Sous Vide Pastrami-Style Beef Tongue

If you have a sous vide circulator, you can make a delicious tongue pastrami in about half the time it takes to make traditional pastrami. You can also prepare using just your stove top (see the Tip below). Have some rye bread handy to make pastrami sandwiches or Reubens.
Yield 6 Servings Prep. Time 20 min Marinating Time 4320 min Cooking Time 2160 min Total Time 6500 min


Here are the following ingredients:

  • 1 large Beef Tongue (3 to 4 lb/1.5 to 2 kg)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) whole black peppercorns
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) coriander seeds
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) yellow mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp (2.5 mL) whole cloves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced celery
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp (75 mL) salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sweet paprika
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp (7 mL) liquid smoke

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Trim any excess fat from the tongue using a sharp knife. Cut the tongue in half lengthwise on the underside, cutting to, but not through the skin on the other side. Open the tongue up like a book.

  2. One spice at a time, coarsely grind peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, cloves and bay leaves using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Transfer to a food processor; add celery, garlic, sugar, salt, paprika, hot pepper flakes, cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Process until a thin paste is formed.

  3. Place the paste in a large resealable freezer bag or resealable silicone food bag or vacuum seal bag large enough to hold the tongue. Add tongue to bag; massaging the bag to distribute the marinade. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag or using vacuum sealer. Refrigerate tongue for 72 hours.

  4. Set up water bath for sous vide and preheat to 170ºF (76.7ºC) according to manufacturer’s directions.

  5. Remove tongue from bag and rinse off marinade under cold water; discard excess marinade (the tongue will be dark in colour). Place in a new vacuum seal bag; remove as much air as possible and seal bag using vacuum sealer. Immerse bag in preheated water bath and secure it to the side of the pot with a clip, keeping the top of the bag above the surface of the water. Cover water bath with foil or plastic to reduce evaporation. Cook sous vide for 36 hours, replenishing with hot water as needed.

  6. Remove bag from water bath and place in a sink filled with cold water; let stand until tongue is cool enough to handle, replenishing cold water, as necessary. Remove tongue from the bag and discard liquid. Peel off the skin. Start at the back end and use a small knife to lift up the skin; then, using your fingers, peel off the skin like removing a mitten, being careful to not rip the meat at the tip. Discard the skin, trim off any fat, gristle or bumps at the back of the tongue.

  7. Serve warm or wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days (or freeze for up to 3 months).