A Faster Callos…

“Faster” is relative, of course. If you go back to my original callos recipe, here, it was rather involved, and took 6+ hours, at least. But since then, I have grown to love callos, the dish, and have had several versions here and abroad. I still prefer the hearty homemade versions (though we had an excellent one at the market in Florence once, and another brilliant version in a Rome market), and while I am not always up for the full-blown time-consuming recipe I first used, I realize too many shortcuts might yield a sub-standard result. Here’s a quicker version that we liked… First, clean the callos or trip thoroughly, slice into smaller pieces or strips and place in a pot with say two cups of white wine and water and bring this to a gentle boil, lower to a simmer and let the tripe soften over say 1.5-2.0 hours.

In another pot (preferably an enameled cast iron beast), saute onions, garlic, lots of chorizong hubad or sliced spanish chorizo, chopped lechon leftovers, a bit of paprika and saute for a few minutes. Add some tomato paste, de-glaze with white wine, add some chopped canned tomatoes or passatta, some beef stock and let that come to a simmer. Throw in any herbs you prefer. Add the tripe back in and let that all simmer until the flavors have melded, say 40-60 minutes. About halfway through the cooking I added a can of chickpeas and don’t forget to season generously with salt and pepper. This was really a much less involved version of callos, but the results were almost as good as the original recipe I used. Totally met the cravings, for less work. It tastes even better a day or two after you cook it (but refrigerate in the meantime, please)… :)


20 Responses

  1. mr marketman,

    when I travelled across spain, I tried to sample each town version of callos and there were a lot of variations along the way.

  2. Tripe if for virtue alone of economy was a common enough French fare for a long time. Julia Child mentioned in her recipe for Tripe a la mode de Caen, merchants that narrowly specialized in tripe exclusively, ready to cook dressed or still green requiring lengthy cleaning procedures, that was a common village presence just like the boucherie chevaline before the market was cornered by supermarket conglomerates.

    It is also cheap in Brazil being a bounty (along with oxtail) left behind for local consumption while nobler cuts get exported for precious foreign exchange. So Mondays are typically designated for tripe and white beans called dobradinha e feijão most likely a colonial version of the justly celebrated Tripas a modo do Porto.

    We trace our version though to its Spanish precursor, quite popular in Spain which was poor for much of its history except for the recent brief period of economic ease. A friend who bravely took the road to Compostela complained about the relentless bean supper served night after night after the gruelling punishment their feet endured during the day. My experience of travelling in Spain though was the dessert that was invariably bread pudding which I therefore associated with poverty henceforth.

  3. Maybe you should try pressure cooking for callos. Not only will it soften the tripe faster, but the tomato based sauce will caramelize and reduce, potentially creating a richer sauce. Burning might be an issue though if the heat is too high and the cooker is put on too long.

  4. MM,

    I had been graving for Callos for the longest time. Thanks for the quick recipe.
    I am hoping to try some near the Barcelona market (Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria) when I go there this coming October.


  5. I’ve enjoyed your IG posts. I’m so glad you’ve decided to bring the taste of Zubuchon to Manila. Something for me to look forward to the next time I go back.

  6. You might want to blanch the tripe in water and vinegar ( 1 tbsp. vinegar to each pint of water) to remove any funky odor. Then proceed with the recipe.
    There’s tripe and there’s tripe so make sure you don’t get the first stomach. Quiz your butcher.

  7. I’m sure I have seen it somewhere that eateries serving great quantities of tripe in France tenderize them in huge pressure cookers. At home though, members of my family and I, through lack of expertise or attention, turn tripe to a soupy nothingness when we cook it under pressure. All I’m saying is tempting as it may be to try, attempt this technique tentatively and only with complete caution.

  8. Footloose, I am not a huge fan of pressure cookers, though I have a big solid one… and for tripe, the texture and look of it just begs for long, slow cooking… if only I lived in a temperate location, I would be doing stews etc. all winter long to heat up the home!! sister, yes, the vinegar addition helps, same as the wine. This was surprisingly less and less funky smelling in my opinion, I think I am just getting used to it.

