Have you ever had a tongue sandwich at a deli? If not please go have one now because they are becoming extinct. Jewish deli food like tongue sandwiches, chopped liver, pickled salmon and kippered lox has been dying out as all the elderly Jews have..uh..moved on. I remember going to the Rascal House in Miami with my great grandparents as a child and waiting in long lines to eat. Then when they were no longer here I went with my grandparents – no lines. Now they are out of business and replaced with an upscale supermarket.

The only people left who eat this food are elderly Jews retiring in Miami or younger ones like me who grew up in the NYC metro area and ate appetizing Sunday morning and stuffed derma at the Delicatessen. Since I moved to Florida though all the Florida raised Jews I met who are my age haven’t even heard of this stuff and it really is a shame they missed out on all this good stuff. It is available in South Florida if you search for it but the Jewish Deli food culture doesn’t surround you naturally like it does out in Long Island or the Lower East Side.

Anyway, on to the recipe for tongue to make your own sandwiches which should be served cold or slightly warm with deli mustard on bagels or rye bread (no wonder-bread please)

This is the same basic recipe for Curing Meats but with tongue. Here I made two 4 lb tongues as I tend to eat most of it myself if I only make 1 which leaves others disappointed…


Rinse the gross gooey stuff off the tongues


Stab the tongues all over with a knife


Then rub it all over with the picking mixture. You can see the ingredients in more detail in Curing Meats

The basic recipe is 4 crushed garlic cloves, 2 crumbled bay leaves, 1 tsp of peppercorns, 1 Tb mixed pickling spices, 1/3 of a cup of raw sugar, 3/4 cup of kosher salt, and tsp pink curing salt


Cover with water and put in the fridge for a week to 10 days. Flip occasionally


8-10 days later

About 8 days later I decided it was time. I drained the water which is now a lovely shade of pink.


I (Ok…my husband who handles the heavy pots) then rinsed it a few times to get all the salt and seasoning off.


Then cover with fresh cold water and refrigerate overnight up to 24 hours


Pour off the water that it sat in at night and put fresh cold water and set it on the stove. Add 1-2 large onions, 1-2 carrots, a few bay leaves, a few clothes of garlic, a few stalks of celery, and like a dozen peppercorns.


Bring to a low boil and cook for 3.5, flipping occasionally to make sure the meat is covered with water. I replenished the water a few times as my lid let a lot of steam escape.


While they are still hot you have to peel them (yes tongues have skin!). It comes off pretty easily. See the pictures


Then pry off any extra fat


When they are peeled and cleaned they are ready to eat! BUT if you want them deli style on a sandwich you will want to cool them overnight so you can slice them as thin as possible. Like so



Serve slightly warm with mustard! Preferably on a bagel or rye bread. Maybe with sliced onion. I do not suggest tomato as my non-deli acclimated husband did here. It is also good cold.


The above was lunch! The below picture was dinner


One thought on “Deli Tongue (i.e cured/pickled)

  1. I’m from New Orleans and we call thus lunch tongue. There’s only 2 places that I know of that sell this. I’ve searched on the internet and am trying to see if any Jewish meat markets sell this or the tongues. It seems like a lot of steps to make this. I was under the impression that lunch tongue was a German deli meat. I’m in Miami and so far have found no where this deli meat can be purchased and shipped. If you know of any place that sells this. Please let me know.


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