Saturday 15 June 2013




Back in decidedly more frugal times, tripe was consumed by many people the world over. Today the mere mention of tripe elicits a "yuck" reaction from a significant portion of us. But why? Many have probably never tried it, letting their imaginations go awry letting visions of bowels, blood, and gore dance in their heads.

I am here to set things straight about the particular joys of tripe. But just in case you don't believe me, ponder this:  all the great culinary centers of the world revere tripe and feature it in their repertoire including Italy, France, Spain, China, and countless others. If you have faith that they know what they're talking about, give this thrifty special cut of beef a chance. 

I have been eating tripe my whole life, mostly in the form of a milky, garlicky, sour soup popular throughout Romania. However it wasn't until I went Madrid, that I discovered just how exquisite it can be in the form of a stew. Sicilians do a pretty good job with it too but here I am featuring what is, in my opinion, the most delicious way to enjoy beef tripe, Madrid style. It is rich, unctuous, and has real cojones!


serves 8

1.5 kg / 3 lb beef tripe (buy it whole, not sliced, cured or pickled)
1/2 a pig's foot , cut lengthwise (ask your butcher)
6-8 cups of water
1 cup white wine (optional)
2-3 medium onions, sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
7 parsley sprigs, tied into a bundle (optional)
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
pinch nutmeg
5 pepper corns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt, to taste
3 Tbs olive oil
1 chorizo sausage, sliced in 2 cm rounds
150g-200g jamon serrano, cubed (or prosciutto or cured ham) 
2-3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs pimenton dulce (or sweet paprika)
dried hot pepper, flaked or crushed (to taste)
3 Tbs white or white wine vinegar
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
optional: 1 Morcilla sausage (or a good blood sausage), cut into 1 inch rounds

·         Wash tripe and pig's foot well then leave to soak in cool water with 3 Tbs vinegar for half hour, drain, and repeat. I like to soak it overnight.
·         Place tripe and pig's foot in a large heavy bottom or cast iron pot, cover with
·         water, bring to a boil for 1 min. and drain. This removes any foam or scum that
·         has formed. Make sure you rinse the pot well as you will reuse it.


  1. Slice tripe into 3 inch strips
  2. In the same pot, place the sliced tripe, pig's foot, water, wine (optional), half    of the chopped onions, garlic, bay leaves, parsley sprigs, tomatoes, peppercorns, nutmeg, thyme and salt
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and cover. Let simmer for about 2.5 hours
  4. In separate skillet, heat oil and add remaining onions. Cook on medium heat  until softened
  5. Add the Chorizo sausage, ham, hot pepper, and cook, about 5 min.
  6. Stir in flour and paprika, and cook about 1 min.
  7. Add 1.5 cups of the liquid from the tripe and stir until mixture thickens
  8. Add sausage mixture to the tripe. Cover
  9. Cook until tripe is tender, at least 1 hour, stirring  tripe from time to time to   prevent sticking to bottom of pot
  10. Uncover and continue cooking for at least 1 more hour or until the tripe is extremely tender
  11. Remove the pig's foot from the tripe. Strip the skin and tender meat from the bones. Discard bones. Break up the skin and meat into strips and return to the pot
  12. Add the chickpeas and vinegar to the pot in the last 15 minutes of cooking    
  13. Lastly, if using Morcilla, in a separate skillet fry the Morcilla or blood sausage rounds on both sides in some olive oil, set aside - this is done at the end as the tender sausage will simply fall apart if stirred into the stew. Serve the stew topped off with the Morcilla slices

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