Tripe is Old World comfort food. I know you will not find it on most restaurant menus outside Pittston or Old Forge. But for those of you who know what tripe is (stomach of the cow) you have either tasted it and love it, tasted it and hate it, or never tasted it.
I absolutely love a good bowl of tripe scattered with fresh-grated Parmesan and accompanied with crusty Italian bread for dipping. It's oh-so-yummy, and I will drive miles to reward myself with this tasty delight when I'm too lazy to make it myself.
The first time I tasted tripe, I wondered, what on Earth is this? I knew I liked the sauce but wasn't too sure about the chewy meat. But I soon came to realize that this peasant food was a king's treasure in a bowl.
Just keep an open mind and give it a try.
Tripe is a good source of calcium, protein, niacin, iron, zinc and copper and contains a minimal amount of fat. So for all you adventurous foodies I'm sure you will enjoy adding this old-but-now-new dish to your repertoire of favorites.
You'll be able to get everything you need for this week's recipe at the Maine Source store in Forty Fort and Scranton. One of the other things I like about tripe is that it is just as good if not better the next day reheated and the next day and next. Enjoy!
TRIPE IN TOMATO SAUCE
For the Tripe:
4 pounds tripe
1 cup white vinegar
2 ounces olive oil, extra virgin.
2 red onions, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 bunch mint leaves, finely chopped
For the Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin
2 yellow onions, 1/4-inch dice
8 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 medium carrot, peeled, finely shredded
10 whole, peeled canned tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation, for the tomato sauce:
In a 6-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, approximately eight minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and continue cooking for additional five minutes until the carrot is quite soft.
Now add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Preparation for the tripe:
In a large pot combine the tripe, vinegar and enough water to cover the tripe by two inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the tripe is very tender, approximately 75 minutes, replenishing the water as necessary.
Drain the tripe and allow to cool. Slice the tripe into one-inch strips.
In a large sautĂ© pan heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the onion, garlic and tripe and sautĂ© for approximately three minutes.
Add to tomato sauce and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking, covered, for additional 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the grated cheese and mint and stir to combine. To serve, place the tripe in warmed bowls. Garnish with cheese and mint mixture.