Monday, 9 May 2011

tongue and groovy: ox tongue fritters and green sauce

ox tongue 1

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:

ox tongue 2

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.

ox tongue 3

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.

ox tongue 4

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 ;-)


Lizzie said...

That tongue looks gross. BUT I love ox tongue fritters so I imagine I could grit my teeth and get on with it.

things we make said...

It's so frustrating when those telly types do that isn't it? Nigella has copied me a few times and it so ends up looking like we are the ones jumping on the band wagon!

We were once served a whole cooked tongue just like your 3rd picture on a school trip to France. I still remember it just sitting there through the whole meal as no one even touched it let alone tried it. I am relatively un-squeemish but I have always struggled a bit with eating tongue so I don't think this ones for me...but you go girl!

Uncle Ji said...

Wow. I am seriously impressed. But I think I'll leave the tongue peeling to you! :D

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Lizzie - understandable. It even freaked me out a little. Not so much the looking at it, but the handling it. Worth it, though :)

Claire - absolutely. Why do those telly types do that? ;) I would urge you to try to overcome your squeamishness - these fritters really are delish.

Ji - yes, the tongue peeling is a bit, y'know, yeeeuch. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...

Helena Lee said...

I can't wait to make this recipe - great pictures. Have you tried the Ox tongue fritters at the Battersea Draft House? They are horribly morish.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Helena - yes, I have. Maybe I had them on an 'off' day, but they didn't taste of too much, and were dry. These babies, however... Yum! And so much better when you've cooked the tongue yourself.

Concord Window Treatments said...

Can I say it one more time just vent out my squemishness?! Yuck! But it does look edible when done. Good thing my husband does the cooking.I don't have to lay my eyes on a newly dead duck or an ox tongue like this one. Ewww!

Foodycat said...

You are a brave woman. I really like eating tongue, but that is one thing I am too squeamish to prepare myself!

Raquel.Erecipe said...

I love oxtail when it cooks well done with mushroom cream and garlic =)

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catty said...

lol "ox tongue fritters and green sauce" just actually sounds odd but it looks amazingly delicious. And I actually do love me some ox tongue!

Jonathan said...

Amazing pictures - very IKEA cookbook. And I love the idea of tongue fritters. Can imagine how deliciously meaty and unctuous they must be.

I wonder what tongue meat balls would be like?

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

No way in hell would I make these from scratch but I like the end product. Beautiful pictures even if it's of something I find bit icky!!

Nancy - Hungry in Camden said...

I had Ox tongue the other night in a Korean restaurant, and it was lovely, but it was sliced to within an inch of its life and therefore entirely unrecognizeable. You're very brave!! (That HFW pic in the Guardian made me recoil.... Yours on the other hand looks absolutely gorgeous. )

Sarah said...

Tongue always looks so horribly gross, but I imagine it tastes lovely (especially when frittered).

Going With My Gut said...

Intriiiiiguing. Need to try this soon. thank you!


Shu Han said...

that tongue looks really scary, and that's coming from someone who loves liver, kidneys, tripe, intestines. but that last photo looks so delicious I'm convinced it tastes good! I'm a fan of eating unpopular cuts too, because they're not only more sustainable, but much cheaper for a student like me! thanks for being so brave (: