Smoked Beef Tongue Old-fashioned smoked tongue is hard cured in the same way as corned beef. Because of the high salt content, it must be placed in a large kettle, covered with water, and simmered for about an hour per pound (450g). This long period of simmering extracts the excess salt. The excellent refrigeration available nowadays allows you to use a mild cure that does not require simmering to extract excess salt. The modern dry cure method infuses just the right amount of salt to match your taste. If you have ever tasted old-fashioned smoked tongue, you will most certainly say that the smoked tongue produced by the following process tastes much better. This is because the smoke flavor, the meat flavor, and the seasonings are not dissolved out of the tongue by a long period of simmering in water. This mildly cured, smoked tongue is quite easy to make, but the whole process will require about two weeks of curing and about six hours of smoking. Normally, meat is cured and smoked before it is cooked. This smoked tongue is unusual because it is cooked before it is smoked. (You cure first, then cook, and then smoke.) This is done because the skin should be removed before smoking, and it is most easily removed from the tongue after cooking has taken place. Of course, if the skin is removed from the raw tongue in the beginning, the more common order (cure, then smoke, and then cook) could be employed. A raw tongue can be skinned if it is first frozen solid. A razor-sharp knife must be used, and work must begin at the tip of the tongue while the tip is still frozen and stiff. I have skinned a frozen tongue many times, but it is extremely dangerous and not recommended. However, if you do try it, make sure that there is never anything in front of the cutting edge of the knife other than the tongue itself. The knife will slip and leap forward many times. Also, be sure to count your fingers before and after this procedure. Japanese butchers frequently use this method to skin tongues, but I donâ€™t think a reasonably sane American butcher would consider it. A safety matter aside, skinning a raw tongue is a labor-intensive and time-consuming operation. THE TONGUE Any size of beef tongue can be used, but tongue lovers claim that tongues weighing less than 3 pounds (1,400 g) are best. Another consideration is that small tongues cure faster than large ones. Frozen tongues work just as well as fresh. If there is a meatpacker or distributor in your area, you might be able to buy frozen Grade 2 beef tongues. The price, will he about half the price of fresh tongues sold at a common supermarket. Grade 2 tongues are cheaper because they have a hook mark or a knife slash that distracts 1mm the appearance. Scrub the tongue very well with a vegetable brush under lukewarm water. Drain, and refrigerate it while preparing the cure. CURING The total curing time depends on the thickness of the tongue. Measure across the top of the tongue at the thickest point (from the right side to the left, where the big taste buds are located). Allow seven days of curing time for every inch (2.5 cm) of thickness. CURE MIX FOR 2Â¼ POUNDS (1 KILOGRAM) OF TONGUE 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) salt I tsp. (5 ml) granulated sugar Â¾ tsp. (3.75 ml) onion powder Â½ tsp. (2.5 ml) oregano Â½ tsp. (2.5 ml) Prague Powder #1 Â½ tsp. (2.5 ml) black pepper Â½ tsp. (2.5 nil) garlic powder Â¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) red pepper, or cayenne 1 shredded Bay Leaf (do not mix with the ingredients listed above) Total: 7 Tsp. (35 ml)â€”--excluding the bay leaf, CURE MIX MEASURING CHART 7 tsp. (35 ml) per 2 1/4 lbs. (1 kg) of tongue +â€¢ one hay leaf 3Â½ tsp. (17.5 ml) per l lb. (500 g) of tongue ~ Â½ bay leaf 1Â¾ tsp. (8.73 ml) per 1/2 lb. (250 g) of tongue Â± Â¼ bay leaf Â¾ tsp. (3.75 ml) per 1/4 lb. (125 g) of tongue BULK MIX FOR 27 POUNDS (12 KILOGRAMS) OF TONGUE Â¾ Cup (180 ml) salt 4 tbsp. (60 ml) sugar 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) onion powder 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) oregano 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Prague Powder #1 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) black pepper 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) garlic powder 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) red pepper I shredded bay leaf per 2Â¼ lbs. (1 kg) of tongue (do not mix with the ingredients listed above) 1. It is very important to pierce the tongue thoroughly. To get even better cure penetration, slice some of the skin off the top of the tongue where it has the most bulk. This will greatly improve the cure penetration 2. Weigh the tongue. Prepare, calculate, and measure the required amount of curing mixture (use the Cure Mix Measuring Chart). 3. Place the tongue in a curing container having a tightâ€”fitting lid. Sprinkle on the curing mixture, and rub the meat well to ensure equal distribution of the cure. Cut the required amount of bay leaf into very thin stops (scissors work well for this). Sprinkle the bay leaf strips on the tongue, and rub again. Cover and refrigerate the tongue. 4. Overhaul the tongue after about 12 hours of curing. When it is being overhauled, reapply any juices that may have oozed from the meat. s. Overhaul the tongue once a day for the first week, and then overhaul it every other day until the required curing time has elapsed.