Smoked ox tongue, peas, pickled vegetables

  • medium
  • 8
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
Not yet rated

This beautiful smoked ox tongue recipe from Michael Bremner is served with a host of pickled vegetables, fresh peas and a verdant pea purée. There are a few different processes here to ensure the tongue is absolutely perfect – brining, braising, smoking, then pan-frying until crisp – but the results are well worth the effort.

First published in 2018




Ox tongue

Braising liquid


Pea purée



  • Stove-top smoker
  • Hickory wood chips
  • Sous vide equipment (optional)
  • Blender


To begin, heat together the salt and water until the salt has dissolved, then allow to cool. Add the ox tongues and place in the fridge to brine for 12 hours. Remove and rinse under running water for 5 minutes
Preheat a water bath to 90°C, or an oven to 95–100°C
Place the braising liquid ingredients in a vacuum bag, along with the brined ox tongues, and cook in the water bath for 9 hours
If you don’t have sous vide equipment, add the brined tongues and braising liquid ingredients (using 1.5l stock instead of 500ml) to a large, lidded ovenproof dish. Cook in the oven for 9 hours. When ready, allow the tongues to cool in the braising liquid
To make the pickles, add the sugar, vinegar, water and star anise to a pan and bring to the boil before removing from the heat and allowing to cool slightly. Cut the vegetables into your preferred sizes and shapes, then add to vacuum bags and pour over pickling liquor. Seal the bag and store at room temperature until needed (you can also use a large, sterilised Kilner jar if preferred, just make sure the vegetables are fully submerged in the liquid – you may need to make more pickling liquid depending on the volume of your jar)
Once cool, remove the tongues from the braising liquid and set aside. Pass the braising liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan, place over a medium-high heat and reduce until it reaches a glaze consistency. When cool enough to handle, peel the tongues and trim to give a nice, even shape
Spread out the hickory chips in the base of a stove-top smoker, place the tongues on the rack over the chips and set over a high heat. As soon as the chips start smoking, remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes – the smoking here is just to impart flavour, you don't want it to heat the tongues any further
Remove the tongues from the smoker and smother in Dijon mustard. Roll tightly in cling film and place in the fridge to set
For the pea purée, add the cream to the pan, bring to the boil and add the peas. Cook until tender, then transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth. If the purée needs loosening slightly, add a dash of water. Season to taste and set aside in a pan, ready to reheat
When ready to serve, remove the tongues from the fridge. Reheat the glaze in a pan over a low heat and cut the tongues into 4–5cm thick slices. Add the olive oil to a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the tongue portions, searing all over until golden and heated through
Meanwhile, cook the peas. Add the water and butter to a pan and melt together to form an emulsion. Add the thyme and peas, cook for 2 minutes then season and set aside
To serve, dip each pan-fried portion of tongue into the warm glaze before plating. Gently reheat the pea purée and dot onto the plates. Scatter over the peas and add some of the pickled vegetables. Spoon over a little more sauce, if desired, and serve
First published in 2018

Few chefs cooking today are as exciting as Michael Bremner, who takes flavours from all over the world and distills them into beautiful small plates of deliciousness at his acclaimed restaurant in Brighton.

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