Shopping the Darker Side of the meat isle

Discussion in 'Beef' started by redclaymud, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. My late wife never allowed me to go to the grocery store unattended for good reason.  I spent all my time scanning the meat department for interesting and unusual things for one of us to cook.

    I've been looking into what can best be described as the rest of the animal and today I purchased a beef tongue and beef heart, just to see if I could sneak it onto the table without anyone questioning what it is until after enjoying several mouth fulls.  Both are popular in Western Europe but not here and to my knowledge, I've never had it in it's true form.

    This is uncharted territory for me so, first things first.  I'll concentrate on the tongue.  Normal cooking instructions say to slow boil, skin, carve, serve.  Has anyone tried to smoke it?  I could use a little guidance or guesswork, since I intend to smoke it..

    Here's my thoughts/plan so far. 
    • Quick boil the tongue so as to only cook it enough to loosen the outer skin so the skin can be removed.  That would leave me with a small beef roast of sorts.  (Any guesses on how long to boil to remove the skin?)
    • Cool, add rub, tie it up with string (just in case), pop it into the smoker and cook it like I would a brisket.  
    I doubt it will be a meal I'll try more than once, but who knows?  It might turn out fantastic.
  2. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brine, it! Im not going to tell you what to put in your brine its up to you flavour wise. 24 hours maybe. Then smoke it gently,like a ham hock.,take it to a safe temp. You can eat it hot out of the smoker,eat it as cold cuts,or poach it later.

    I buy them here already smoked/skinned from the Portuguese butcher,poach them serve them with salsa verde,gerkins,pickles or boiled beans. Great food. Looks great on the plate next to white beans.

    The way you posted poach it first then skin it will work ,the chewy bits are the tendons that attach it underneath.When you see the skin split pull it out of poaching liquid(water ,bay leaf,peppercorns,parsley stalks,celery stick,carrot ,onion) skin it under lots of running cold water. Then go from there as far as smoking .It will already be pretty close to cooked.

    It is a great ingredient mixed in a sausage & bean dish, lots of garlic,tomato etc. 

    My wife wont eat it no matter how I prepare it. Im sure theres a recipe on the forum somewhere.

    Hearts my mother used to stuff & braise slow but that was lamb hearts.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds interesting! Can't wait to see the Q-view on this one!
  4. owlcreeksmoker4

    owlcreeksmoker4 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    def not something you see on SMF everyday. be sure to let us see the qview. who knows, i may try this myself
  5. Well guess I will jump on board with this one. Sounds too interesting not to.

    Can't offer any suggestions, but sure do wanna see the end results.

    Happy Smokin

  6. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    Love to see it happen, go for it!  My home boss would also negate my vote if I tried it at home.  [​IMG]
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I have never prepared tongue but I have Braised Beef Heart like a Pot Roast and the times are in line with a Brisket. I think if you split the heart and remove the valves and connective tissue it should smoke up like a Brisket...Here is a link from members who have done tongue...JJ
  9. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Heart gets cut up & char grilled on skewers here  by our South American brothers. Its a little chewy but tasty. Lamb hearts ,cut the ventricles out leave them whole ,wash in 50/50 vinegar water,then my mother used to stuff them with bread crumb style mix(old school ) pack them tight in a baking tray with stock,wine & do them low & slow in the oven. They sell them in my suburb,I brought a batch home &[​IMG]  said I  assume thats dog food. $2 a kg I let it slide, dogs pretty happy.

    Tongue is a whole different deal,its got a fair bit of fat to it. Really tasty, but I  think a brine first is a must. Im trying to think what to compare the finished product to .The ones I  buy are a purple /red colour they are sort of like a bit of what we call pickled pork down here[​IMG]they poach in 30 mins but its 2 things the tongue then the base muscles that anchor it. I like to use it like a bit of bacon or even chorizo because the fat has a lovely flavour,smoked first then added to dishes fried with onion ,carrot ,celery then build it from that with sausage ,beans ,tomato. Good Luck
  10. ecto1

    ecto1 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    My wife chicken fries beef and deer heart.  We slow roast tounge not my favorite but most of my family loves it.
  11. biteme7951

    biteme7951 Meat Mopper

    Pickled heart and tongue is an awesome treat and very easy to make and will keep a long time in the fridge (but usually doesn't last that long).

