongue pickles as a topping for your burger or hot dog.
Can I make tongue pickles without curing?
Yes, you can make tongue pickles without curing if you want to skip that step or don’t have enough time. However, curing adds flavor and texture to the tongue meat and helps it retainits moisture during cooking. Therefore, the tongue pickles made without curing may be less flavorful and more dry than the ones made with curing. If you want to make tongue pickles without curing, you can skip the first step and proceed to cook the tongue in water with aromatics until tender. Then, you can peel, slice, and pickle the tongue as usual.
Can I make tongue pickles with other types of meat?
Yes, you can make tongue pickles with other types of meat if you want to experiment or don’t have access to tongue. You can use any meat that is lean and firm, such as brisket, chuck, round, or sirloin. You will need to follow the same steps as for tongue pickles, but you may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the size and thickness of the meat. You can also use other types of animal tongues, such as lamb, goat, or pig.
Can I make tongue pickles with other types of vinegar?
Yes, you can make tongue pickles with other types of vinegar if you want to vary the flavor or use what you have on hand. You can use any vinegar that is suitable for pickling, such as white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, or malt vinegar. However, you should avoid using balsamic vinegar or flavored vinegar, as they may overpower the taste of the tongue. You should also keep the same ratio of vinegar to water (1:1) in the pickling brine.
Can I make tongue pickles without sugar?
Yes, you can make tongue pickles without sugar if you want to reduce the sweetness or the calories. However, sugar helps balance the acidity and the saltiness of the pickling brine and adds some flavor to the tongue. Therefore, the tongue pickles made without sugar may be more sour and bland than the ones made with sugar. If you want to make tongue pickles without sugar, you can omit it from both the curing solution and the pickling brine.
Can I make tongue pickles without salt?
No, you cannot make tongue pickles without salt. Salt is an essential ingredient for both curing and pickling. It helps preserve and season the tongue and prevents the growth of harmful bacteria in the jars. Therefore, the tongue pickles made without salt may be unsafe and unpalatable. If you want to reduce the sodium content of your tongue pickles, you can use less salt than the recipe calls for or rinse the tongue well before cooking and pickling.
Can I make tongue pickles without boiling water bath?
No, you cannot make tongue pickles without boiling water bath. Boiling water bath is a method of processing jars that ensures that they are properly sealed and sterilized. It prevents air from entering the jars and spoiling the food. Therefore, the tongue pickles made without boiling water bath may not last as long or be as safe as the ones made with boiling water bath. If you want to make tongue pickles without boiling water bath, you will need to refrigerate them and use them within a week.
Tongue pickles are a delicious and nutritious delicacy that you can make at home with some simple ingredients and equipment. They are a great way to use up leftover tongue meat or try something new and different. They are also versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about tongue pickles. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who might be interested in this topic. Also, don’t forget to check out our other articles for more amazing recipes and tips.
Thank you for reading and happy pickling!