In Mexico, menudo is the name of a spicy soup made with cow stomach (beef tripe) or – in parts of central Mexico – with sheep stomach. Menudo is traditionally served with corn tortillas, but nowadays other breads have become popular as well, such as the Mexican bolillo.
Menudo requires quite a lot of time and work to prepare, but it is a dish that can be done in advance and then reheated for your dinner party. (It freezes well, and can also be stored in the fridge for several days without going bad.) The reheated soup is usually more concentrated in flavor.
In Mexico, menudo is a popular folkremedy againt hangovers. After large parties, guests sometimes gather early in the morning to enjoy some menudo together.
Menudo recipe (yields 6 big servings)
This is one of many available recipes for menudo. Within Mexico, there are many regional variants of menudo, and even two families in the same village can use rather different recipes.
Tip #1: It is popular to add hominy to menudo soup. If you want to add hominy, add it before the final 30 minutes of simmering.
Tip #2: Menudo is traditionally served with warm corn tortillas left to soak in the soup.
- 3 pounds of cleaned beef tripe (cow stomach), cut into small bite size pieces
- 1 cow foot, cut up in pieces
- 1 pound of marrow bones
- 5 garlic cloves + 3 garlic cloves
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, cut into thick slices
- 2 teaspoons of salt (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons of dry Mexican oregano
- 6 guajillo peppers that have been cleaned, seeded, open flat and deveined
- Water, enough to cover the guajillo peppers
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of piquin peppers, crushed
- 2 lemons cut into wedges
- Dry Mexican oregano, to taste
- 1 cup of white onion, chopped
- Pour 6 quarts of water into a big pot and add cow foot, marrow bones, 5 garlic cloves and the yellow onion slices. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes at medium heat, without any cover. While the pot is simmering, skim off the foam that forms at the top of the water and discard it.
- Add the beef tripe, the salt and the oregano to the pot and cook until the tripe is tender but firm. This will usually take 2 – 2.5 hours but can take considerably longer. It’s important not to overcook the tripe, but you don’t want it to be tough either. While the pot is simmering, continously skim off the fat that floats to the top of the water and discard it.
- While the meat is cooking, start preparing the guajillo sauce. Place the crushed guajillo peppers in a griddle and toast them over medium heat. While toasting them, ues a spatula to press them down. You want to toast them without burning them.
- Place the toasted guajillo peppers in a bowl and cover with water. Leave them to soak until hey are soft. (This will usually take 20-25 minutes.)
- When the tripe that is simmering in the pot is tender but not firm, remove the cow foot pieces and the marrow bones from the pot and set them aside to cool a bit. When they have cooled a bit, remove as much meaty stuff from them as possible and return that to the pot. Discard the bony parts.
- Drain the guajillo peppers and put them in a blender together with 1/2 a cup of broth from the pot where you have been cooking the meat. Add cummin and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce through a sieve and pour it into the pot where the tripe is.
- Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes, partially covered.
- Pour the soup into six large soup bowls. Garnish with lemon wedges, oregano and chopped onion. Let each person garnish their own bowl with piquin peppers, because these peppers are pretty strong. They are usually at 60,000 – 100,000 units on the Scoville scale.