This is the ultimate comfort food. Don’t be scared of the tripe (some of the biggest foodies I know cower from this offal) when well prepared it can be something very special. Known in Mexico as the hangover cure (due to its high vitamin B content), eaten with fresh tortillas and garnished with fresh onions, cilantro, cayenne pepper and oregano it’s true that there is nothing better for breakfast after a night out. In the cool fall weather eat it for dinner to warm yourself up! Tripe can easily be found in many ethnic markets, the Asians usually having the leaf type of tripe you will recognize from Vietnamese pho and the honeycomb variety can be found in many European or Latin meat markets.
2 lbs fresh beef tripe (we used a mix of leaf and honeycomb)
1-2 tbsp coarse salt
2 large limes, juiced
1 small cows foot, or 2 pigs feet (this could be replaced by 1 lb of pork or veal shoulder cut into 2” cubes seared and then added to the stew if you can’t find or don’t want to deal with the feet, or if you just want more meat in your stew why not add 1 pigs foot and 1 lb of shoulder?)
1 lb marrow bones
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tsp dry oregano
4 medium dry chilies cascabeles
¾ tsp cumin seeds
2 small limes cut into quarters
Finely chopped fresh oregano
½ cup finely chopped white onion
Wash the tripe several times in warm water then place in large bowl. Add 1-2 tbsp coarse salt and the juice of 2 limes and scrub thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes and then rinse several times more under warm water.
Cut the tripe into 1” squares for honeycomb or thin 3” strips for leaf tripe. In large stockpot cover tripe with cold water, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain tripe in colander and allow to drain for about 1 minute before returning to pot with feet, marrow bones, half of the chopped garlic, the sliced onion, 2 tbsp of oregano and cubes of seared shoulder if using. Cover with water (about 2.5-3L) and allow to simmer for 2-3 hours or until all the meat is tender. Make sure you skim your broth regularly to remove fat and impurities that will float to the surface, this will make all the difference in your final product.
Meanwhile, toast chilies in a dry pan until blistered and start to color. Remove stem and place in bowl, cover with boiling water, weigh down with a plate and allow to re-hydrate for 30 minutes.
Remove foot and marrow bones from broth. We made the extra effort to pop out the marrow from the bones and return it to the broth and trust us when we say it was worth it!
Add re-hydrated chilies, cumin and garlic to blender with about 1 cup of broth. Blend until smooth and return to pot, season broth and simmer an additional 20 minutes or so to let flavors come together.
Serve with fresh tortillas (I used the recipe we feature on the blog, but added finely chopped, fresh coriander and they were delicious) and garnish with onions, coriander, cayenne, oregano and lime juice to taste. Enjoy and chase away that pesky hangover!