The idea behind this recipe is to create a tasty smoked pastrami, but without the use of a smoker and improve the flavor, texture and ultimately the final project. Since tongue is a lesser used meat, it has wonderful flavor and marbling from it being used each and everyday, hours on end. The brining will infuse flavor, increase moisture and help tenderize the muscle. Then sous viding the tongue will keep the meat moist, breakdown the collagen, resulting in a pot roast like texture, with all the flavors of pastrami and the increased umami from the updated technique and use of beer in the recipe.
In a large pot, add the onions, garlic, salt, brown sugar, pickling spice, bay leaves, star anise pods and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Turn off the heat and add the ice and cold stout. Check with a thermometer and chill to 40°F. Transfer to a cambro and use with the beef tongue.
Add the washed and dried beef tongues to a bag and add 2 cups of Stout Pastrami Brine to each and seal on high. Repeat with remaining tongues. refrigerate for 3 days.
Remove the tongues from the brine and cold smoke them in a 200°F smoker using oak, cherry or other fruit wood for 2 hours. Place back into bags, adding a 1/4 cup of the reserved brine and sous vide at 180°F for 8 hours. Chill and cool.
To use, open the bag, peel the tongue and slice against the grain.