Boiled Ox Tongue with Beetroot

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Shaun Hill's Cookery Book

Shaun Hill's Cookery Book

By Shaun Hill

Published 1990

  • About

Ox tongue tastes better hot, but needs a sauce or relish. My preference is for a sharp vegetable accompaniment such as beetroot or celeriac, and maybe soft mashed potato, rather than the traditional Madeira sauce.

When choosing beetroot look for small, even-sized specimens. Cutting the vegetable will allow the colour to bleed away as it cooks.


  • 1 × 2½ lb (1.1 kg) pickled ox tongue
  • 2 lb (900 g) small beetroots, washed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

To Complete

  • a bunch of corn salad (mâche)


  1. Soak the tongue overnight in cold water.
  2. Drain, and place in a large pan. Cover with fresh water, and bring to the boil. There will be scum rising to the surface which you will need to skim off with a ladle.

    Let the water barely simmer. The tongue will need about 2½-3 hours cooking.

  3. After 1 hour add the beetroots. Depending on their size they will be ready in 1½—2 hours, the same time as the tongue.
  4. Lift the beetroots from the water. Peel away the skin and chop the beetroots into small dice. Place in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper then dress with vinegar and olive oil. Keep warm.

To Complete

  • Lift the tongue on to a cutting board. Peel off the skin and cut away any little bones, gristle or other debris. Slice the tongue, not too thinly.
  • Place a mound of the warm beetroot in the centre of the plate, and lay two slices of tongue against it. Garnish with the corn salad.