    Simmer heart and tongue until tender. Remove skin from tongue,  trim heart and slice all into bite sized pieces. Put some sliced onion in with meat before you pour over the vinegar mixture.


    2 c. water
    3 c. vinegar
    1 c. sugar (or less)
    4 1/2 tsp. salt

    2 Tbls pickling spice

    Boil together. Pour over meat. Refrigerate for a few days to let the brine do its work.

    Keeps in refrigerator weeks.

    Great on crackers or just plain.


    I have also put hearts in my brine when making venison pastrami and they are very tasty.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  12. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Be sure and smoke it and slice it real thin it makes a great sandwich !
  13. sunman76

    sunman76 Master of the Pit

    [​IMG]  can't wait for some Q view
  14. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Growing up my Great Aunt would poach a beef tounge simular to what Moikel has listed above, remove the outer skin then press it in the fridge for a few days. She would slice it thin and put on sandwiches....OMG the best roast beef I have ever had and it was like butter. Damn another thing on the TO DO list!!
  15. smokin vegas

    smokin vegas Smoking Fanatic

    My Dad used to cooked deer heart and liver.  He remove large veins membrane and cut it into 1 inch slices drudged in flour salt and pepper and fried it up in Crisco and bacon.  HIGH CHOLESTROL!!!!  But WONDERFUL.  I saw both heart and tongue for sale in Smiths/Krogers here in Vegas.  Think I will revisit all that.  MY Grnadmother used to make tongue quiet frequently was very good.  She cooked it in the presure cooker.  I will try smoking it.  Got a run  got a turkey in the smoker. 
  16. Change me back to a "Newbie".  I don't deserve to be a "Firestarter" just yet.

    I've seen it happen so many times at the grocery store I worked at, I should know better.  You spy a piece of meat that draws your interest, pick it up, examine it, then set it down and grab a nearby package that is more in the weight class you are seeking.  I forgot to make sure the nearby package was still tongue, so instead of one beef tongue I have two beef kidney.   That's the kind of thing that makes you feel next to stupid.

    I'm going to try smoking them today anyway . . . both the heart and the two kidney.  Worst case, I'll have about 4 pounds of dog food that will last the week.  I'm doing a quick no/harm/done brine now and will start smoking in 5-6 hours.   I'll do pictures but it's going to get ugly.  Maybe we can make it a lesson on the mistakes you can make in smoking, starting with meat selection.

    It will be a half hearted effort (forgive the pun).  I've got a couple hours to find a recipe that sounds right.  Might just do it all with a good dose of rub and a very slow smoke.
  17. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Wash the kidney well, season and smoke , Google , beef kidney recipes. You will be amazed at what you find.
  18. Those pressure cookers were pretty awesome things in their day.  That was one washed pot that hardly ever made it back to the cabinet.  Probably the nicest gift for the family my dad ever gave my mom.
  19. The tongue is probably one of the best cuts on a cow in my opinion. definitely let us know how they both turn out!
  20. Both kidney and heart are in the their third washing and second batch of salt brine, this one being the last brine and heaviest in salt.  As my late wife used to say, "you want to boil the pee out of them".  I used about a full cup of salt for the half gallon of water.

    I'm of the mind to do kidney's and heart with a good rub of yellow mustard and then a heavy coat of rub, and then smoke it very slow . . . maybe around 225 and watch for an inside temp of 175-180.  I want to be able to thin slice and taste first.  If it's awful, I'll bring it up to 190 and shred it for the dogs.

    Just another hour or two to go and then they hit the smoker.  .

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