Pickled Tongue Recipe


Adapted from The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 172 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 1 calves or beef tongue

For the Brine:

  • 3 quarts water

  • 9 ounces brown sugar

  • 27 ounces coarse sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries

  • 2 cloves

For Simmering:

  • 1 bouquet garni

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped

  • 1 garlic bulb, halved


  1. Put all the ingredient from the brine into a large saucepan and stir well over low heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and leave to cool.

  2. Place the tongue in a plastic container and pour the brine over the tongue, using something heavy such as a ceramic bowl to weigh down the tongue in the liquid. Refrigerate for 4 to 5 days. On the fifth day, remove the tongue from the brine and soak in fresh water overnight in the refrigerator.

  3. Place the salted tongue in a pot along with the simmering ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3.5 to 5 hours, depending on the kind of tongue and the size. The tongue is ready when it is very soft. Peel away the rubbery lining.

  4. Serve the tongue, both hot and cold, with horseradish and mustard. Thinly sliced tongue may be used for a sandwich on rye with plenty of mustard and horseradish.

Special equipment

3 to 5 quart pot

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
169 Calories
13g Fat
2g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 169
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 16%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 638mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 117mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)