Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trippa alla Romana – Do I Expect You to Swallow This Tripe? Yes!

On a scale of 0-to-Chris Cosentino, when it comes to cooking and enjoying offal, I come in at around a 5. I’ve never been big on kidneys, brain, and heart, but I do enjoy fried sweetbreads, grilled tongue, and this Roman-style tripe.

Let’s just get this out of the way now – tripe is the lining of a cow’s stomach. Not sure which one, as I remember from grade school that cows have a bunch of them. You could always Google for more info, but really, what else do you need to know?

This recipe is inspired by three different sources; Mario Batali, where I learned the trick of adding vanilla to the cooking liquid; my grandfather, who I believe made me the first tripe I ever ate; and a great neighborhood restaurant, Locanda, where I borrowed the idea of adding garbanzo beans.

I’m not sure how “tripe” ended up being used as an expression for “something poor, worthless, or offensive,” but culinarily-speaking, it’s none of those things. When prepared in this method, it’s has a pleasantly mild, but distinct flavor.

The spicy, garlicky tomato sauce is spiked with lots of fresh mint, which has a magical affinity for the tripe. When it comes to great sauces for dipping crusty Italian bread, it doesn’t get any better than this. If you like tripe, you’ll definitely love this version.

If you don’t like tripe, or have never tried it, I implore you to chef-up, and give it a try. Hey, no guts, no glory. Enjoy!

For the tripe:
2 1/2 pounds honeycomb tripe
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
5 quarts cold water
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz pancetta
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups marinara sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups tripe cooking liquid, more as needed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped

View the complete recipe


Damiano said...

Great! Thumbs up from Italy, chef

KPeff said...

I just put a bag of dried chickpeas in a soak in the fridge to cook with tomorrow without knowing what I'd do with them. Suddenly, chickpea and tripe stew sounds like a great way to take my new dutch oven's virginity.

Pantalone said...

Most excellent.

I await the fried sweetbreads ...

Alex P said...

I notice you seemed a little hesitant about taking a spoonful of the actual tripe and then once you did you edited the film so that we never saw the spoon come back into view...really clever Chef John. Interesting addition with the vanilla; why does Batali use it?

Monica said...

hate tripe. Tried it in several countries and it never gets any better. From the texture and the taste. Awful. It was a regional specialty where i grew up, trip and onions. I do like heart, liver and kidneys. brains ugh again the texture.

rich said...

i KNOW id probably love this dish. now getting my wife and kids to eat it is a totally different story.

Anna Banana said...

Chef John, I really love the idea, the video, the jokes, but I'm frightened! I wanna be brave and try this! I mean, we eat all sorts of crazy preservatives, chemicals, misc food colorings, etc, so why does cow stomach seem so awful? Some day, I will gather up all my toughness and try tripe. Today, I'm sticking with a yummy potato soup made from yukon golds we grew in our garden. :)

SMS said...

I Never tried it and living in Miami it lines the the shelves of the meat department and is on many menus. I think you my have convinced me...I just won't tell my husband what it is.

Luatica said...

Oooh. It reminds me of Spanish "Callos" with chickpeaks. Perhaps not the same flavorings but same kind of stew.

Breeze said...

Sorry. Don't care how good it looks. Don't care how good it tastes. Just can't do it. How can I eat the flesh of a cow and not the lining of its stomach? I give up; just unsophisticated I guess.

Little Fish Girl said...

I had something very similar in Argentina, but with lentils. I remember really liking it, but that it really, REALLY stunk up her house. Glad to hear it's good with American cow, too!

Me.Eat.Food said...

Tripe is only fitting to serve to dogs!

rosemary said...

Please do not say that. I am African and I know what it is like to go to bed with an empty stomach. If you do not like tripe, you don't. Period. We run a butcher with my husband and this meat is the most sought after part of a cow. I wish there was a way of collecting all the offals that people in developed countries throw away and ship them here to feed the protein deficient masses of this part of the world. Will try your recipe chef John. Here we cook with oil, tomatoes and water. Delish! Especially mixed with collard greens.

Alec006 said...

in Argentina be call that "Mondongo"
inside part of stomach cow

Livia said...

