Tripas Moda do Porto
(Tripe, Porto Style)

Oporto is know for its repertoire of tripe dishes, and for centuries the locals have been called tripeiros, a name that, according to legend, was born out of war. During the fifteenth century battle of Ceuta in North Africa, Henry the Navigator commandeered the best of Oporto's provisions, including the finest beef, to feed his troops. He left the tripe behind, and the rest is culinary history. In Oporto this classic tripe dish is called tripas, but in the south it is known as dobrado and is cooked with chick peas (garbonzo beans) instead of white beans. Serve with rice.

Since tripe is not a common dish in the United States, especially the Rocky Mountains, this dish took some getting accustomed to for the missionaries of the Portugal Porto Mission. Tripas are not as common as Bacalhau or Caldo Verde. However, they are an example of regional specialties. For such a small country, it is amazing how many varieties and specialties of food are available. That is part of what make Portugal such a fascinating country.

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  • 1 cup (7 oz/220 g) dried small white beans
  • Calfs foot, pigs foot, or ham hock
  • 1 lb (500 g) honeycomb tripe, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares
  • 4 tablespoons (2 fl oz/60 ml) olive oil or lard
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (optional)
  •  cup (3/4 oz / 20 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups (12 oz/ 375 g) canned plum (Roma) tomato, chopped, with the juices
  •  lb (125 g) chourico, sliced
  • 3-4 oz (90-125 g) presunto or prosciutto, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Pick over the beans, removing any stones or misshapen beans. Rinse well, place in a bowl with water to cover, and let soak overnight.

The next day, put the calfs or pigs foot or ham hock in a saucepan with lightly slated water to cover. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the meat softens a bit, 2-2 hours. Add the tripe and continue to simmer until tender, 11/2- 2 hours

Meanwhile, drain the beans and place in a large saucepan with water to cover by 3 inches (7.5 cm). Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender, 1-1 hours.

Remove the saucepan holding the meat from the heat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift out the foot or hock and let cool until the meat can be cut from the bones. Add the meat and the tripe to the cooked beans along with a bit of the cooking liquid.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil or melt the lard. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic, and saut until the onions are tender, 10-15 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, curry powder (if using), parsley and bay leaf and stir well. Then add the tomato, sausage, and ham and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes longer.

Add the onion mixture to the beans and tripe. This dish should not be to soupy, so remove any excess liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes to marry the flavors. The consistency should be almost dry. Season with pepper. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve. Serves Four.

Source. Savoring Spain & Portugal, by Joyce Goldstein, page 131.