Monday, 9 May 2011
tongue and groovy: ox tongue fritters and green sauce
So there I was at the weekend, getting my ducks/photos in a row, ready to write this post on ox tongue and green sauce.
And then I sit down to read the paper, and see that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has stolen my thunder and written about the VERY SAME THING in the Guardian. I mean - how very dare he? I shall be having a word with his people, never fear.
In the meantime, dear reader, I decided to persist. I did so, not least because HFW missed a trick.
And that trick is to fritter away your tongue. Well, not yours, but the ox's, obviously. Frittering it makes it much more fun to eat and, I'll suggest, more darn tasty and more suitable for summer, too. It's also a cunning way of disguising tongue if you're planning on serving it up to those who, shall we say, might be a little squeamish about all things offal. Prepare it like this, and you'll never hear a negative squeak of disgust or dissent.*
Here's how, in short. First, buy a salted ox tongue from your butcher. It should look like the photo above. You might want to leave it to rinse in cold water for a while before you get properly started - or, if you've got a nice butcher, s/he might have done that for you.
Then, cover the tongue with water (you'll need a BIG pan), bring it to the boil, bubble it away for a couple of hours with a few tasty bits and pieces, such as these:
But unlike me, try not to forget the head of garlic.
It's done when you can pierce the meat readily with a knife. It won't look any prettier than it did before you cooked it, but at least it's edible now.
Remove it from the pan, and leave for a couple of minutes while it cools a little.
While it's still warm, peel away the skin from the tongue. Yes, I know - yeeeeeeeeeuch - but it's got to be done. And it's much easier to do while the tongue's warm. So just get on with it.
Once you've taken off the skin, it's ready to serve. For fritters, cut the tongue into slices of about 3 or 4mm. Dip each slice in beaten egg, and then in white breadcrumbs seasoned with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and Halen Mon's rather wonderful celery salt. Shallow fry in hot oil - turning once - for as long as it takes for the crumbs on each side to turn golden brown.
Serve with a really punchy green sauce. You may as well use HFW's recipe. Grrrr. Not that I'm bitter or anything. Really, I'm not. Make it as the man says (or as Fergus Henderson says, if you've got Nose to Tail), and don't stint on the parsley, anchovies or capers.
Tuck in, and don't stop until you've licked every morsel from your plate.
*Well, it's worth a try, anyway. Worked for me ;-)