Ox tongue recipe with tomato sauce and black olives.
Eating ox tongue is intrepid. It might not have been some time ago, but these days people shy away from offal, and the cheaper cuts even if they are tasty and actually good for you.
This “trend” is spreading everywhere. As we come more detached from the food that we eat, more packaging and more colorful labels we choose easy options, and prime cuts that we are getting used too more and more.
This ox tongue recipe is a traditional Romanian dish. I have somewhat changed the preparation of the sauce that goes with it, but not so much that it becomes another plate of food.
It’s not expensive to make (as offal makes a revival on the plates of more and more people it might get much more expensive in time), and it isn’t hard to prepare. Maybe a touch time consuming.
- 1 ox tongue
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 small celeriac
- few cloves of garlic
- 200g black olives
- 250ml tomato passata
- 50ml oil
- salt&black pepper
- black peppercorns
- 1 red onion (optional)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 3-4 bay leaves
- Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the ox tongue whole. (Usually that’s the way they’re sold.) Dump the veg (cut into large pieces) into the pot. Onion, carrot, celeriac, bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic.
- Boil on low heat for about 120 minutes until the meat is cooked through and soft. Take the ox tongue out, discard the rest (it could be used as a beef stock, the flavor is quite intense), leave to cool.
- Once cooled, clean the ox tongue. The tough outer skin should now peel easily off and the only thing that remains is the muscle. I opted to use just the “muscly” part here so I sliced the tongue in 1cm thick slices.
Now for the sauce:
- Chop the red onion (keep a few rings for the final part) and soften for a few minutes in the oil. Add the tomato passata, season with a touch of salt (the olives can be salty so season with care) and plenty of black pepper. Add half of the olives, chopped small, keep the rest in halves.
- Boil for 5 to 10 minutes on low heat, the sauce is ready.
Usually, in the “classic” ox tongue recipe the pieces of tongue would now be covered with the sauce to heat through and served. But you can also:
- Brush the pieces of ox tongue with a touch of oil and flash fry in a hot pan for a couple of minutes until they get a nice color and heat through.
- Blend the parsley in a food processor with some oil and salt until you get a vibrant green “salsa” type paste.
Add the sauce to the plate, arrange the ox tongue on the top and some of the parsley sauce on top of that. Garnish with the remaining olives and onion rings, maybe a touch of chili if you like it spicier.
Other popular recipes in this category:
- Best Romanian chicken paprikash with flour dumplings.
- Traditional cabbage rolls (sarmale) stuffed with minced pork and smoked meats.
- Chicken and noodles soup.