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Email Eric 

Email Sharlene:  







I returned from a trip to Mexico, and while visiting the picturesque seaport of San Felipe, I had the pleasure of dining on menudo one morning for breakfast.  I asked a lot of questions, took lots of notes and photos, and this recipe is what I came up with. It tastes very close to the menudo that I enjoyed in San Felipe.

As in stir-fry cooking, menudo is prepared in three phases:  Tripe preparation and cooking, chili sauce and hominy.  

In Mexico, menudo has many variations, but it usually can be purchased in two major classes:  Menudo Rojo, with dried red chili pepper seasoning or Menudo Blanco, which omits the chili peppers.  Remember, for best results, simmer the stew over a low flame to allow the ingredients to blend.  This menudo is good!

Special tools:  Blender, 8-quart cast-iron pot, and microwave oven
Preparation time:  About 30 minutes
Cooking time:  About 6 hours simmering time, another 60 minutes cooking and simmering
Yield:  6 generous servings

2-1/2 pounds of cleaned, cut into 1/2" squares
1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt or kosher salt; more to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
10 cups of water
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 dried medium Anaheim chili peppers  
1 medium onion, diced, in Mexico, white is preferred, but any variety will work
6 cloves of garlic; more to taste, 3 cloves diced and 3 cloves liquefied
1 can (29 oz) white or yellow hominy, drained
1/2 cup smoked beef, finely cut, or more to taste
1-1/2 cups of chicken or beef stock, preferably homemade
Beef bones for additional flavor, optional  

Step 1 involves preparing and cooking the tripe:  Wash the tripe in cold water and pat dry.  Cut into 1/2-inch squares and place tripe into the pot with just enough water to cover it.  Add the vinegar, diced onion, and 3 cloves diced garlic.  Bring it to a boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.  Drain the tripe into a colander and rinse well with water. Discard cooking liquid.

Left:  Tripe, veggies and meat are simmering in the cast iron pot.  The chilie puree hasn't been added yet.  Right: A bowl of San Felipe style menudo, ready to eat.

Transfer tripe into the cast-iron pot with the 10 cups of water, the diced onion, and the smoked beef.  Add beef bones for additional flavor, if desired.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer, and simmer over very low heat for about 6 hours.  You may want to cover the pot to keep the heat uniform.  

Step 2 is accomplished while the tripe is cooking.  Remove and discard the seeds and stems from the Anaheim chilies.  Dice chilies. In the microwave oven, heat the beef or chicken broth until it is very hot, then soak the dried chilies in the hot broth.  The idea is to soak the dried chilies until they become very tender. Soak for 30 minutes, re-heating as needed.

Add the broth, with the chilies, to the blender jar.  Add  remaining garlic cloves, puree in the blender until the mixture is liquefied. Transfer the liquid into a non-metallic container to rest.  Add the cumin, salt, stir and set aside.

Step 3:  When the tripe is tender, usually after simmering for around 6 hours, add the chilie puree to the mixture. Then, open the can of hominy, drain it, and add it to the mixture.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.  Stir frequently. Prior to serving, discard beef bones.

If you want, you can eliminate the dried chilies and substitute a tablespoon of dried chili powder.  But don't omit the stock, and whatever you do, don't use anything that comes in a can!

Serve hot in deep bowls, with a stack of warmed corn tortillas to dip into the broth.  I also like to garnish menudo with chopped onion, diced jalapeno or Anaheim pepper, chopped onion, additional oregano, and fresh, chopped cilantro.  Add additional salt, to taste.


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