The Perfect Menudo

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The Perfect Menudo topped with fresh cilantro and onion
The Perfect Menudo
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This is my secret (not secret for long) recipe for the perfect Menudo. Menudo is a traditional spicy tripe soup or stew from Mexico. Depending on which part of Mexico it will be red, green or clear and with or without hominy. You can enjoy this with tortilla chips or tortillas and it's usually topped with diced onion, fresh chopped cilantro, fresh ground oregano and fresh lime juice. You can even add a little extra crushed red pepper to add some fire to it. This recipe comes from my family's native state of Zacatecas. This is my mom's recipe with my own added touch. I have the servings as 8 very large servings ;). You will need 3 pots to make this process faster (2 - 6 qt pots, 1- 10 qt pot.
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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The Perfect Menudo
This is my secret (not secret for long) recipe for the perfect Menudo. Menudo is a traditional spicy tripe soup or stew from Mexico. Depending on which part of Mexico it will be red, green or clear and with or without hominy. You can enjoy this with tortilla chips or tortillas and it's usually topped with diced onion, fresh chopped cilantro, fresh ground oregano and fresh lime juice. You can even add a little extra crushed red pepper to add some fire to it. This recipe comes from my family's native state of Zacatecas. This is my mom's recipe with my own added touch. I have the servings as 8 very large servings ;). You will need 3 pots to make this process faster (2 - 6 qt pots, 1- 10 qt pot.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Calories
People 60-90minutes 3hours 363kcalPerPeople
Servings Prep Time
People 60-90minutes
Cook Time Calories
3hours 363kcal
Ingredients
Units:
Ingredients
Units:
Instructions
Getting Started
  1. Cooking can take a lot of time. I recommend starting some things simultaneously to help speed it up. You will need to have 2 pots each with 4 quarts on the stove getting up to a boil while your wash the tripe (the step below "Preparing the Tripe"). In one of the pots of water, add the whole star of anise -REMEMBER which one it is.
Preparing the Tripe for cooking
  1. Very Important! You have to clean the tripe after cutting it. Your hands will get slimy; I strongly suggest you use a large tub or perhaps using your kitchen sink (make sure you properly clean out your sink if you go this route). Tripe has a very unpleasant smell. Not cleaning it will give your menudo a very bad smell.
  2. You need to cut the tripe in smaller uniform pieces, 1 inch by 1 inch squares -no bigger, no smaller. You will then place all the cut pieces in a tub or a sink filled with cool water (enough to cover the tripe by 2 inches) and then add the vinegar. Agitate the tripe for at least 5 minutes, rubbing the individual pieces. You will notice a lot of little white things floating to the top, that's normal. Let the tripe sit for another 10 minutes. Drain the water, rinse the tripe again but without vinegar this time. Set aside.
Making the Enchilada Sauce for the Menudo
  1. By now, you should have the pots of boiling water going. You will need to remove the stems from each of the pods and break the pods in half and remove all of the seeds. SAVE THE SEEDS from the Guajillo, Ancho and New Mexico Chili Pods. You will need them for later. Discard all of the stems. Discard the seeds and stems from the Chile de Arbol.
  2. Using the pot of boiling with the star of anise -remove the star of anise, then add all of the dried chilis to that pot of boiling water. Cover with lid, turn off the heat source and let sit for a minimum of 45 minutes. While waiting for the chili's to steep, you can go to the next step. *It's very important you remove the star of anise.
Starting the Menudo Base
  1. You should now have pot #2 with 4 qts of boiling water. You should now add the cut, cleaned and rinsed menudo to the boiling water. Watch carefully as once the water returns to boil it might foam over. lower the heat slightly to prevent this. The menudo should boil for about 15 minutes. Using a large colander or strainer, drain the entire pot discarding the water. Using the colander or strainer, rinse the menudo under cold water once again. Let the water drain from the menudo in the sink.
  2. In the large pot, add the canola oil and set the stove to medium heat. Add the drained menudo to the pot along with the tomato paste and stir constantly -with a wooden or heat resistant spoon. If the pot starts to scorch on the bottom, lower your heat a bit more.
  3. Next, add the cumin, paprika and white pepper and garlic powder and continue to stir, scraping the bottom of the pot of all the fond. Fond = the caramelizing or browning that builds up on the bottom of a pot or skillet as a result of fat crystallizing. Do this for approximately 5 minutes. Then add the beef stock. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat to let simmer. You can now go back to finishing your enchilada sauce. Write down what time you finished this step, you will have to let this simmer for a total of 3 hours, covered.
Finishing and Adding the Enchilada Sauce
  1. Using a blender and a slotted spoon, place all of the chilis from the pot in the blender along with 1 quart of the water from the chilis and blend well... very well. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the chili mixture in the pot of menu. You will need a spoon or spatula to scrape the sides of the strainer. Using the spoon or spatula, press the remaining mixture through the strainer to get as much of the sauce as possible. Discard whatever isn't able to go through.
  2. Place another 2 quarts of the chili broth in the blender. Covered, give the blender a quick pulse and shake. As the previous step, using the fine mesh strainer, pour the chili mixture in the pot of menu. You will need a spoon or spatula to scrape the sides of the strainer. Using the spoon or spatula, press the remaining mixture through the strainer to get as much of the sauce as possible. Discard whatever isn't able to go through. Repeat this step with the remaining chili broth.
  3. Using a small pan, you will need to lightly toast the seeds. They should be lightly browned but not burnt. Once they're toasted, using a spice grinder, grind all of them into the menudo. If you burn the seeds, do not use - just discard and skip this step.
Finishing the Menudo
  1. At this point, the menudo is in the pot. You have added the beef broth, the enchilada, most of the spices and should be roughly 80-90 minutes or halfway into the cooking of the menudo (3 hours). At this point, you want to thoroughly drain and rinse the hominy and then add to the menudo mix.
  2. 2 hours In. When your menudo is about 1 away from finishing it's 3 hour simmer, you'll want to add the ground oregano and then salt to taste. At this point you an also start preparing your diced onion, limes, chopped cilantro, tortillas or tortilla chips -any toppings you plan on having for your menudo. You also want to check the top of the soup. If you didn't do a very thorough job of cleaning the tripe, you may have some little white clots floating on the top and hanging out along the sides. No big problem, using a ladle, skimmer or small mug, go along the edges of the pot try to remove it. You may end up losing 1-2 cups of fluid but it's not a big deal.
  3. Last step - Taste again. Your menudo has simmered for 3 hours now. The flavors of the menudo should have married a bit by now. Using a ladle or spoon, you should taste the liquid and add salt as you see fit. When you add salt, make sure you stir for at least 2 minutes before tasting again. I also recommend you cleanse your pallet in between tastings with some water or citrus. You also want to taste a piece of tripe separately. The tripe should be squishy but break after a bite or two. If you find the tripe is very chewing and not breaking after a few bites -cook another 30 minutes and try again. Depending on how big of a batch, you may need to let it simmer for 4 or 5 hours.
  4. Once complete, remove from the heat. You do not want to let it keep cooking otherwise you will overcook the tripe and it will not be good. Enjoy this menudo!
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