Cold ox tongue with celery and mustard

Serves 4-6

My grandmother used to prepare a salted cold ox tongue as a special treat; she used to press it in a bowl with a weight on in the fridge.

1 salted ox tongue, weighing about a kilo or so (soaked in a pan of cold water overnight)
4-5 sticks of celery, peeled if stringy
1tbsp wholegrain mustard
½tbsp honey
½tbsp cider vinegar

The day before you want to serve the tongue, place it in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently with a lid on for a couple of hours or until the tongue is tender. (You can use a pressure cooker which will cut the time in half.) Remove the tongue from the liquid and place it in a bowl that will fit the tongue tightly.

Place a plate, smaller than the bowl, on the tongue and place a weight on top (like a large can of vegetables or something heavy that will press the tongue into the shape of the bowl). Leave to cool, then place in the fridge overnight or until you need to use it.

To serve, cut the sticks of celery into 3-4cm lengths then cut them into batons. Mix the mustard, honey and cider vinegar together and mix with the celery; leave to stand for 30 minutes.

Slice the tongue as thinly as you can with a sharp knife – or you can use a slicing machine – and arrange on a serving dish with the celery on the side or in the centre.

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