Ox tongue and quince tagine

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A recipe from the Good Food collection.


1 ox tongue (about 1.25 kg/2 lb 12 oz), soaked for 2 hours in cold water

2 carrots, roughly chopped

2 celery stalks, roughly chopped

4 large onions, cut into 2 cm (¾ inch) chunks

40 g (1½ oz) butter

2 small quinces (about 500 g/1 lb 2 oz), peeled, cored and cut into eighths

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

½ teaspoon powdered saffron

1 cinnamon stick

1.25 litres (44 fl oz/5 cups) chicken stock, approximately

150 g (5½ oz/heaped ¾ cup) dried apricots

4 tablespoons honey

2½ tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste

a large handful of roughly chopped coriander (cilantro), plus extra sprigs, to garnish

steamed couscous or rice, to serve


1. Drain the tongue, rinse well, then place in a large saucepan with the carrot, celery and half the onion. Add enough cold water to cover the tongue, then slowly bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Remove the tongue, discarding the vegetables and liquid, and leave until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off the warm tongue, using a small knife if necessary, then trim off any gristle or tough pieces and cut the tongue into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the quince and sauté over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set aside.

4. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the remaining onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Add the ground spices and cinnamon stick and stir for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant.

5. Add the stock and tongue, adding a little more stock (or water) to cover if necessary. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

6. Add the quince, apricots and honey, then cook for a further 30–60 minutes, or until the tongue is tender. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the lemon juice and coriander. Serve with steamed couscous or rice, garnished with coriander sprigs.