Saturday, February 4, 2012

Tripe Biscayne Style (Callos a la Vizcaina)

Tripe Biscayne Style, or "callos a la vizcaina,"  is a traditional Basque dish. The recipe also calls for cow cheeks and leg but I couldn't find these two ingredients. In some countries tripe is called "mondongo" or "menudo" and recipes may include cow feet or lamb feet, and cow cheeks. Maybe the best known tripe dish is "callos a la madrileña." Today's dish is going to be a simple version since some ingredients are hard to find here.


1 1/2 pounds cow tripe
1/2 cup vinegar
1 big carrot or 2 medium carrots
1 onion cut in quarters
5 garlic cloves
1 celery stack
1/2 green pepper

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large red onions, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely chopped
1/4 green pepper, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 or two dried cayenne peppers
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce or homemade tomato sauce
15 dried choricero peppers or 5 tablespoons of their meat (if you cannot obtain choricero peppers, use the equivalent amount of dried chile ancho)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Spanish chorizo, cut in small pieces
1/2 cup Spanish serrano ham, cut in small cubes

Clean the tripe with water and put it in a bowl with enough water and vinegar to cover. Let it rest for an hour and discard the liquid. Then put the tripe in a 2 quart pan, fill the pan with water, and add the carrot, onion, garlic, celery and green pepper. Cook for about 4 hours until the tripe is tender. Take it out of the pan and cut in small pieces about 1 inch by 1 inch. 

While the tripe is cooking, make the Biscayne sauce. In a pan put the olive oil, onion, garlic, leek, green pepper, and cayenne pepper and cook until everything is tender. Add the tomato sauce and cook for a couple of  minutes. Then add the meat of the dried peppers (rehydrated and the meat removed with a spoon), cook until all the flavors are mixed, and add salt and pepper to taste. Purée in a blender, until it becomes a velvety sauce. 

Add the sauce to the tripe along with the Spanish chorizo and serrano ham and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes until everything is mixed and the flavors blend. For maximum flavor, let the tripe rest overnight (or 8 to 10 hours) before serving in  small earthenware dishes. Now we have a "cazuelita" de callos and this is another way to eat in Spain!

"Cazuelitas" are small earthenware dishes and they hold small portions of food - the amount between tapas and a regular serving. It is typical in many bars, taverns and restaurants to have a "tapas" menu and a "cazuelitas" menu.

Here is an example of a "cazuelitas" and "tapas" menu from the restaurant "Los Parrales"

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