Before you think this is an article about Ricky Martin’s former boy band, get your mind in food mode and think about sitting your family down to a dish of menudo, a traditional Mexican meal for the holidays. Here’s how to make menudo, a popular Christmastime soup recipe.
What is menudo?
Menudo is a Mexican soup made with tripe, hominy and a distinctively flavored spice mix. Tripe refers to the stomachs of a cow (cows have four stomachs). The first cow stomach is the “blanket” tripe, the second and most preferred is the honeycomb tripe and the third usable stomach is called the “bible” or “book” tripe. The fourth stomach of a cow is rarely used. You can find tripe at your local butcher shop or Mexican markets. Hominy is dried white or yellow corn kernels from which the hull and germ have been removed. You can find canned hominy, which is processed with salt and lime, in the ethnic section of your supermarket.
Make your own menudo spices
You can find packages of menudo mix or menudo spices in the spices or ethnic aisle at your local grocer or you can order menudo mix online. The spices include chili, oregano, coriander, cumin and onion. If a menudo spice mix isn’t available, make your own by combining one part crushed red chile pepper, two parts oregano, one crushed or ground coriander seed, one part ground cumin and two parts onion flakes or powder.
Laurie’s Menudo Recipe
Laurie Cortez, a SheKnows reader in Fresno, California, shares her family’s heirloom recipe for menudo. “My grandmother made menudo every weekend for her family because it ensured that she would see them every weekend,” says Cortez. “She of course made enough to feed her kids, grandkids and great grandkids.” Cortez has since revised her grandmother’s menudo recipe to feed fewer people. “My recipe serves six to eight, and I make it when my kids ask for it, which is usually for Sunday dinner and on Christmas.”
Serves 6 to 8
- 5 pounds tripe (honeycomb), washed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1-1/2 onions, divided
- 1 head of garlic, broken open, cloves peeled
- 1 (29 ounce) can hominy
- 4 teaspoons menudo mix or menudo spices (or make your own)
- Salt to taste
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- Lemon wedges
- Corn tortillas
- Place tripe in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover tripe by a few inches.
- Slice one onion and place in the pot along with garlic cloves. Chop the remaining half an onion and place in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve menudo.
- Bring pot of tripe to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to low. Cook for four hours or up to overnight.
- Add hominy and menudo mix to tripe. Let boil for about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Serve menudo in a bowl with chopped onions, cilantro, lemon wedges and corn tortillas.