Menudo – A Hearty Soup before the Parade!

In Mexico, a classic remedy to recover from a late-night party – whether aggravated by a hangover, or simply, due to fatigue – is to have a nice bowl of Menudo, a traditional cow’s stomach tripe soup.  Although it might be hard for some to fathom the concept, let me beguile the acceptance of this delicious food by pointing out that: bowel tripe is routinely used as sausage casing; organs, such as liver and kidney, are put in pies; and of course, there is haggis, the Scottish delicacy of sheep organs encased in, yes, the animal’s stomach.  Thinking rationally, the use of organs and tripe in traditional dishes makes sense, since old-time kitchens were always anchored by the “no waste” philosophy.  In Mexico, stomach tripe is called pancita (which means “tummy”), and sometimes the dish is referred that way around Mexico City.  There are many styles to prepare this concoction, but the general principle is that this soup, with a well seasoned broth and some protein from the tripe, will nourish, rehydrate and replenish lost electrolytes in the body, especially after a late night of drinking and partying.  I like to eat this soup on any cool and relaxed Sunday morning; since Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations started last night, I am sure that many Mexicans found it imperious to consume a bowl this morning; they might even be enjoying it right now, while getting ready to catch the Independence Day parade, either as attendees, or like me, on the screen.

Mexican Tripe Soup – Menudo (Pancita)

Printable recipes: Mexican Tripe soup and Roasted Guajillo Adobo

Ingredients

1 lb (454 g) beef stomach tripe, pre-cooked and bleached
2-3 beef feet, pre-cooked and deboned (if available)
2 tbsp fresh epazote, chopped (if available)
½ onion
1 clove garlic
6-8 cups water
1 cup roasted guajillo adobo (see printable recipe, above)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp dry oregano
1 tbsp salt, or to taste
1 can 25 oz (709 g) hominy corn (optional)
To serve:
Chopped onion
limes
Dry oregano
Tostadas (crisped tortillas) or tortilla chips

The original Mexican recipe for Menudo includes beef feet, but I could not find any, so I omitted them.  In Mexico, it is possible to find tripe from the different compartments of the cow’s stomach: there is the panal (honeycomb), libro (“book” from the layered omasum tripe), callo (“bump”), etc.  In my area, beef stomach tripe is available in many international markets, and oftentimes also at regular supermarkets, I believe because of the popularity of Vietnamese tripe soup, but usually only the tripe that resembles a honeycomb.  This is all I found this time, as well, but it was all nice and clean, no strong odor, and pre-cooked, bleached and rinsed, ready to use:

beef tripe pieces

I still gave it a thorough rinse under running water; I cut it into bite size pieces, and placed it in a pot with the chopped epazote, and 2 cups of water.  I brought to a boil, then simmered, covered, for about 20 minutes.  At the end of this time, most of the water had been absorbed or evaporated.  I added the onion and garlic, along with about four cups of hot water, enough to cover all the ingredients:

20180801_005330

I let it simmer for another 30 minutes, then I checked if the tripe was tender.  It was soft, so I poured the roasted guajillo adobo in (see full procedure for adobo here, and printable recipe above), seasoned with salt, and let it simmer for another ten minutes.  After that, it was time to add the bay leaves and oregano, and the I just let it simmer for another ten minutes:

adding herbs to soup

At this point, the onion, garlic and bay leaves were removed and discarded, and the pancita, or Menudo Mexico City style, was ready to serve, with a side of tostadas, chopped onion and limes, along with extra oregano to sprinkle on top, to taste:

20180801_013752 (3)

In some northern states, hominy corn kernels are included in the dish. I had a can of pre-cooked hominy, so I heated the hominy up in a pot with water, and scooped some into my second bowl of soup (strictly for research purposes, to compare flavours, LOL.)  It was equally tasty, and a nice variation; the hominy made the soup milder overall, so it would be a good choice for people who do not like overly spicy food:

This soup is good enough “para levantar muertos” (“to raise the dead”), as they say, and certainly provides enough calories, electrolytes and hydration to continue the celebration.  The following are some of my dad’s photos of the Independence Day parade in Mexico City, taken on September 16, 1971:

desfile 2desfile 1desfile 3

I also wanted to include a link to a video from last year’s parade (2017).  I chose an amateur video instead of the official version, to get a more picturesque point of view.


 I am joining the What’s for Dinner? – Sunday link-up #166 hosted by Helen @ The Lazy Gastronome.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Menudo – A Hearty Soup before the Parade!

  1. We love menudo at our house. My husband makes it and sometimes pazole (and sometimes we mix them!). Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party!

    Like

    1. It is so nice to learn that you and your family know of and cook Mexican food; I tried the menudo with hominy for the first time for the post, and yes, it is yummy, too. Thank you for hosting another great party, Helen!

      Like

  2. I would love to try this recipe, perhaps sometime soon I will come across some good tripe again. Growing up (in the 70’s) Dad would come home from wherever he was finding food in New York City, and we’d be eating just about anything. Actually, like Dad, I thrived on this. I’ve had Italian tripe marinara on Arthur Avenue in NYC, and a few preparations Dad made at home. Have yet to try Mexican menudo, but will reserve this recipe until I … can. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Italian tripe marinara? That sounds intriguing! I was always very reluctant to cook tripe because of the cleaning and long cooking hours, but nowadays, those portions neatly cleaned and pre-cooked are so convenient. I hope you get to try menudo soon!

      Like

    1. Oh, I did not know that! Was it in soup or another kind of dish? As a kid, I never tried the soup, but used to love “pancita” as a filling for quesadillas. I think it is a texture issue: if you like gelatinous savoury food, you probably will like tripe; if not, better stay away.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cathie! I hope you try the soup; in some places in Mexico, the red sauce is served on the side instead of pouring it in the soup, so that is a nice option for a mild taste. I think it is beautiful and so true how homesteaders honour the good lives of their dear animals by respectfully managing them with no waste; in one of my favourite chapters in the Laura Ingalls’ books (The Little House in the Big Woods, The Little House on the Prairie, etc.), her Pa is cooking a pig and she is hopeful she will get the tail, which is roasting on a stick.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s