In Swabia, we love the super gelatinous parts of the cow. Besides sour tripe, the ox muzzle salad is another signature dish of Swabia. It is incredibly delicious with a slice of sourdough bread.
I’m not sure if ox muzzle is available in the US. In Swabia, you can buy it at any butcher and all the big supermarkets carry it. It is usually pre-cooked and pre-sliced. If you live in the US, you might have to ask your butcher for the raw nose of a cow. You can then boil the raw ox muzzle at home with some vinegar until tender. The French people call the ox muzzle “Museau de Boeuf” and it is a delicacy there too.
Below you can see two pictures for reference how ox muzzle looks like in its raw and cooked form.
I’m always surprised when I see Americans who claim how heavenly steak tastes. It is just an uninspired junk of meat. Americans have all this quality beef but they seem to prefer the boring parts. Tripe, ox muzzle, liver, beef tongue, bone marrow, and oxtail are the best parts of the cow, not the steaks or burgers!
As you might already know, Swabians love sour food. I think vinegar harmonizes very well with the jelly-like texture of the ox muzzle.
The most important thing is to let the ox muzzle salad marinate in the fridge. It takes at least an hour for the ox muzzle to soak up the flavor from the vinaigrette. Adding to that, I like it if the salad is served cold. It’s incredibly refreshing.
1.3 pounds (600 g) ox muzzle (Museau de Boeuf), cooked and thinly sliced
For the vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons water
black pepper, to taste
a handful of roughly chopped tarragon leaves
Assemble the salad ingredients:
Blanch the shallot slices in salted boiling water for 20 seconds. Immediately shock them in ice water and drain.
In a large bowl, combine the shallots, cornichons, and ox muzzle.
Prepare the vinaigrette:
Whisk together the sugar, mustard, and vinegar until the sugar has fully dissolved. Continue whisking while slowly incorporating the oil to form a smooth emulsion. Dilute the vinaigrette with 2 tablespoons of water and season with black pepper to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your preference by adding more oil/ sugar/ vinegar if necessary.
Marinate and serve the salad:
Pour the vinaigrette over the salad ingredients and give the salad a good massage. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Shortly before serving, add some of the chopped tarragon leaves to the salad and mix well. Serve the salad together with a few slices of sourdough bread.
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