Cod’s Cheeks and Tongues

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    3 to 4

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About

This is an old West Country dish, and remarkably delicious. The cheeks are just as succulent as scallops, and only a fraction of the cost. Use the heads to make a fish stock.


  • 1 lb (500 g) cod’s cheeks and tongues
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Butter

For the gooseberry and tarragon sauce

  • 4 lb (2 kg) gooseberries
  • 1 pint (600 ml) water
  • 2 lb (1 kg) sugar
  • 3 fl oz (75 ml) tarragon vinegar

For the tailings

  • 1 lb (500 g) potatoes
  • Milk
  • Seasoned flour


Trim and thoroughly clean the cod’s cheeks and tongues. Dip in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, then sauté in butter until golden brown.

Serve with hot tangy gooseberry sauce and tailings.

Top and tail the gooseberries and bring to the boil in the water. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the sugar to the pulp and again bring to the boil. Simmer for a further 25 minutes, then leave to cool. Add the tarragon vinegar and pour into a sterilised earthenware jar. Seal and store for 10 days before using. You can serve the sauce hot or cold.

Using a potato peeler, peel the skins thickly from the potatoes. Dip the pieces of peel into milk and seasoned flour. Deep-fry until crisp.