These may be cured by any of the receipts which we have already given for pickling beef, or for those which will be found further on for hams and bacon. Some persons prefer them cured with salt and saltpetre only, and dried naturally in a cool and airy room. For such of our readers as like them highly and richly flavoured we give our own method of having them prepared, which is this: - "Rub over the tongue a handful of fine salt, and let it drain until the following day; then, should it weigh from seven to eight pounds, mix thoroughly an ounce of saltpetre, two ounces of the coarsest sugar, and half an ounce of black pepper; when the tongue has been well rubbed with these, add three ounces of bruised juniper-berries; and when it has laid two days, eight ounces of bay salt, dried and pounded; at the end of three days more, pour on it half a pound of treacle, and let it remain in the pickle a fortnight after this; then hang it to drain, fold it in brown paper, and send it to be smoked over a wood fire for two or three weeks.
Should the peculiar flavour of the juniper-berries prevail too much, or be disap proved, they may be in part, or altogether, omitted; and six ounces of sugar may be rubbed into the tongue in the first instance when it is liked better than treacle.
Tongue, 7 to 8 lbs.; saltpetre, 1 oz.; black pepper, 1/2 oz.; sugar, 2 ozs.; juniper-berries, 3 ozs.: 2 days. Bay salt, 8 ozs.: 3 days. Treacle, 1/2 lb.: 14 days.
Before the tongue is salted, the gullet, which has an unsightly appearance, should be trimmed away: it is indeed usual to take the root off entirely, but some families prefer left on for the sake of the fat.
For each very large tongue, mix with half a pound of salt two ounces of saltpetre and three-quarters of a pound of the coarsest sugar; rub the tongues daily, and turn them in the pickle for five weeks, when they will be fit to be dressed, or to be smoked.
1 large tongue; salt, 1/2 lb.; sugar, 3/4 lb.; saltpetre, 2 ozs.: 5 weeks
When taken fresh from the pickle they require no soaking unless they should have remained in it much beyond the usual time, or have been cured with a more than common proportion of salt; but when they have been smoked and hung for some time, they should be laid for two or three hours in cold, and as much longer in tepid water, before they are dressed: if extremely dry, ten or twelve hours must be allowed to soften them, and they should always be brought very slowly to boil. Two or three carrots and a large bunch of savoury herbs, added after the scum is cleared off, will improve them. They should be simmered until they are extremely tender, when the skin will peel from them easily. A highly dried tongue will usually require from three and a half to four hours' boiling; an unsmoked one, about an hour less; and for one which has not been salted at all, a shorter time will suffice.