Boiled Corned Beef Tongue

Chef's notes:

Corned beef tongue was something I came across while reading old recipes for tongue. I guess in a lot of ways it makes sense that in those days tongues were corned. Besides making food taste better, corning is also a method of preservation. So, if you had some extra meat laying around and you needed to keep it from spoiling, you could chuck it in a bucket of brine and save it for later. Seeing as you probably won’t be able to find corned beef tongues at the butcher, you will need to corn your own beef tongues. I also wrote an article on that topic. Check the first step for links to a couple different corn-your-own beef recipes.


  • 1 corned beef tongue
  • 1 onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 carrot
  • Water to cover

Corned Beef Tongue Lightly Boiled with Carrot, Celery, and Onion in Water

  1. Corn a beef tongue. The process for corning a beef tongue is the same as corning a brisket, so you can use either of my recipes or a combination of the two: Corning Beef and Corning Beef Tongue. It takes roughly a week, so you may want to plan ahead.
  2. Boil the corned beef tongue. After corning a beef tongue, you will cook it. The easiest way to cook corned beef tongue is to boil it. You can boil it in a wide variety of things—beer, wine, or broth. I have found it easier to boil it in water with a few vegetables.
  3. Boiled beef tongue. The beef tongue should simmer or lightly boil for 2–3 hours. Otherwise the meat will be a bit chewy and the skin will be difficult to remove. After it’s finished, remove it from the pot and peel off the outer layer of tongue skin. Do this while it’s still warm—it will be easier.
  4. Slice the beef tongue. After the tongue has rested for 15–20 minutes and you’ve removed the skin, thinly slice the tongue by starting at the back and moving toward the front. The thinner the better with this meat. Serve it with boiled potatoes and carrots as I have in the photo above. An even better option would be to make Reuben or corned beef tongue sandwiches.

Tips & Tricks

  • Rinse the corned beef tongue with cool water before you boil it.
  • The liquid in which you boil the corned beef tongue is not as important as how well you corn the tongue in the first place. Besides, you don’t really want to corrupt the flavor of the already heavily flavored meat. Basically what I’m saying is that the meat already tastes the way you want, now you just have to cook it. And the easiest way to do that is to boil it in water.
  • Remove the skin while the tongue is still warm. It will be much easier. If the skin doesn’t want to come off, you may not have boiled the tongue long enough.
  • Slice the meat thinly to avoid potential chewiness.
  • If you cool the boiled corned beef tongue first, it will be easier to slice it.
  • And with the cooled and thinly sliced meat you can make some of the best Reuben and corned beef tongue sandwiches you will ever eat.