Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Potaje de Garbanzo Con Pata y Panza (Beef Foot and Tripe Stew with Chickpeas)

This is my grandmothers recipe (my Tata from my fathers side she's a small Spaniard woman from Madrid who settled in Cuba and then eventually ended up in the States). I had no idea that my grandmother even knew how to work with beef foot and tripe, this came up in a conversation I had with her when I called her up on the phone. I told her I saw in other Spanish blogs stews that combine chickpeas , beef foot and tripe such as "Callos a la Gallega" (from Pilar Lechuza's blog it's a Galician Tripe Stew)and the famous "Callos a la Madrilena" (Tripe and Beef Foot Stew from Madrid, Spain) all these Spanish stews have several versions. There is also a Mexican version that is flavored differently (with "Chile Colorado" and depending where your from in Mexico it may or may not have hominy added to it) but I'll show you guys that stew some other time.

Today I present my Tata's version of this dish which is delicious and flavorful, if you love tripe than this is the stew for you give it a try and you'll be pleased. The stew is rich and full of smokey flavors from cumin, hot smoked paprika, and spanish chorizo's in combination with a powerful aromatic sofrito with lots of garlic that is what makes this dish shine and sets it apart from the rest. It is slowly simmered for several hours and has delicious comforting chunks of calabaza and potatoes all married well together with chickpeas.

Surprisingly though my Tata hates tripe, beef foot, and most organ meats (except for liver) and it's one of the reasons she never made it for me or the household, she told me the only one who loved it was my grandfather and she would only cook it for him and eat something else. I just feel really glad and lucky my Tata is still alive to share this hidden treasure of a dish.

But before you even start preparing this dish BE WARNED this is a very time consuming dish, it takes about 5 hours total cooking time from beggining to end, good thing most of the time is simmering so you can relax and do other things at the house but just keep an eye on the clock.

*Ingredients for Part One:
-3 lbs. beef foot cut into large chunks
-1 lbs. Beef Honeycomb Tripe (Menudo de Panalito) cleaned, cut into bite size pieces
-1 lbs. Beef Book Tripe (Menudo de Librillo) cleaned, cut into bite size pieces
-1 lbs. Beef Tripe (Menudo Regular) cleaned, cut into bit size pieces
-1 large green bell pepper cut into thick strips
-salt to taste (about 3 tablespoons)
-water just enough to fill a large pot half way (just eye ball it)
-1 lbs. chickpeas cooked

*Ingredients for Part Two:

-1/2 cup more or less extra-virgin olive oil
-4 medium Spanish Chorizo's casing removed cut into rounds
-1 large green bell pepper minced
-1 large onion minced
-1 head of garlic peeled, mashed to a paste in a mortar or through a garlic press
-3 ripe medium tomatoes pureed or 1 can 8 oz. tomato sauce
-1 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-2 bay leaves (I had run out at the time of this post and didn't add it but if you have it use it)
-1 1/2 teaspoons hot smoked spanish paprika (optional my grandmother doesn't use it)

Ingredients Optional:
-1/2- 1 lbs. calabaza cut into large chunks (butternut, Banana, or Caribbean squash are good choices)
-3-4medium potatoes peeled halved

*Directions for part One:

(1) Soak chickpeas overnight if making from scratch, next day drain and boil in water until tender in pot for about 1-2 hours. When they are cooked drain and set aside (if you want to make your life easier buy some cans of chickpeas and drain well and set aside I made it from scratch though)

(2) Meanwhile while chickpeas are cooking get the beef foot and tripe already cut (ask your butcher to cut it for you, trust me you do not want to cut this at home, they are very tough to cut on your own) and rinse them once, then put them in the sink with plenty of salt, vinegar, and some lime juice and limes to clean them well, let them soak for atleast 15- 20 minutes.

(3) Meanwhile in a large pot bring water to a boil with 1 large green bell pepper cut into thick strips, salt, and whole black peppercorns if using. When water boils rinse beef foot that's been soaking several times and add to water, cover and simmer on low for about 2 hours (I am not kidding yes 2 hours it takes a long time to cook)

(4) Meanwhile rinse the tripe cuts several times, and drain well, after beef foot boils for 2 hours add tripe and boil for atleast 2 more hours.

*Directions for Part Two:
(1) Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat, then add Spanish Chorizo and cook until thet oil turns red, lower to medium heat add minced onion and bell pepper cook down for 7 minutes then add garlic and cook an additional 3 minutes, add cumin, oregano, black pepper, and hot smoked paprika, stir for about 30 seconds then add tomato and cook tomato down for about 5-7 minutes. After the beef foot and tripe are tender add this sautee mixture to the stew.
(2)Add potatoes and calabaza (squash) and chickpeas, boil together everything for an additional 30 minutes to 1 hour uncovered over medium low heat to let the stew reduce a bit and the broth to thicken.

(3)Serve in large bowls with good bread and a raw salad dressed in olive oil, lemon or lime, and salt.
*Depending on your preference this stew can be thick or thin depending on the amount of water you add, mine was somewhere inbetween. Be sure to taste the stew towards the end to insure that it is properly salted.

*In the old days or in some countries Tripe is sold unclean and one must wash well and leave in vinegar over night, fortunately here the tripe is very well cleaned and one could buy it already cut up all it needs is a quick rinse and some soaking in vinegar and lime for a short time to be all ready.

*You can use 3 lbs of any part of the tripe you like, I just wanted to use a mixture of different parts of it.