Callos Madrilenos: Madrid-Style Tripe

Madrid tripe

Erinborrini / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
746 Calories
46g Fat
6g Carbs
72g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 746
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 59%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 255mg 85%
Sodium 1499mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 72g
Calcium 61mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Beef tripe, which is the lining of ​the beef stomach, is called callos in Spanish. It is a very traditional dish in Madrid and has been served in taverns and on family dining tables for centuries. It is a hearty meal perfect for cold winter days.

Like all traditional dishes, there are many variations. This recipe includes serrano ham and morcilla (Spanish blood sausage), while others might use ox cheek and a splash of white wine. It also has the option of adding garbanzo beans; although not traditional in this tripe dish, the beans thicken the broth a bit.

You can find beef tripe in most markets. There are three kinds of tripe―honeycomb (the most tender), pocket tripe (less tender), and plain or smooth tripe (the least tender). If you can, buy the honeycomb tripe. This recipe also features calf or pig foot—when purchasing, make sure it is cut in half. The local butcher can cut it in seconds with his sharp tools.


  • 2 pounds (1 kilogram) beef tripe (preferably honeycomb)
  • 4 ounces (60 milliliters) white vinegar
  • 2 medium yellow or white onions (divided)
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 calf foot (or pig foot; cut in half)
  • 4 to 6 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 to 10 black peppercorns
  • 6 ounces (150 grams) serrano ham
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) Spanish chorizo sausage
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) Spanish morcilla (blood) sausage
  • Optional: 1 (16-ounce) can garbanzo beans

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Clean the tripe under cold running water. Set in a bowl of cold water mixed with the vinegar for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

  3. Cut the tripe into pieces approximately 3-inches square. Set aside.

  4. Coarsely chop 1 onion. Set aside.

  5. Remove and peel each clove from the bulb of garlic. Set aside.

  6. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, place the tripe pieces and the split calf or pig foot.

  7. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute.

  8. Drain into a colander and rinse the froth from the meat.

  9. Return the tripe and foot to the cooking pot and add 4 to 6 cups of water, or enough to cover.

  10. Put chopped onion and all but 3 peeled cloves of garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns in​ the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 3 hours.

  11. Finely chop the remaining onion and 3 cloves of garlic.

  12. Cut the serrano ham into small squares. Slice the chorizo sausage into rounds.

  13. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion, garlic, ham, and chorizo for 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.

  14. Remove from heat and stir in the paprika.

  15. Add the mixture to the pot with the tripe.

  16. Cut the morcilla into rounds and place in the pot. If using the optional garbanzo beans, add them now and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

  17. The traditional way to serve callos is in earthenware bowls accompanied by rustic bread. Enjoy.

Recipe Tags: