Tongue a Complete Guide

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Tongue is no longer a commonly found food on the family table. Once a regular in many a household it has fallen from favour with only the older generation and a handful of trendy ‘guts and all’ eateries waving the flag in support. Although it is considered an offal it is actually a muscle as opposed to an organ or gland so technically it is another type of meat cut. I suppose it is people’s perception of what it actually is and the natural comparison made to liver and kidneys etc that has put it in the offal bracket.


Lambs Tongue
 
It has to be said that raw tongue is far less appealing to the eye than in its cooked and sliced state but don’t let that put you off. Once it has been simmered in a well- flavoured stock and the skin has been removed it opens up a number of culinary possibilities.

When buying tongue you are most likely to be offered ox or possibly calves, sheep’s tongues are not so common in the local butchers shop which is a pity because they are an ideal size, an ox tongue can weigh between one and two kilos which can be a lot for even the most hardened offal aficionado.

Tongue can be cooked and served in a number of ways; I like to poach them very slowly in a broth of bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, thyme and a splash of white wine until sufficiently tender. Once they have cooled enough to handle the skin is removed and then sliced. Personally, I like to serve tongue with strong, sharp flavours; capers, mustard, red wine vinegar and brown butter are all good. Be adventurous and you will enjoy the results.

Recipes

Content and picture © Miles Collins

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