Monday, June 21, 2010

What about some offal? Boiled tripes in tomato sauce

Tripe dishes are made with the stomach of various ruminants. The most common type of tripe is beef tripe from cattle. Like many predators, our Paleolithic ancestors probably ate plenty of offal, likely including tripe. They certainly did not eat only muscle meat. It would have been a big waste to eat only muscle meat, particularly because animal organs and other non-muscle parts are very rich in vitamins and minerals.

The taste for tripe is an acquired one. Many national cuisines have traditional tripe dishes, including the French, Chinese, Portuguese, and Mexican cuisines – to name only a few. The tripe dish shown in the photo below was prepared following a simple recipe. Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Here is the recipe:

- Cut up about 2 lbs of tripe into rectangular strips. I suggest rectangles of about 5 by 1 inches.
- Boil the tripe strips in low heat for 5 hours.
- Drain the boiled tripe strips, and place them in a frying or sauce pan. You may use the same pan you used for boiling.
- Add a small amount of tomato sauce, enough to give the tripe strips color, but not to completely immerse them in the sauce. Add seasoning to taste. I suggest some salt, parsley, garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Cook the tripe strips in tomato sauce for about 15 minutes.

Cooked tripe has a strong, characteristic smell, which will fill your kitchen as you boil it for 5 hours. Not many people will be able to eat many tripe strips at once, so perhaps this should not be the main dish of a dinner with friends. I personally can only eat about 5 strips at a time. I know folks who can eat a whole pan full of tripe strips, like the one shown on the photo in this post. But these folks are not many.

In terms of nutrition, 100 g of tripe prepared in this way will have approximately 12 g of protein, 4 g of fat, 157 g of cholesterol, and 2 g of carbohydrates. You will also be getting a reasonable amount of vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium.


LeonRover said...

I grew up in rural Ireland, 1940's -50's. My mother introduced us to all the meats, beef, sheep (lamb and mutton), pork, bacon, sausages. In addition, we ate beef tongue, offal meats on occasion, kidneys, liver, brain and heart, and of course cow's TRIPE. Her dish came with a flour based white sauce which was not relieved by capers and/or parsley. This was one dish I never took too.

My taste for offal never diminished, however. When later I lived in London (England), I took to sweetbreads (pancreas) and the delights of calf kidney.

In Paris, I took to minced raw beef as in steak tartare, and still often indulge in it.

However, even Tripe a la mode de Caen, ordered in Normandie and helped along with vieux Calvados never relieved or redeemed the memory and taste of this slimy and tasteless cow's stomach lining.

Please do not let me put you off.


Michael Barker said...

My people put it in a pressure pot then they breaded and fried it. I always thought of it as a rare treat.

Anne said...

You can buy it in cans ready cooked in France - saves the cooking smell and is nicely flavoured.

Ned Kock said...

Hi Leon.

I had some more direct warnings in the original version of the post, but I removed them.

It does taste funny, "slimy" is not a bad way of putting it. Still, there is one person in my home that can eat a plateful of them.

That person is not me.

Ned Kock said...

Michael, pressure cooking makes a lot of sense. It would probably bring down the cooking time to less than 1 hour.

I plan on blogging about pressure cooking in the future. Some people swear by it. Others say that it lowers the nutrient value of some foods.