Butcher Recipe: How To Make Beef Tongue For Sandwiches

This story is part of the Food Republic Butchering and Charcuterie Series, which will run through the spring.

Austin, TX's Noble Sandwich Co. has become a huge hit, drawing big lunch lines and inspiring cross-town sandwich commutes. Chef/owners John Bates and Brandon Martinez's points of pride are simple: scratch cooking, using the whole animal, and sourcing locally. And by no means does that imply boring: these guys make a beef tongue sandwich that would make the most steadfast Jewish deli-goer weep with joy.

Source a whole beef tongue from your friendly local butcher, check out Noble Sandwich Co.'s expert technique below — it's easier than you think — and make yourself a truly delicious, classic sandwich.

Butcher Recipe: How To Make Beef Tongue For Sandwiches
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  • 1 whole beef tongue
  • 16 cups water
  • 1 diced large onion
  • 2 peeled and diced carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 10 allspice berries (whole)
  • 15 peppercorns (whole)
  • 1/2 bunch thyme
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  1. In a stainless steel pot add the water, spices, vegetables, salt and sugar. Bring it all up to boil for 5 minutes to infuse the flavors. When the brine is ready, remove it from the stove and cool it down completely (cold, not warm) and brine the beef tongue in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  2. The following day, remove the tongue from the brine and place it into a large pot. Add half of the brine and all of the spices and vegetable from the brine into the pot. Add an equal amount of water into the pot, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook anywhere from 6 to 8 hours until thoroughly tender.
  3. When the tongue is ready, remove it from the pot and allow to cool to the touch. Next, peel away the outer skin and remove the bones from the end. Wrap the tongue in plastic wrap and cool overnight.
  4. Slice medallions off of the whole cooked tongue and layer onto thick-cut sandwich bread with your favorite toppings, or simply a smear of spicy brown mustard.
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