Most people cook ox tongue by stewing it. In my family, the most well-loved stewed ox tongue dish is the one with a creamy mushroom sauce. But about five years ago, we discovered that grilled ox tongue is absolutely delicious too.
The trick is to pre-cook the whole ox tongue in salted water. Then, it is cooled and chilled to firm up the meat to make handling easier. See, unless the meat is chilled prior to cutting and threading on bamboo skewers, the very tender meat will fall apart. Once cut and threaded, it takes only about 10 minutes for the ox tongue cubes to acquire that charred texture on the hot grill.
While the meat on one end of the ox tongue contains substantial amounts of fat, the rest has very little fat. To keep the non-fatty portions moist while grilling, and to help along the formation of a good crust on the surface, an oily basting sauce is brushed on the meat while grilling.
So, while it takes several hours to prepare grilled ox tongue, there is actually very little work involved.
- 1 whole ox / beef tongue about 1.2 kilogram, trimmed
- 1 whole whole onion
- 1 whole whole garlic
- 1 tablespoon of peppercorns
Put the ox tongue in a pot. Pour enough water to cover. Add the garlic, onion, about two tablespoonfuls of salt and the peppercorns. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for three to four hours or until very, very tender. Lift from the broth, transfer to a plate and cool. When cool, chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
While the ox tongue is chilling, soak about 15 bamboo skewers in water. Then, prepare the basting sauce. Put all the ingredients, except the sesame seeds, in a blender and process until the mixture is a smooth paste. Stir in the sesame seeds.
When the ox tongue is well chilled and firm, peel off the skin. Cut the meat into one-inch cubes. Thread in the soaked bamboo skewers, about five pieces per stick. Brush the ox tongue cubes with the sauce before grilling over very hot coals. Brush several times more during grilling.
As a final note, remember that the ox tongue is fully cooked even before grilling so don’t allow them to stay on the grill for too long. Grilling, in this case, is only for the texture and the smoky flavor.
As soon as the ox tongue cubes are nicely charred, given them a final brush of the sauce and serve at once.