The thyroid is one of the largest endocrine glands and is situated in the neck/throat area. The thyroid gland controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins and controls how sensitive the body is to other hormones. There’s a lot more to it than that of course, but if you wish to know more, follow the link. Because of where it is situated in the body, it is essential that when you are having any kind of X-ray that the area is covered by a lead apron of some kind, many problems have been caused by not properly protecting the gland from X-ray. It can also, I recently discovered, affect the way you react to certain foods. I didn’t realise this and had ‘gone off’ a number of foods which I normally loved, I had even ‘gone off’ wine which is incredible! I went for one of my usual 3 monthly diabetic check up several months back and my doctor noticed my thyroid levels were down so she prescribed synthroid. Things improved slightly, but next check up she added dessicated thyroid to the mix. Now that caused some reactions in my mind. I had visions of funeral directors creeping around at night harvesting the thyroid glands from their customers. Turns out its actually pig thyroid, what a relief. Now I like the foods I used to enjoy.
When I was younger, and living at home, my mother often prepared a cold pressed Tongue which we loved. It is a lot of work and I don’t suppose anyone really bothers any more. One has the impression that in many countries the majority are not interested in preparing food any more and tend to buy ready made foods. Such a shame. I think Jellied Ox tongue is a wonderful meat and so very tender but I haven’t had it in years. I don’t even know if one could buy an ox tongue here. By the way, its not really the tongue of an ox but a beef tongue. I have no idea why we call it Ox Tongue in England. It talks about ordering a pressed tongue from the butcher, its nice to know you can still get that in the UK, however, I have certainly never seen it in our part of Canada, nor in the Carolinas. As for independent butchers, don't see many of those here either.
Tongue, Cold PressedThis recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Christmas.
Although you can order a pressed tongue from the butcher at Christmas it is usually much nicer home-made – and it's not really much trouble. Once cooked and pressed, it's wonderful served in slices with pickles and salads, or put into sandwiches with some sharp mustard.
Ingredients1 pickled ox tongue, weighing approximately 4-4½ lb (1.75-2 kg) (available from independent butchers)
1 large onion, quartered
2 leeks, split and washed
1 clove garlic, peeled
a few parsley stalks
1 bay leaf
6 whole black peppercorns
2 level teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons port
You will also need a 5-6 inch (13-15 cm) deep cake tin or soufflé dish.
First the tongue needs to be well scrubbed with a stiff brush, then covered with cold water and left to soak for half a day or so. After that discard the water, place the tongue in a deep pan and cover with 6-7 pints (3.5-4 litres) of fresh cold water. Bring this up to the boil, then skim off all the surface scum before adding the prepared vegetables, garlic, herbs and peppercorns. Simmer very gently for about 3½ hours.
The tongue will be ready when the skin is 'blistered' and the T-shaped bone at the root comes away easily when pulled. Remove the tongue from the pan and douse it with cold water to cool, then strip away all the skin. Neaten the tongue by trimming away the ragged and gristly bits at the root and underneath, then curl it round to fit into the tin or dish.
Boil the liquor briskly to reduce it and concentrate the flavour. Now sprinkle the gelatine into a little cold water in a cup and melt it over simmering water until absolutely clear. Now strain off 10 fl oz (275 ml) of the cooking liquor, strain the gelatine into it and lastly add the port.
Pour the mixture over the tongue. Place a saucer on top, weight it down heavily and leave for several hours (or overnight) until cold and set.
Serve the tongue with some chopped jelly as a garnish.
Have a great day