Irish Spiced Ox Tongue

1 Tongue, about 1.25kg (3lb)

Spice Mixture:

Simmering Stock:


  1. Combine the dried spices in a bowl, add the onion, fresh thyme, salt, sugar and saltpetre mixing well.
  2. Rub the tongue thoroughly with the mixture and place in a large ceramic dish.
  3. Cover and place the bowl in a fridge or cold place for 10-14 days, rubbing in the spice and turning the tongue once a day.
  4. The longer the tongue is cured, the stronger the flavour will be.
  5. When ready, wash the tongue.
  6. Place in a deep pan of cold water, add all of the simmering stock ingredients.
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 hours or until cooked and the small bones at the base can be easily pulled out.
  8. The tongue is ready when it feels tender when tested with a skewer.
  9. While still warm, skin the tongue and trim the root to remove any gristle or bones.
  10. Fix it lengthwise on a board, skewering both ends.
  11. When cold, the skewers can be removed and the tongue will remain in shape, enabling it to be carved at right angles.

Alternatively, the tongue can be pressed:

  1. Roll the tongue to fit into a cake tin, it should be a tight fit.
  2. Cover the tongue with a plate, stand a heavy weight on top.
  3. Leave in a cool place for 12 hours.
  4. Run a knife around the edge to free the tongue.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate, serve thinly sliced.


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