I read about Japanese grilled beef tongue and we were going to put a variation in our next book. I love the idea of something totally different than the slow cooked tongue that is often served here in the States. In Japan they serve it rare and thinly sliced and the idea was revelatory. But of course we ran out of room. So we decided to explore the idea after the manuscript was submitted. If you're coming to dinner at Elements on May 25 you'll get to taste the results.
We started with the goal of a juicy and tender tongue. We seasoned two tongues with a spice blend (no salt) and cooked them at 55°C for 24 and 48 hours to see what the difference would be. Unsurprisingly the 48-hour tongue was more tender but the 24-hour tongue was pretty amazing. It was juicy and rich, with a hint of chewiness. It ate like medium rare steak. I'm almost positive that's the one we'll be using for the dinner. When thinly sliced, the tongue seems to melt in your mouth and leave nothing but the essence of veal behind. It's not what people expect when they think of tongue but it's so delicious that it won't matter.