Pickled tongue is probably not the first thing you think about when packing a picnic for a spring day out. But we might change your mind!
Nose to tail eating, which is basically getting the most of the meat from the whole animal, has had something of a come-back thanks to chefs such as Hugh, Tom and Jamie encouraging us to get the most from our food budgets. Pickled tongue is not something we’ve seen in a foodie magazine… but why not?
Tongue is an incredibly lean meat, whether from pig, ox or cow. And it’s not just for white bread sandwiches of the 1970s: pickled tongue easy to make, and good enough for the smartest plate of appetisers!
In bygone times tongue was considered a delicacy and it was sold in glass jars at the most well-heeled establishments. And, having had a trip down memory lane recently: we have to agree.
The lovely folk at Brew, which runs a cosy cafe in Truro, had some pickled tongue to sample and we were pleasantly surprised! But this was not the wafer thin circle of our childhood memories.
Chunky, and in a jar packed with flavour, this was a feast for all our senses. The meat looks like a lean cut of ham, and the pickle liquor was packed with flavour. It would have been perfect with a glass of ice dry white, but at 11am it was pretty good with an elderflower presse!
We spoke to David at Sizzle Grills, a new Cornish company that builds bespoke Argentinian BBQs, who took the daring move of including ox tongue on a tasting menu at a recent event he catered. David, together with his wife Zoe, ran a successful boutique hotel in Argentina. They picked up some great ideas about food and flavour during their time there, which is shaping the business they are now running in Cornwall.
“The first step in tongue to tail eating is this surprising recipe. It mixes meaty goodness with a pickled chutney that gives the succulent beef added zing,” said David. “This is a really simple recipe but for the best flavour, use a quality meat that has been locally reared.”
Source your ox tongue from your local butcher – he will be delighted to select this cut for you!
Boil the ox tongue for around 3 hour.
Turn off the heat, set the pan aside to rest and cool.
While the meat is cooling, prepare your salsa criollo.
Finely dice 8-10 shallots, 1 red pepper, 2 cloves of garlic.
Mix the vegetables with equal parts pf red wine vinegar and rapeseed or olive oil. Stir well.
Pour over the meat and leave over night.
This is great as an aperitif with some sourdough bread and a glass of something dry and ice cold.
Or you could have with a chilli jam and some wholewheat crackers.
Check out Brew Cornwall for more foodie photos, daily offers and coffee shop events
Sizzle Grills for handmade BBQs and outside catering