What Is Menudo?
Menudo, a Mexican tripe soup which also goes by the name pancita (“little stomach”) or mole de panza, features cow stomach—known as “honeycomb tripe” for its resemblance to the hexagonal patterning of honeycomb—in a broth flavored with onions, lime, and oregano and fortified by a guajillo chile sauce. In Northern Mexico, kernels of hominy are also included, and other recipes add patas, or pig’s feet, to the mix as well.
Mexican menudo comes in two variations: menudo rojo and the milder menudo blanco. Red menudo incorporates a red chile sauce into the broth base, while white menudo does not.
How to Clean Beef Tripe
Be sure to purchase tripe from a trusted, high-quality source. Most tripe comes bleached, but it’s still best to clean it prior to use. To do so, scrub the surface of the tripe with rock salt on both sides. Rinse with white vinegar, clearing each of the chambers, following it up with a good scrape with a sharp knife on both sides to clear any remaining residue. Cook the tripe in a large pot of boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and discard water.
Easy Mexican Menudo Recipe
Prep Time20 min
Total Time1 hr 20 min
Cook Time1 hr
- 1 ½ pounds beef tripe, thoroughly cleaned
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped, divided
- 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
- 3–4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 14-ounce can hominy
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from about 2 limes
- Corn tortillas, for serving
- Cilantro, for serving
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half of the onion, and saute until softened and beginning to brown. Add the broth, water, and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
- Gently tear or cut the tripe into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the chile sauce. Steep the dried chiles in a small bowl of hot water for 10 minutes, until soft and pliable. Add to a blender or food processor along with the rest of the onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper, and puree until smooth.
- Add the chile sauce and hominy to the tripe. Stir well to combine, and bring back to a boil. Drop to medium-low heat, and allow to cook for 10–15 minutes more, until the tripe is soft but still springy. Remove from heat, and add lime juice. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve with chopped cilantro, additional onion, dried chiles, and lime wedges, with warm tortillas for dipping.
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