Cured & Smoked Beef Tongue....Not Easily Found In Commerce But Delicious.

I love cured and smoked tongue. In Egypt and most of the other countries I've lived in, I used to find it very easily but now in Greece...can't.  So I guess I'll have to do it myself.
I had to go to the Central Meat Market of Athens to find this beef tongue...came home, prepared the a brine, cured the beef tongue for 8 days, transferred it to the electric smoker where it was smoked for 5 hours, then finally transferred it to the "Couscoussière" where the tongue was steamed for 2 hours until the skin could be easily taken off and the meat melting in your mouth.
You will need:
Serves 6 
-  1 Beef tongue 1.7kg.
-  Smoker (electric, gas, or charcoal) A BBQ with a lid will do.
-  Wood chips for smoking. Hickory, Mesquite, Cherry, or Apple wood.
-  A Couscoussère to steam the beef tongue after it is smoked.
The couscousière is on the right. The lower part contains the water, sauce, food.  The middle part is basically a colander which contains the couscous, rice, or whatever you want steamed. Upper part is the lid. In our case the beef tongue was put in the central part.
-  Meat Syringe to pump the brine into the beef tongue for the curing process.

Parts Pertaining To Meat Syringe
Meat syringe
Ingredients for the brine:
-  Check how much water it takes to cover your beef tongue.  In my case it took 3 liters of water = 3 kg.
-  Add 7% of the water weight (1000 ml of water = 1 liter = 1 kg) of sugar = 210 gr of sugar.
-  Add 3% of the water weight of salt or 90 gr salt.
-  Add 0,5% of Instacure 1 or saltpeter. I used Instacure 1. I never used saltpeter = 15 gr
-  1 cup honey.
 Herbs & Spices:
-  1 tsp. dry coriander.
-  1 tsp. black pepper.
-  1 tsp. baie rose.
-  1 tsp. paprika.
-  1 tsp. dry parsley
-  1 tsp. black pepper corns.
-  4 cardamom pods.
Mix all above and crush in a mortar and pestle keep on the side.
The curing process:
-  Add 3 liters of cold water into the container which will hold the beef tongue for one week.
-  Add the ingredients for the cure mix well so everything is well dissolved.
-  Add beef tongue.  The liquid should cover it.
-  Using a meat syringe pump fluid inside the tongue 4 to 5 times till you are sure the fluid went everywhere.
-  Add the crushed herbs and spices and mix well.

-  Place an overturned plate over the whole to make sure the beef tongue is well immersed in the liquid mixture.
-  Cover hermetically and refrigerate.  Make sure the inside temperature of the fridge is from 0 to 4 degrees C. Don't forget the beef tongue will be in there for at least 7 days. So you would not want to open the fridge very often. (That's one way to stay away from the fridge!!)
After 7 - 8 days:
 - Take out your beef tongue.  You will see it turned pink due to the Instacure 1 or saltpeter.
 -  Get your smoker ready. Fill your pan with water to keep the meat moist during the smoking process.
-  Plug in your smoker.
-  Place water soaked Mesquite chips in heavy duty aluminum foil and fold. With a fork make some holes. (The mesquite chips are soaked in water prior to use to give out a slow smoke without catching fire and burning out).
-  Place aluminum foil pack over the hot resistance in the lowest part of the smoker.
-  Place the middle part of the smoker holding the pan with the water at the bottom and the grid at the top.
-  Place the beef tongue and whatever else you want to have smoked.
-  Cover with the smoker lid formed like a dome.
-  Record the time. The smoking process will take 5 hours.
-  Refresh your soaked mesquite chips aluminum foil packet every hour so that will make 5 packets of soaked mesquite chips total.
-  5 hours later turn off heat.

The steaming process:
-  Transfer the beef tongue to the couscoussière where the water is boiling and the beef tongue is placed in the colander part of the couscoussière.
-  Steam the beef tongue for two hours or till it is tender and the thick skin covering all the tongue comes off easily.
-  It is time now to take of the inedible skin from the beef tongue.
-  Slice and serve.

Sliced Beef Tongue Ready To Eat

Close up
Note: If you wish, instead of steaming, you can braise the beef tongue or prepare it anyway you like.  You would want to treat it as a very tough piece of meat which needs to be cooked to make it tender.

-  Enjoy hot or cold in thin slices. Very good with sandwiches, tapas with mustard, snacks.
In Greece it is prepared with green olives, tomato sauce and other ways.
Enjoy your hard day's work!


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