Printer Friendly is Mexico's Sunday soup.

Good for what ails you--that's menudo's claim to fame. Thought to soothe the overindulgent after a wild night out, it's a weekened specialty in Mexican restaurants. But it's also a popular family dish. This thick, flavorful, long-simmering soup hails from the Mexican state of Sonora, a region once noted for cattle production. The essence of menudo, however, comes from less-prized cuts of beef: tripe and shanks (or feet). Made with mild chilies and hominy, or hominy-like nixtamal, menudo is served with a variety of condiments to tailor each bowl to taste.

This home-style menudo can be made with supermarket ingredients. Try a Mexican market for options: nixtamal (frozen of refrigerated partially cooked dry corn, chewier than hominy), dry chilies de arbol, and beef or pig feet.

Home-style Menudo 3-1/2 pounds regular or honeycomb beef tripe, rinsed very well and cut into 1-inch squares 3 to 3 1/2 pounds beef shanks, rinsed Water 2 medium-size onions, chopped 10 cloves garlic, minced or pressed 2 teaspoons ground cumin Red chili puree (recipe follows) 3 cans (29 oz. each) white or yellow hominy, drained Salt Condiments (suggestions follow)

In an 8- to 10-quart pan, bring tripe, beef shanks, 2-1/2 quarts water, onions, garlic, and cumin to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tripe is very tender to bite, 6 to 7 hours.

Skim off and discard fat on liquid. Lift beef shanks from pan; discard bones and fat. Cut meat into chunks and return to pan along with chili puree and hominy. Season menudo to taste with salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, about 30 minutes to blend flavors. (If made ahead, let cool, cover, and chill up to 2 days. Reheat to simmering.)

Ladle hot menudo into bowls; add condiments to individual portions to taste. Makes 5 to 6 quarts, 10 to 12 servings.

Red chili puree. Discard stems and seeds from 9 large dry California (Anaheim) or New Mexico chilies. Place chilies in a bowl with 3-1/4 cups warm water. Let stand until softened, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard all but 1-1/4 cups liquid. In a blender or food processor, puree chilies with liquid until smooth; scrape down sides of container once or twice.

Condiments. Present in separate bowls: 3 limes or lemons, cut into wedges; 1/2 cup dry oregano leaves; 1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs or coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves; and 1 medium-size onion, chopped.

Also offer 1 or more of the following: 1/4 cup crushed dried hot red chilies; 5 fresh serrano or jalapeno chilies, stemmed and thinly sliced; or firecracker salsa (recipe follows--use sparingly).

Firecracker salsa. Discard stems and seeds from 20 dry chilies de arbol (each about 3 in. long, from a Mexican market). Place in a bowl with 1 cup warm water. Let stand until softened, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard all but 1/2 cup liquid. In a blender or food processor, puree chilies with liquid until smooth; scrape sides of container once or twice.

Mexican Market Menudo

Follow directions for home-style menudo, omitting shanks and using 3 pounds beef or pig feet, sawed into 4-inch lengths and well rinsed. Instead of hominy, use 3 pounds (6 cups) nixtamal (thawed, if frozen, and rinsed; buy it at a Mexican market). Add the nixtamal to the menudo after soup has simmered 4 hours.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Mar 1, 1986
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