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Poached Ox or Beef Tongue

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Ox tongue is seen as less-than-inviting-food, yet it’s what many of us grew up on in Ireland. If we found it in Italy as part of a cured meat plate, we would think it was a delicacy. Tongue salad was a favourite at home and brings back memories of visitors calling to the house at teatime. It’s gone out of fashion now but chefs like Fergus Henderson of St John’s restaurant in London are bringing it back home.

How to Cook Tongue

1. Cover the tongue in cold water with a little salt (if you wish you can add a bay leaf, a carrot, a half an onion and a few peppercorns to add flavour).

2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 hours, with the lid on, keeping the water topped up.

3. Drain, run cold water over the tongue and skin it, using a sharp paring knife. Trim off any ugly bits so that it is round in shape. It will be easier to slice and look more attractive. You need to press it next.

How to Press Tongue

1. Place the tongue in a bowl that fits it snugly. Put a plate or saucepan lid on top that doesn’t quite fit the bowl but is large enough to cover the tongue. Place a weight on top (or a few tins of tomatoes or beans). You need pressure on it to press it. Leave overnight in the fridge.

2. . Slice thinly and serve as you would spiced beef or ham.

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