Saturday, February 03, 2018

Ox Tongue Time!

It's time for the man to cook a few servings of ox tongue! This is the in-between lull between the exhausting feasting of Christmas and Lunar New Year. Perfect to send little boxes of tasty cholesterol bombs to friends to nibble on. Hehehehe.

We were left scratching our heads at the prices of ox tongues. Since when did raw ox tongues rise up to S$6.60 per 100 grams at a fancy butcher's? It's pricing raw tongues way higher than a cut of Argentinian fillet steak! IT'S RAW. IT'S TONGUE. IT'S OFFAL. Madness. Those frozen tongues are heavy! You won't get one for less than 1.2 kg. Said fancy butcher shop offered cooked slices of ox tongue too, at S$6 per 100 grams. But we didn't know if the cooked ones were tasty. We had other options, and took a look at those. Went back to our regular butcher at Tekka Market. We also preferred the tongues to be halal.

[Frozen ox tongues are lighter than as a frozen whole leg of lamb. Teeeeheheheee. Suddenly I recall this short story. Remember Roald Dahl's short story, 'Lamb to the Slaughter' (1953) in which housewife Mary Maloney swung a frozen leg of lamb at the back of her husband's head and killed him, and then roasted the lamb in the oven to rid it as evidence? 🤣]

Cured and braised. Outer skin had been peeled off. Ready to be sliced up.

Boiled up a pot of brine, prepped two boxes, and stuck the tongues in there to sit for a week. If we do tongue, we might as well do two. One is simply not quite worth the effort. These tongues look revolting, huh. Very icky. That's why they need to be treated. After being cured, they would need to be rinsed and sat in clear water for a day to rid excessive salt. Brine is ridiculously salty.

Then we slow-braised them in beer (Tiger works fine), root vegetables and spices. We’ve tried doing this step on the stove-top, in an oven and a pressure cooker, and decided that we like the texture on the stove-top best. After braising the tongues, that thick layer of skin is removed, and meat within was sliced, and voilà, there would be deliciousness. These slices of tongue ought to be taken in small quantities. The cholesterol is sky high.

Tasted it. Hmmm. All these years... this batch might be the best yet. Packed them into boxes for the fat-and-offal loving friends, and drizzled the braising sauce over it. Mustard! Mayonnaise! Tomato relish! Pickles! Ox tongue sandwiches! 🥪 One could further sear the slices to be enjoyed on its own, or lightly stir-fried with kecap manis and chillies. Whichever manner the friends may fancy.

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