Not for everyone, but good! Tripas Tacos

Tripas, in Mexican cuisine, otherwise tripe, are the small intestines of farm animals that have been cleaned, boiled and grilled.

Tripas are used as filling for tacos, then dressed with condiments such as cilantro, chopped onions, and chile sauce. They are also served with pico de gallo and guacamole.

The tripas are boiled for several hours until tender, adding water as needed. Once they are tender the cook will allow the water to boil off and then finish the preparation by continuing to let them cook in their own fat.

Tripas are prepared to three levels:

‘Soft’ preparation is attained shortly after the water boils off while the tripas are still tender with a velvet like texture. Properly prepared, they should not be rubbery but should have some firmness to them. ‘Medium Crispy’ is reached by allowing the tripas to continue to cook in their own fat long enough for the exterior to crisp and harden. The center of the tripas are usually still soft and velvety. ‘Extra Crispy’ preparation is reached by allowing the tripas to cook long enough to get crispy all the way through. Sometimes lard is added to the disco to reach this level of crispness but the true “Cocineros” (Mexican chefs) contend that it is best done using their own fat.

This recipe makes about 12 tacos using regular 6” corn tortillas
4 Pounds of small beef intestines (tripas)
Enough water to cover the “tripitas” to cook in a large pot
1 teaspoon salt 
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
Corn Tortillas
1 white onion finely chopped
1 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
Salsa of your choice.

Tripitas will reduce their size a lot when cooking, buy 1 pound per person or serving. Yes, it sounds like a lot but one pound will render just 3 regular tacos, so think ahead before planning to cook them.

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Fill a large pot with water and turn the heat to about medium high
2. Thoroughly clean and rinse the tripe. Do this step very quickly: if you leave it too long in the water you will have rubbery tripitas as an end result.  Drain well. The tripitas sold in USA supermarkets are usually sold clean but a little rinse doesn’t hurt.
3. Simmer the tripitas in the covered pot for 30 minutes in a medium heat. They should be soft when ready. Let them cool,  a layer of fat will form on the surface of the broth. Remove the fat. Drain the tripitas on paper towels and cut into small bite size, about 1 inch long.
4. Now, in a skillet, place about 2 tablespoons of oil. When it gets hot enough place the tripitas and fry for about 8 to 10 minutes until they are golden outside but still soft on the inside. If you leave them longer they will be hard.
Serve in tacos with warm corn tortillas. Garnish with onion, cilantro, and a spicy salsa. Season with salt.

 

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