Cooking Tongue

I have looked through an 1897 Good Housekeeping and found an article on the proper ways to cook tongue.  I’m not sharing the how to cook part, because my method is simply to put it in the crockpot with a small bit of water and whatever herbs you want to smell- bay leaf, garlic, pepper, garlic… and cook it all day.  But this next bit comes from the GH:

When a fork pierces the meat without effort the tongue is done. Remove and peel off the skin but never cut this off, it gives the tongue a blotchy appearance, and if the cooking be attended to as directed is wholly unnecessary.  Simply cut a sharp slit in the thick rind; in this insert the fingers of the right hand wrapped in a clean cloth. With the left hand hold the tongue securely, pull, and the skin (unless perhaps a little on the under side which may require some coaxing) will pare off as clean and easy as the rind of an orange.


Tongue with mushroom gravy

Cook an dpeel tnoue, slice it and return to washed crockpot to keep warm (or slice and cover in foil and put it in the oven to keep warm)


Take two tablespoonfuls of butter and stir in a saucepan to a bright brown, then stir in two tablespoonfuls of flour and keep on stirring till it all bubbles. Now, if made with stock or strong soup the sauce will be doubly delicious. If stock or soup are not at hand, use some of the water in which the tongue was boiled.  Add one pint of the liquor if you use fresh mushrooms, two thirds of a pint if the mushrooms are canned,  as the juice in the latter will make up for the additional liquor. Pour in all the liquid at once and stir till all boils,  put in salt and pepper to taste, a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of sugar , a dash of celery salt,  and the mushrooms.

If the latter are fresh, set the saucepan into one of boiling water and let all cook for at least twenty minutes but if they are canned it will be sufficient to bring all to the boiling point.

Pour into a gravy boat. Serve the tongue on a hot platter  with a bit of the gravy ladled over it and garnished with a border of small white celery tips and slices of beet root.


Jellied Tongue:

Cook, and peel a tongue, chill.  Meanwhile…

Chop small a knuckle of veal and wash and slice a medium sized carrot, half a turnip, and a large onion. Take a stalk of celery, two sprigs of parsley, 2 small bay leaf, three cloves, and a ripe tomato; cover all with soft cold water and let it simmer slowly for five hours. Skim frequently and when the meat looks ragged and falls from the bone at the pressure of a fork remove and strain. Return the liquor to the pot and half beat the whites of two eggs with a little cold water. Just as the veal stock reaches a boiling point pour in the white of eggs and the water. Remove when it is once more at the boiling point and carefully skim again. Taste to see if it is seasoned to suit and then pour into a square or oblong tureen about half an inch of the liquor.  Now let this harden on the ice. Set the chilled tonue in on the firm layer of jelly.  Over this pour the remainder of the jelly which should just cover the tongue then set this on the ice and in a few hours it will be ready to serve.  When ready to do so dip the tureen in boiling hot water for a minute and reverse on a chilled platter. Before you will lie a mould of clear and savory jelly with the rich round tongue imbedded therein. Garnish generously with nasturtium leaves,  sliced lemon and little mounds of red currant or wild plum jelly.

Reminder: provide a sharp carving knife.


Oh, please.  Won’t somebody try that one and send me a picture?  I’d love to hear about it.

Tongue with Tomato Sauce: This is an excellent dish and should be served hot. In the evening before your crockpot tongue is finished,  put a pint and a half of tomatoes down separately to cook. Add to this one tablespoonful of chopped parsley, a small bay leaf, and a medium sized onion -sliced. When these have boiled for twenty minutes, melt in another saucepan one heaping tablespoonful each of butter and flour. Stir till they bubble, and remove. Strain into this saucepan the tomatoes through a Henis press (note- this is a sort of hand held ricer),  return to the fire and stir again till all is thick and smooth.  Add pepper, salt, and celery salt to taste, and put the tongue on a platter,  pour the sauce on, sprinkle over all tiny sprays of parsley, and quartered slices of lemon and serve at once.

Baked Tongue with Green Pease.

This is also an epicurean dish. Boil—simmer rather—a large fresh tongue for three hours, remove and skin; put on a pan and place in the oven, and let bake for an hour and a half, basting profusely every fifteen minutes with butter and water. If fresh green pease are used, put them down In barely enough water to cover, and stir to-gether in a separate saucepan one tablespoonful of butter and one of flour. When these are bubbling throughout, add to them half a pint of cream, and stir till thick and smooth. If cream cannot be had, use rich milk, with a teaspoonful of butter in it. If the pease have been boiling fifteen minutes, they are probably done. Drain, and turn them into the sauce, bring all quickly to boiling point, and add pepper and salt to taste.  If using canned pease—and the French are the only desirable canned pease for fine sauce—drain and turn them into the white sauce without previous cook-ing, just giving them one rapid boil of a minute or two; put the tongue on a platter, pour the thick pea sauce over, and cover all with a delicate network of wee sprays of curly parsley.

Tongue with sauce Tartar..

