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Oregon Chef Asks: Do You Have The Guts To Celebrate World Tripe Day?

tripe.jpg
Wikimedia
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Honeycomb tripe

An Oregon chef is asking if you have the guts to celebrate World Tripe Day today.

What is tripe? It's the lining of the cow's stomach.

Matt Bennett, owner of Sybaris Bistro in Albany, Oregon volunteered to promote consumption of beef stomach on behalf of the British-based Tripe Marketing Board.

“They had good luck with calling it Lancashire calamari. It is very similar in texture. So they said, ‘Well, maybe you could do a Portland calamari or Tillamook,’ which was funny because they were apparently just looking at a map,” Bennett said.

Instead Bennett's gourmet restaurant will serve a spicy special he calls "Cowboy Calamari" in honor of World Tripe Day.

Bennett concedes you might find the idea of eating tripe stomach-turning, but he says it's a popular dish in many foreign cultures. 

The growth in the Hispanic population across the West has actually made it easier to buy tripe here. Butcher shops catering to Mexicans stock it because it's an ingredient in a soup called menudo and some taco recipes.

If you can stomach the idea, try out Bennett’s recipe below.

Cowboy Calamari

Ingredients:

5 lb. honeycomb tripe, cleaned, blanched and cut into 2-inch squares (this is how it is available at any butcher shop with a bit of notice) 
3 onions, peeled and cut into large dice 
6 carrots, peeled and cut into large dice 
1 12 oz. can chipotles en adobo 
1 bottle dry white wine 
1 qt. chicken stock, preferably homemade or low-sodium store-bought (we at TMB don’t judge) 
Masa harina (the fine grind for making tortillas) 
Deep fryer with oil of your preference, we use bacon fat at the restaurant 
1 T salt, to taste 
1 qt. real mayonnaise, like Hellmann’s or Best 
Assortment of vegetables for dipping, coarse salt, lime wedges

Instructions:

Day 1: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Combine tripe, onion, carrot, chipotles and sauce, wine and stock in a Dutch oven. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover by an inch, add water. Cover with the lid and bake for 12 hours. I usually do this before or after dinner and deal with it in the morning. 

Day 2: Remove from the oven and check for tenderness. Let cool until it can be safely separated into four groups: 1. strained broth 2. tripe 3. vegetables 4. chipotles. 

Chill the broth until the fat solidifies, discard the fat. Reduce the broth to about 3 cups.

Meanwhile, heat fryer to 350 degrees F. Puree the vegetables (I usually do not use the chipotles, if you are a chili head, go for it) and the broth.

Whisk into the mayo. Correct with the salt, remembering that store bought stock is usually salted.

Dredge the tripe in the masa, shake off excess and fry until crispy and hot, about two minutes. Drain.

Serve with the dip and assorted vegetables. Guests can salt and lime to their tastes. The dip lasts several weeks in the fridge and is great with cold meat and fish.

Serves 12 (at least). Dip yields about 2 qts. 

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Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.