That looks delicious! Though I have to admit, I'm biased toward the Hungarian version:

Chris K. said...

I enjoy tripe, but it does tend to stink up the kitchen while it's simmering. Even if you clean it very, very thoroughly. Is that what the vanilla is for?

The bread at the end of the demo looks very nice too. Home made?

Chef John said...

I'm pretty sure that's exactly what the vanilla is for. Seemed to help.

Chris K. said...

Hmm... I'm really curious about Batali's vanilla tip, so I sent Harold McGee an email inquiring about it. If he sends a reply I'll let you know...

Long side story: a couple years ago, a friend and I were knocking back shots of Cazadores in a Mexican restaurant here in Asheville. We were getting pretty buzzed, and the bartender politely suggested we order some food.

I asked him if we could order off the menu - maybe something the cooks ate after their shift? He checked with the kitchen staff, and they were kind enough to indulge us.

As the bartender brought out the plates, he told me in a low voice: "Don't tell anybody we did this for you. And don't ask for it again."

We enjoyed the best tripas tacos I have ever tasted - and it wasn't just the tequila talking. We left a big tip for the bartender, the cooks, and have not requested tripas since that day.

It's kind of a shame. If more people realized just how delicious offal can be, we'd see it more often on restaurant menus.

But if that ever happens, all those line cooks angling for a green card would have to divulge a well-kept secret to the rest of us. Their job is is a thankless one. Sometimes I think it's a kind of justice that they should keep something special for themselves, and I'm just grateful that they were kind enough to share it with me.

Justin N said...

Using every last piece of the that cow! Tasty, that fresh mint added into the tomato sauce sounds like a memorable combo. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

If you're new to tripe you should go for the honeycomb tripe (the lighter the color the better) - just like the one Chef John uses. It's a little more expensive than the other type of tripe but well worth it.

Chris said...

Ahhh, never again. You never mentioned how much the tripe stinks and how it's odor clings to everything. The vanilla does nothing. Well maybe it does, it could have been worse. And the texture is horrendous. However, the sauce wasn't too bad, just next time I'd leave out the tripe.

MaryAnn said...

For years I ordered tripe at my favorite restaurant and suddenly they stopped making it. I vowed that one day I would find a recipe and make it myself. After finding your easy to do recipe and video I made the tripe yesterday. I made your basic tomato sauce along with it. It is absolutely delicious. I'm not sure which I was more impressed with, the tomato sauce or the tripe. I've been making tomato sauce for over 30 years and I never had sauce as delicious as this. It was a good dish to make on a cold day. In fact I'm having leftovers tonight and bringing a bowl to my friend at work tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing your delicious recipe!

Martin said...

Great recipe, but I underestimated few things.
First how strong peper flakes are, next time I better stick to quantity rather than to eye it :)
Second the time needed for this recipe, it takes a bit from start to finish :)

Anonymous said...

I love tripe. Not so much as a child but I do now. The main tripe dish I'm most familiar with is menudo. Saw it when visiting Italy but never tried it. Realize now I should of. Thanks for the recipe.

Mark Anderson said...

I had tripe at a local taqueria and loved it. Checked in with the Chef and what do you know--a recipe.

Loved it. Ate way too much.

Thanks, Chef John

Leif Masrud said...

My wife and I made this dish not that long ago. The sauce was fantastic. One of the best tomato-based sauces I think I've ever had.

The tripe? I actually really enjoy tripe in pho, but this stuff reeked of bleach. After a couple hours of rinsing, boiling, rinsing, boiling, it still stank. I have no idea what (if anything) I did wrong. If the tripe hadn't smelled like kitchen cleaner this dish would have been delicious. As it was we could barely choke it down. Please help a tripe noob!! :(

Le Batista said...

I just have it done. It is amazing! A perfect carnival meal here in Brazil.
Chef John never let me down.
Thank you!

Joey Lagani said...

I’ve made this recipie several times and I’m currently cooking it again! Really fantastic flavor, just make sure you use an unsmoked pork belly or panchetta or else it becomes a bit too sweet and smokey.