I feel obliged to talk about the man's ox tongue. He's never done a dish of ox tongue before. That's only because the Aunt has always brought ox tongue to lunch. But for the past two years, the Aunt had trouble bringing cooked or frozen ox tongue into Singapore, and it was such a harrowing experience that she didn't want to do that anymore. The man proclaimed he would take over and committed to a a dish of ox tongue for his parents' Christmas lunch.
He was a little wary since it was something he hadn't tried. One tongue was spoilt because it was in the freezer for too long, and our new helper didn't know better and thawed it out in hot water. THAT MADE TONGUE GO DEADER THAN DEAD. I tell you, the man very nearly wept. Might as well. It gave him time to browse the recipes and re-traced steps of the curing that he didn't like. Of course we have a secret ingredient- potassium nitrate which isn't exactly easily available here.
A new tongue was bought and cured. He took another recipe for curing it in brine and changed it to suit his preferences. The tongue sat in the fridge for a week, and then soaked in clear artesian water for 24 hours to rid it of excessive salt.
This morning, he woke up at 6.30am to tend to his dearest piece of offal. He gently poached the tongue, and made a reduction sauce for it. From all accounts, the tongue was STUNNING. And mind you, these are relatives with the most discerning of tastebuds who were ready to criticize it as too oily, too salty or too whatever. But the first bites were greeted with silence, and then, more zealous forkfuls. You know.