  9. Wouldn’t it be interesting to look at tripe for its cultural value? After all, it’s a very commonly used ingredient in many dishes around the world. The “low” nature of the ingredient, being taken from the less tender, luxurious parts of the animal has thus lent itself to another meaning of the word, that of something worthless or of poor quality. Despite this, there are dozens of dishes from across the world which use, and now celebrate tripe, from the very plebian dressed tripe of the English to Bah Kut Teh in Malaysia and Singapore to our own Goto and Callos.

    Isn’t the irony just so rich, that an ingredient whose name is used to describe worthlessness, is also used in dishes that are now seen as premium? Much like what Wallace wrote in his essay Consider the Lobster, tripe should be seen as something as fascinating, no?

  10. How I so miss the guy, David Foster Wallace, not Wallace Stevens.

    I wonder though if tripe would still be tempting to us if its essential flavour were totally expunged (as when one heeds Batali’s suggestion to resort to vanilla extract to deodorize it). Cheap but our acceptance of its other equally powerful allure, earthiness, I suspect, is linked to our animal nature.

  11. Excellent point from Roy. It would be interesting to delve into the cultural aspects of it because offal has always been valued in Asian cooking in general. And the economic aspects of it as well, especially the breaking out into the mainstream culinary conciousness of previously unknown, and therefore cheap, cuts of meat, that are now as expensive as the traditionally premium cuts. But that is a discussion for another day.

    Tripe’s main attraction for me is the bite. That soft, yet springy texture the Taiwanese refer to as Q (thanks for the link, Lee!) , and that slightly sticky mouthfeel from dissolved collagen when it is cooked correctly. As for the taste, I guess there’s no animal in me. I prefer that it be stripped of its natural aroma with only a hint of clean offal remaining, and a lot of umami- free to take on the taste of the other ingredients in the dish.

  12. Interesting take on take callos, Chris and Roy, but doesn’t it remind you of vloshpach?

  13. Ah, yes! I’m excited for Ging to try it on her impending trip to Budapest. A hungarian chef told me a couple months ago that it is best to try in the Buda side of the Danube. Something to do with the hills and spring water.

  14. I guess vlospach is all about clean grass and fresh air and water, or, as the trendy word goes…provenance. And the younger the lamb, the better.

  15. It’s a welcome coincidence that you guys brought up Vloshpach as I will be traveling to that romantic city of Budapest in a few days. I am quite ecstatic at the notion that I will finally be able to relish this rarest of culinary treats.
    Admittedly, I was both aghast and thrilled when Chris enumerated the complexities of making this dish which I understood is made from lamb tripe, taken from animals that have not yet been weaned off their mother’s milk giving the meat a luscious creamy flavor with only the wistful hint of gaminess.

    On another note, albeit still on tripe, may it be ox or lamb. Does anyone know if there is any preferential part of the bovine stomach that is most suited for cooking certain dishes? Tripe of course, is derived from the forestomachs of cattle. It is often said that the ruminant specie has four stomachs. The correct anatomy is one stomach with 4 compartments, of which the first three non glandular or secretory compartments are utilized, ergo the forestomach. The rumen has a texture akin to that of a finely textured, high quality towel thus often referred to in our local nomenclature as “tuwalya”. The reticulum is smaller in size and has a honey comb appearance. The third compartment is the omasum which is plicated similar to the leaves of a book. Many goto makers in the metro have shown an affinity towards the reticulum because its honey combed surface allows sauces to be trapped in its recesses, imbedding more flavor to the meat. It is also thicker thus giving it a more springy texture to the bite. I wonder if Vloshpach chefs give similar preference to that portion of tripe.

  16. I’ve made the most of your IG posts. I’m so happy you’ve chosen to convey the essence of Zubuchon to Manila. Something for me to anticipate whenever I backpedal.

  17. Please tell me where I can find natural casings for sausages and injection-like item that is used to fill up the sausage casings.

    Thank you



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