For this a corned tongue is preferable. It should be cooked as directed for tongue with mushrooms, except that, being salt. it must be put down in cold, not boiling, water… When done, cut off downwards about three inches of the tip of the tongue. Chop this fine, and mix with it a cupful of Mayonnaise,or any rich salad dressing to which has been added two stoned and chopped olives, two chopped gherkins, one minced slice of onion, and a dessert spoonful of capers. In a salad dish make a flat rosette of crisp lettuce leaves, and i nthe center of this make a little mound of the sauce Tartare. Slice downward very thinly the balance of the tongue, and surround the rosette with these, arranged in overlapping slices. Half peel a dozen small red radishes, and turn back the rind till they look like half-open rose-buds. Place each on a small lettuce leaf, set around the broad edge of the platter, and set on the ice till ready to Serve.


Moulded Tongue. This may be of either fresh or salt beef tongue. Simmer as directed, till quite tender, and put a package of Cox’s gelatine to soak for a couple of hours, in just enough water to cover; then pour over one teacupful of boiling water, and stir; add four teacupfuls of bouillon or strong stock, and bring to the boiling point. Clarify by stirring into it the white of one egg, which has been beaten with a tablespoonful of cold water; skim, and strain through a cloth or jelly bag. and season this to suit individual tastes, with Worcestershire sauce, mushroom catsup, salt and pepper. Pour a little into a mould—any shape desired. Of course good taste will prevent you using one figured with fruit or flowers, which are designed expressly for sweets. Put the mould on ice till the jelly is firm, and then cover with a thick layer of the tongue cut in small dicelike blocks. Over this put a layer of finely-chopped parsley, and over that a layer of hard-boiled eggs,
sliced. Over these pour more of the jelly. which has been kept in a warm place, and when quite firm, repeat the previous operation until the materials are used up. When firm and required for use, dip the mould for a moment in hot water, and reverse on a bed of water cress. Pour mayonnaise dressing around the base, garnish with stars of beet root and sliced lemon, and serve. A delightful supper dish.

Curried Tongue with Rice. Wash thoroughly a cupful of rice, and put down to boil in a large kettle full of boiling salted water. While this is cooking. make the sauce. First fry a minced onion in one tablespoonful of butter, add one tablespoonful of flour, stir till it bubbles, and then pour in half a pint of stock ; add pepper and salt to taste, and stir in also one teaspoonful of Worcestershire, and one teaspoonful of mushroom catsup. Set where it will keep hot while cutting any cold cooked tongue at hand into pieces about an inch square. Then add these to the sauce. The rice, which has boiled twenty minutes, will now be done. Drain it in a colander and set the latter back where the rice can dry without scorching. Give the colander an occasional shake. stir into the rice curry powder to taste, and form it into a border around the platter. In the center make a lake of the thick sauce and the tongue. Against the inner wall of the rice place a standing row of slices of hard•boiled eggs. Scatter finely.shredded parsley over all, and serve at once.

Deviled Tongue. • A very appetizing breakfast dish is deviled tongue. Cut tongue which has been cooked as advised in the primary directions, or any that may be left over cold, into thick, even fillets. Blend smoothly together one teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoonful (level) Of mustard, one teaspoonful of vinegar. one pinch of sugar, a couple of dashes of cayenne, and one tablespoonful of melted butter. Slash each fillet in three or four places. rub the mixture well into them. and leave all soaking over night. When required, remove and broil over a brisk fire, turning frequently, and serve in a bed of parsley, with any desired sauce. This is excellent also when egged, covered with rolled and sifted bread crumbs. fried a gold-en rows in deep fat. just as one would fry a cruller, and served in a little lake of tomato sauce.

To Cure • Beef Tongue. There Is no better method of curing beef tongue than the following : Make a brine by adding to three gallops of water four and a half pounds of salt, three quarters of a pound of dark.brown sugar. and three ounces of saltpetre. Let all boil together, and skim ; then remove the brine from the fire, add one fourth of a teaspoonful of cayenne, and when quite cold put in the tongues. They will be fit to use in a week, and will be found of a color and flavor to satisfy the most experienced and fastidious. — Kate M. Cleary

The above comes from a Good Housekeeping 1897 edition. I do not know if it is the same Kate Cleary as this one, but the timing could be hers:

CLEARY, KATE M. (1863-1905)

Detailing the life of small-town pioneers, Kate M. Cleary wrote novels, stories, sketches, and poems about Nebraska in the late 1800s. Born on August 22, 1863, in Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada, she moved with her mother and two brothers in 1880 to Chicago, where the whole family wrote to support themselves. In 1884 she married Michael Cleary, and the couple moved to the newly founded village of Hubbell, Nebraska. While in Hubbell, the Clearys had six children, losing two daughters within a year of each other. The family moved back to Chicago in 1898.

After nearly dying from childbirth fever in 1894, Cleary became dependent on the morphine that her doctor had given her to relieve the pain. She battled ill health as well as addiction throughout her life, finally admitting herself to the Elgin Asylum for the Insane for drug treatment. After her treatment she separated from her husband and dedicated herself to writing, insisting on supporting the children’s private schooling. She died of heart failure in Chicago on July 16, 1905, at age forty-one, just as she had begun negotiating with publisher Houghton Mifflin on a collection of her short stories. It was never published.

Throughout her lifetime Cleary wrote hundreds of stories, which appeared in such diverse outlets as the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, and McClure’s. The best of them are about early Plains settlers, especially the men and women in rural villages. Many of them are realistic or naturalistic depictions of the hardships of western pioneers. Others, however, are humorous and satirical portrayals, gently mocking social pretensions and the idealized Cult of True Womanhood.

Susanne K. George University of Nebraska at Kearney

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