Spicy Tripe Soup (Menudo)

Mexican Menudo
photo (c) Thomas Fricke / Design Pics / Getty Images
  • 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 and Hispanic dishes, menudo comes in countless renditions. It can be red (made with dried chilies), include pig’s feet or hominy (or both), or be served with bolillos, tortillas, or tostadas. Some South American versions include chorizo, yuca, or potatoes. But regardless of the preparation, this dish is known to be a spot-on 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 Mexican 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 steps frequently get distributed among several members of a family or community. The collective nature of making menudo contributes to its reputation as a special occasion dish.

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)
  • Garnish: 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, or at least for 8 hours.

  3. Drain the hominy and put it in a medium-sized pot.

  4. Cover it with 2 to 3 inches of water, and bring it to a boil.

  5. Reduce the heat and simmer the hominy for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add more hot water as needed to maintain that the hominy is covered in liquid.

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

  7. Cover everything with 2 to 3 inches of water, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and keep it at a simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

  8. Add the chilies. Cook the soup for 1 additional hour.

  9. Stir before serving. Place a serving of soup in a bowl and garnish with cilantro. Serve with limes, chopped onions, and extra cilantro on the side so everyone can garnish their own bowl. Accompany with bolillos, tortillas, or tostadas, any Mexican table sauce of your liking, and sliced avocados.

  10. Enjoy hot!

For a Flavorful Menudo

  • 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. 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. Start on Wednesday and serve on Saturday for a traditional cooking experience.
  • Alternatively, you can use a pressure cooker to cut down on the cooking time. Use it for 45 minutes to soften the hominy after it has been soaking in water overnight. Then use it for another 50 minutes to soften the tripe, pig's feet and spices. For the final cooking time, we do recommend transferring the mixture to a pot and letting it simmer for 90 minutes.
  • You can remove the pig's feet before serving, although some people enjoy scraping off any fat, meat, or marrow they can find hiding in the bones.
  • You can substitute 4 (15-ounce) cans of hominy for the dry hominy to cut down on the preparation time. Add it along with the chilies.
  • Freeze in individual bags and once you're ready to eat it, put the frozen mixture in a pot in a gentle simmer until it boils. Serve immediately and do not freeze again any of the leftovers.

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