Society Bistro

Stefan Marais

Another one of our talented neighbours is Society Bistro on Orange Street. A mere stones throw from our wooden doors lays an oasis of French and Italian-inspired delicacies. Expect Chicken Liver Parfait, Ricotta Gnocchi and Laquered Pork Belly with orange, braised fennel and buttered mash, all served in a relaxed manner, in keeping with the ethos of bistronomy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R1IafgM81kE[/youtube]

“This is one of my all time favourite recipes and I always cook this dish in the autumn and winter.” says head chef, @StefanMarais.

Recipe: Slow Braised Ox Tongue in a Parsley and Caper sauce with Dauphine potatoes

For the Tongue:

  • 1 Corned Ox Tongue (You can also use fresh tongue and salt it in your own brine for a week)
  • 3 Carrots
  • 3 Sticks Celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic
  • 1 Small bunch of Leeks
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 10 Whole Black Peppercorns

Soak the Tongue in cold water for 2 hours, (this helps to draw out any excessive saltiness) place in a large thick bottomed pan with fresh water.  In the meantime peel and cut all your vegetables and add to the pot.  (Just cut the garlic bulb in half)  Add the bay leaf and peppercorns and place on a gentle heat.   Cover the pot and bring to a light simmer, turn the heat down slightly and let the pot gently ‘prit’ away for more or less three hours (depending on the size of the tongue)  Use a paring knife and insert into the tongue to feel if it has cooked – you want it to still be firm but soft.  Remove the pot from the stove and let the tongue cool down in the liquid.  Don’t take it out straight away as this will cause the tongue to go tough and chewy.  Once lukewarm, remove the tongue from the cooking liquor and peel.  Reserve the tongue and the cooking liquor.

For the Sauce:

  • Tongue cooking liquor
  • 200ml Full Cream
  • 60g Capers soaked in brine
  • 30g Flat leaf Parsley

Soak the Capers in fresh water for an hour to remove any excessive saltiness, then drain and reserve.  In a large pot, reduce the cooking liquid by two thirds, then add the cream and bring to the boil.  Let the sauce reduce down slightly and add the capers.  Slice the tongue into required thickness and add back into the sauce.  Roughly chop the parsley and add to the sauce just before serving.  Taste, taste, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.  (A Squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of Dijon mustard can also be added to the sauce if Capers aren’t really your thing)  Serve with Dauphine potatoes or buttery mash.

For the Dauphine Potatoes:

As their name suggests, these are royal little potatoes, try one and you’ll see why!  This makes a large enough batch to keep some in the freezer (at least a month in an airtight container) for the next time you need to impress guests or just feel like spoiling yourself

  • 500g Choux pastry (see below)
  • 500g Cooked Potato Puree (cook 1kg potatoes)
  • 150g Corn flour
  • Salt, White Pepper, Nutmeg

Pierce the skin of each potato with a fork and bake in a 160C oven until cooked through. Scrape the potato out and pass through a sieve or moulis.  Weigh out 500g of Potato Puree and 500g of Choux pastry and fold together.  Season to taste with salt, white pepper and freshly ground Nutmeg.  If you want to be cheffy, Quenelle the potato with two spoons and roll in corn flour. If you don’t want to get all fancy, just roll the mixture into balls and roll in the corn flour.  Deep fry when needed.  (If you are freezing them – deep fry straight from frozen at around 170°C)

To make quenelles: Take a scoop with one teaspoon, and then pass it into the next spoon by turning it over against one another. Continue turning the spoons to shape a neat 3 sided oval (a quenelle)

Choux Pastry

  • 500ml Water
  • 125g Butter
  • 250g Flour
  • 7 Eggs each

Place the water and butter in a pot and bring to a boil.  Sift in the flour and cook mixture out for at least 7 minutes on a medium heat until it just starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.  Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the eggs one by one.   Remove from the pot and cover with cling film.

Stef might’ve wanted to lead with this but I think we all understand what he means. “I know it seems like a lot of work, but really it isn’t. This is a great dinner party dish because you can get all your ducks in a row well in advance.  Make the potatoes a week or two before and keep in the freezer, cook the tongue the day before, get the sauce ready.  All you need to do on the night is slice the tongue, finish off the sauce and fry the potatoes!  Any leftover tongue on a sarnie with some mustard, pickles and tomato is a treat!  If the weather turns hot all of a sudden, serve with salsa verde and a simple potato salad…yum!”. Really does sound deelishss. Thanks Stef.