Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tripe A La Mode de Caen

Tripe is an inexpensive and quite popular ingredient around the world and has been utilized for centuries. It is the stomach of an animal, particulaly cows.  There are four types in Bovines, blanket, honeycomb, book and reed, honeycomb being the most revered.   Getting some to jump on the bandwagon however, is a somewhat daunting task to say the least.
Beef tripe falls into the category of Offal, or variety meats including internal organs and glands like sweetbreads, chittlins' and the stomach. Liver and kidneys is also in this group.
Latin Americans enjoy cooking with tripe.  I too have a recipe fashioned in that medium, Panza de Res y Chile Ajo, thinly sliced and fried or stewed.  The French sometimes opt for the low and slow cooked method with vegetables and and/or wine and ciders, from which this recipe is inspired, minus the cider, Calvados and hoof!! (which is what the initial recipe and namesake includes)  It is certainly worth the effort and the results are phenomenal.
I originally ran across a recipe similar to this one while watching a syndicated show featuring Julia Child, The French Chef, teaching Americans how to cook like the French debuting in the early 60's.  As many well know, she is one of the pioneer chefs who brought French cooking to the average American kitchen.
1 pkg. beef honeycomb tripe, about 5 lbs., washed, patted dry and cut into about 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces
2 medium onions, quartered
3 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
4  cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
1 large bay leaf
2 soft beef bouillon cubes or 8 cups beef stock
about 2 lbs. potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
olive oil for drizzling
In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, drizzle with olive oil and add onions, celery, garlic, bay leaf and bouillon cubes.  If using stock, add after the vegetables have cooked for several minutes and become aromatic.
Add tripe and stir to coat.  Fill vessel with enough water to cover protein and bring up to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce to medium heat and cook for about 2 hours.
After 2 hours, transfer to 350*F oven and bake for additional 8 hours or until unctuous broth remains and the tripe is very tender.  Add more water or stock as needed during cooking process.
Add potatoes and cook until fork tender, about 25 minutes.
Remove bay leaf before serving.  Garnish with Chervil or Parsley.
Serve with crusty buttered bread if desired.  Serves 8 to 10.

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