Ha! Ricky Martin!

How many of y’all remember Menudo, the boy band that wouldn’t die? Ricky Martin fans should. How many of y’all also know Menudo is named after a traditional Mexican soup? Think about that the next time you find yourself humming along to an over-synthesized version of Feliz Navidad.

Much like sea urchin sushi, it took me a long time to appreciate the finer nuances of menudo. It could have been the hominy bobbing around like little flotation devices in the bowl, it could have been the knowledge that there were bits of pig feet swimming just under the murky surface, but I think it was really the big chunks of tripe staring up at me that made it so hard to even WANT to like this dish. However, once I got past the mental checklist of nasty ingredients and actually tasted good menudo, prepared correctly, I found that it’s pretty freaking awesome.

And I’m told it’s the cure-all for a vicious tequila hangover (ahhh, so that explains why the local Mexican restaurant only served it on Sunday mornings and why the tables were loaded with locals looking like they’d just been hit by a mack truck).

Menudo
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb. fresh beef honeycomb tripe (stomach lining of cows, for those of you who aren’t in the know)
  2. 2 split pig trotters (uh, feet)
  3. 1 can white hominy
  4. 2-3 fresh cloves garlic, minced (oh thank god, a normal food!)
  5. 2 pinches kosher or sea salt
  6. 1/2 cup red chili powder
  7. fresh oregano leaves
  8. 1 TB fresh ground black pepper
  9. 1 tsp cumin
  10. 1/2 onion, chopped
  11. fresh cilantro
  12. lime wedges
  13. flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Place pig feet in pot, cover with water, bring to boil.
  2. Boil covered one hour or until tender.
  3. Chop tripe into 1/2″ squares and add to pot.
  4. Add just enough water to cover tripe and bring to a boil, adding water as needed.
  5. Add salt, onions and garlic.
  6. Cover and cook for one hour or until tripe is tender.
  7. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 15-20 more minutes.
  8. Add salt to taste.
  9. Serve with lime wedges, fresh cilantro and flour tortillas.
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