Menudo: Spicy Tripe Soup

Mexican Menudo
photo (c) Thomas Fricke / Design Pics / Getty Images
Ratings (21)
  • Total: 13 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 8 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
395 Calories
17g Fat
14g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 395
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 312mg 104%
Sodium 338mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 45g
Calcium 175mg 13%
*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.)

As with many authentic Mexican dishes, menudo—a spicy tripe soup—comes in countless renditions. It can be red (made with dried chilies), include pig’s feet or hominy (or both), and be served with bolillos, tortillas, or tostadas. But regardless of the preparation, this dish always carries the distinction as a cure for the unpleasant physical effects associated with a night of heavy drinking. Considered a morning—or at least a daytime—meal, menudo commonly appears on the breakfast table on New Year's Day, or the morning after a wedding or other large celebration.

Often served with multiple garnishes and salsas, menudo tends to be a labor-intensive undertaking, and for this reason, its preparation steps frequently get distributed among several members of a family or community. The collective nature of menudo-making contributes to its reputation as a special occasion dish.

Rustic mom-and-pop restaurants in Mexico and the southwestern United States often serve menudo as a weekend brunch item. Cooks usually prepare the soup mid-week, then chill and reheat it on Saturday or Sunday, a process that concentrates the broth and intensifies the flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried hominy
  • 3 pounds honeycomb beef tripe (cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 2 pounds pig's feet (split in half, bones and skin intact)
  • 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 ancho chili (toasted, seeded, and coarsely chopped)
  • 2 poblano chilies (roasted, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped)
  • Garnishes: halved limes, chopped onion, torn cilantro leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cover the hominy with water and soak it overnight.

  3. Drain the hominy and put in a medium pot. Cover it by 2 to 3 inches of water, and bring it to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat and simmer the hominy for 2 hours, adding more hot water as necessary to keep it covered.

  5. Drain the hominy and transfer it to a large pot. Add the beef tripe to the pot, plus the pig’s feet, onion, oregano, garlic, and peppercorns.

  6. Cover everything by 2 to 3 inches of water and bring it to a boil.

  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and keep it at a simmer for 2 hours.

  8. Add the chilies, then cook the soup for 1 additional hour.

  9. Serve menudo hot with the limes, chopped onion, and cilantro on the side so everyone can garnish their own bowl. Accompany the soup with bolillos, tortillas, or tostadas and any Mexican table sauce(s) that you wish.

  10. Enjoy!

Tips

While not nearly as labor-intensive as some versions, this menudo recipe does take time. You can make it over the course of 2 or 3 days, chilling it between steps and re-heating it right before serving. Menudo (similar to pozole and other soups and stews) tastes even better as a leftover than when you first make it.

You can remove the pig's feet before serving, although some people enjoy scraping off any fat, meat, or marrow they can find remaining on the bones.

You can substitute 4 (15-ounce) cans hominy for the dry hominy to cut down on the preparation time. Add it along with the chilies.