Updated: Apr 16, 2020
I was born in Belarus and raised on traditional Russian cuisine, which mostly included a lot of mayo, root vegetable salads, calf’s foot jelly and of course - a cooked, cold tongue!
I have to admit - I actually love this food :)
Beef tongue is considered to be a super muscular cut which requires extra cooking.
In the traditional way, you can gently boil it on the stove-top for 2 to 3 hours, until the beef tongue turns very tender.
In Sous Vide, you can control the tenderness, preserve its juices and make an excellent gravy out of it.
1 beef tongue
Ingredients for mushroom curry gravy
Remaining beef juices from Sous Vide vacuum bag
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Season the beef tongue with salt and black pepper.
Put the it into the vacuum bag and seal it.
Submerge the vacuum bag into the preheated water at 75°C/167°F and cook for 24 hours.
You can reduce the time to 12 hours by cooking at 82°C/180°F but it will change the texture to a much more tender result that can melt in your mouth – in this case I suggest to serve it inside a taco.
Preparing the cooked beef tongue
After 24 hours of cooking, remove the beef tongue from the bag and place it on a cutting board, preserving the liquids inside the bag for the gravy. Let it cool for about 10 minutes.
Use the tip of a sharp knife to score the skin of the tongue.
Slide the tip of the knife under the skin at the tip of the tongue, until you have loosened a large enough portion onto which you can get a grip.
Grab the skin between thumb and forefinger and pull back on the skin, peeling it from the tongue.
Before smoking the meat, it has to be cooled first for better absorption of the smoke flavors.
Place the beef tongue in a smoker on a super smoke mode for two hours.
I smoked with the "GMG Davy Crockett" model on 66°C/150°F.
Preparing the gravy
Heat the pan on medium-high heat until the oil is simmering.
Add the sliced onion and stir until coated with oil.
Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.
After a few minutes, add some salt to the onions.
Add some sugar to help with the caramelization process.
After a few minutes, add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, stirring until both onions and mushrooms turn a rich, brown color.
In a separate pan, pour the remaining meat juices from the Sous Vide bag and bring to a boil, reducing down all liquids.
Once all liquids are reduced and only a thin layer of brown bits remains, add the caramelized onions and mushrooms, coconut milk, curry powder, ground nutmeg, salt, black pepper and allspice.
Add a few teaspoons of flour and mix it all together until you reach a thick and delicious gravy.