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Tacos de Tripas de Res

Every once in a while, I realize that I haven't posted any Mexican food in far too long a time.  The past week or so this has been creeping into my mind.  Sure, we still eat a lot since it's just a part of life as usual around here...but nothing I've taken the time to photograph...or perhaps there was just nothing very "new".  Whatever the reason, I just know it's been far too long and I'm itchin' for a little love from south of the border.  That said, innards may not be what you were hoping for.  But it's what you're gettin'.  I know I've talked about respecting the animal that gave its life for us, before.  Honoring it by eating/using every part.  I do believe this.  I have mad respect for those cooks/chefs/regularjoes who incorporate it into their every day lives.  But, I'm gonna have to admit defeat when talking about tripas (pron. tree-pas)...in English- intestines.  The small intestines, to be precise.  They're also called Machitos. I just can't do it, captain.  I've tried.  I've totally, totally tried.  Tripas are not to be confused with Tripe.  Tripe is actually the stomach lining and the most commonly used layer is the honeycomb tripe, which you can take a gander at over at my Kare Kare post, if you like.  Both are parts that are often discarded in this country...or once were...after once being used...vicious circle...etc...etc...and in the spirit of full disclosure I'm going to admit that I will continue to pass on the intestines.  Hence, defeat.  Tacos is a very common way of eating tripas in Mexico...and just in case you want to try, I'll show ya how...but I'm not gonna say that I actually like them.  And I'm not even going to tell you that Mexi actually likes them.  He used to.  He was gung-ho for a few tacos.  Perhaps palates change over time...okay, they do change over time.  I'll just leave it at that- and just in case you want to give Tripas de Res (res is cow...cow intestines) a go for yourself...

First things first.  Blanch those tripas.  This helps to get out most of the impurities.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop in the tripas.  See all that nasty foam.  That would be said impurities.  Ewww.  Lower the heat and boil very gently for about five minutes.  You don't want them to get tough and rubbery.  Drain.  Now you  have a big pile of seized-up looking intestines.  Cut them into ~1ish inch intervals.
See that mooshy stuff inside?  This is the stuff some people seem to love.  That soft stuff bursting into your mouth when you take a bite.  Although not just like this...first you've got to fry them.
Get a skillet smokin' hot.  Drizzle in a bit of oil or other fat.  Throw in your tripas.  They will begin to release their own fat and cook in it...the initial oil drizzle was just to get them going a bit.  Season them with some salt and pepper.  Sauté until golden and crisp on the outside.  I suppose this is the sensation that is adored...the crisp shell surrounding the soft, warm goo inside.  I imagine it is, at least. Something like sucking the marrow from a bone.
Toss the finished tripas into some salsa any kind, you choose and toss it around.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.  Pile some into some hot, toasty, homemade corn tortillas and top with chopped cilantro, cebollitas, and sliced, crisp radishes.  Enjoy!?
I went back and forth about how to size the photos on this one.  I probably changed it 7 or 8 times...I decided to go big or go home on this one.  Check out the tripas in all their glory, my friends.  I'll let you decide if you actually want to try them or not.  Anything at least once, right?

*This post is linked to:
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