A traditional dish that’s well worth the time and effort

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This week chef Lawrence cooks up a lambs’ tongue salad.

The British Food Fortnight, which started on September 20, is now in full swing and as part of the celebrations we have several items on our menus which showcase British food.

I decided to use lambs’ tongues in one dish, which are sadly not being used in cooking as much as they should be.

Cooking lambs’ tongues takes quite a long time to start with and I must say they are not the most appetising cuts of meat to look at. Don’t let this put you off though as the strong lamb flavour and delicate texture are worth the time and effort.

To prepare the tongues you will need to peel the thick outer layer from them before serving, which is easily done when they are still warm. The meat can be sliced thinly in a cold salad or heated and served with an onion and rosemary sauce, but seems to work best with any piquant sauce.

For the British Food Fortnight we slice the tongues, season them, fry until golden brown and serve them with a salad of finely-sliced runner beans dressed with horseradish. Runner beans will still be available until mid-October but try to choose the smaller ones. Try to find fresh horseradish and finely grate as much as you like into mayonnaise.

I was talking with one of our customers who said his mother used to cook lambs’ tongues for him 60 years ago when he was a boy and he had forgotten how wonderful they tasted.

Lambs’ tongue


Ingredients (serves 4)

6 lambs’ tongues

1 sprig of rosemary

8 peppercorns

1 onion chopped

1 stick of celery

1 leek chopped

1 carrot chopped

1 glass of white wine

4 cloves of garlic cut in half


Olive oil

Cooked and sliced runner beans


Freshly grated horseradish

Salad leaves



1. Wash the lamb’s tongues in cold water.

2. Gently fry the onion, celery, carrot and leek for three minutes.

3. Add the wine, peppercorns, herbs and enough water that when you add the tongues they will be covered.

4. Add the garlic and

bring to the boil.

5. Now add the tongues and simmer.

6. Cook with a lid on for one-and-a-half hours.

7. Allow to cool until you can handle the tongues and carefully peel off the outer tough skin.

8. You can refrigerate the tongues until you need them (they will keep for four days).

9. Mix all the salad ingredients together.

10. Slice the tongues with a sharp knife, season them and fry on a medium heat in some olive oil.

11. Place the tongues on a plate and top with your bean salad.

To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.