Sunday, May 3, 2009

Roasted Ox Tongue with Sweet Potato, Snake beans and Red Pepper

Nothing compares to relishing a quality piece of meat. You know its cooked perfectly when the flesh yields comfortably - the grain follows the razor sharp edge of your knife with ease. The velvety texture almost buttery on the palate, yet substantially firm, oozing with succulence as you bite into it. For me tongue has a wonderfully silky texture, and the meat can be unbelievably tender if cooked correctly.
A dish that has remained a favourite for many years, it is often devoured before the side dishes make it to the table! Unfortunately, my grandmother's recipe is safely locked in my mothers head and with the Indian ocean dividing me from my mother, I looked for a similar Anglo-Indian Ox Tongue recipe to guide me. Bridget Kumar's Anglo-Indian recipe blog contains several wonderful recipes including this one that has been adapted to incorporate variations that my mum guided me with via skype! Thanks mum...

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 2 hours

Ingredients: 1 Ox tongue (1kg), 1 big onion sliced, 1 red chilies broken into bits, 1 teaspoon whole pepper corns, 2 cloves, 2 pieces of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons oil, Salt to taste

Method: Wash the tongue well and then pressure cook it with 2 cups of water and a little salt till tender letting some stock remain. Alternatively you can use a pot and boil the tongue for an hour. Open the pressure cooker and remove the boiled tongue. Let it cool for some time. When it is a little cold remove the white skin from the tongue, put it back into the open cooker and add the oil, onion, red chilies pepper corns, cloves and cinnamon and a little more salt. After the stock reduces to about half, remove the tongue, strain the stock, add a knob of butter to the large pan and put the tongue into the pan once its nice and hot, and brown it all over, watching and turning it every 2 - 3 minutes. Add the vegetables and spices from the stock to the pan to further infuse flavour and baste the tongue - ladle the stock over the tongue while it browns gradually to make sure it remains moist while it browns. Once browned evenly, remove from pan and allow to rest for about five to ten minutes before cutting into slices and arrange on a plate. The remaining stock can be reduced, de-glazed with some red wine and served along with the tongue as a gravy. The roasted ox tongue tastes stunning served warm with roast veggies and just delicious in sandwiches with Dijon mustard.

Roast Sweet Potato, Snake Beans and Red Pepper

Cut the sweet potato into cubes, leaving the skin on, lay onto a baking sheet on a baking tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in the oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees C. In the meanwhile trim and slice the beans, de-seed and dice the red pepper and then after the sweet potatoes are starting to get soft, add them to the baking tray, give it a good toss with a pair of kitchen tongs and roast for a further 10 - 15 minutes. Serve with cracked pepper.

Step 1: The tongue, washed and ready for boiling
Step 2: Get the rest of your ingredients ready, onion, 1 tsp whole pepper, 1 tsp cloves, 2 sticks cinnamon, 1 large red chili
Step 3: After boiling/ pressure cooking the tongue add the onions and spices and allow to simmer until the stock reduces to half the quantity
Step 4: Add the tongue, onion and spices to a pan with butter and brown the meat evenly

Step 5: Carve the tongue into thin slices to serve


Anonymous said...

Nice! I wonder if Anglo-Indian recipes differ in different parts of India. I have a book called Curries and Bugles but I think most of the recipes have a North-Inian or Calcutta bent to them.

MEGalomaniac said...

Thank you! I have the same cookbook and unfortunately it does not contain any recipes for sweetbreads, which form an essential selection of Anglo-Indian dishes including the popular chicken liver and kidney dry fry, heart curry, and of course roasted ox tongue. Where regionalitity is concerned I am sure it plays a part, however I cannot say to what extent. Worth some investigation!