1 ox tongue (about 3 1/2 lb [1.5kg] in weight), salt or pickled
1 onion, peeled and stuck with 1 clove
1 large sprig of parsley
1. Soak the tongue in water for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
2. Drain off the water and place in a saucepan with fresh cold water to cover.
3. Add the onion, bayleaves and parsley and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid or foil and simmer gently for 3 1/4 - 3 3/4 hours, topping up with boiling water when necessary to keep the tongue covered.
4. To test if the tongue is cooked, pierce the tip with a fine skewer, it will feel tender if it is cooked.
5. Drain and plunge immediately into a bowl of cold water.
6. Remove the skin, bones and gristle.
7. Place the tongue on a board and cut in half lengthwise. Place one half, cut side downwards, in a round 6 in. (15cm) cake tin, curling it slightly to fit, then arrange the second half, cut side uppermost, on top. Cover with a saucer and place a heavy weight on top (a small saucepan filled with cold water makes an effective weight).
8. Usually sufficient jelly will set around the tongue so no extra will be required. However, 1/2 pt (300ml) of cooking liquor from the pan may be boiled rapidly for 3-4 minutes to reduce it to about 1/4 pt (150ml) and then spooned over the tongue.
9. Allow to become quite cold then chill in the refrigerator overnight.
10. Turn out onto a plate and serve garnished with salads.