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Have you ever wondered what people in other countries use as a remedy to cure a hangover? Well, besides the classic 2 aspirins and drinking a lot of water, in México some people swear this tasty and aromatic menudo soup, with its distinctive spongy texture, will do the magic trick of bringing you back to life. I am not sure about that, but maybe the high content of vitamin B has something to do about it, besides its rich flavor.
This soup is usually sold on weekends in small mom-and-pop kitchens called "Fondas", or in restaurants that specialize in Tipical Mexican antojitos. The soup is called different names depending of the region. It is known as "pancita", Mondongo, or Menudo. In the northern states some cooks add Hominy to make a robust pair with the meat. The recipe also varies from region to region. Other cooks will add Ancho Peppers in addition to the guajillo and even tomato.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for several days and freezes well, preserving its flavor.
Ingredients for 6-8 generous servings
For the broth:
3 pounds of clean tripe cut into small bite size pieces
1 cow’s feet (It’s usually sold already cut up in pieces)
1 pound narrow bones
4 large garlic cloves
1 medium onion cut into thick slices
1 ½ teaspoon salt to taste
2 teaspoons dry oregano
For the sauce:
6 guajillo peppers cleaned, seeded, open flat, and deveined
1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin (optional)
3 garlic cloves
For the garnishing:
1 Tbsp. Piquin peppers crushed to add when serving if you like hot food.
Lemons cut into wedges
Dry Mexican oregano
¾ cup white onion, chopped
To be eaten with warm corn tortillas.
Simmer the cow feet and marrow bones in a large pot with 6 quarts of water, 5 garlic cloves and an onion for about 15 minutes at medium heat without covering. During this time, skim off the foam that forms. Add the tripe and oregano and cook for about 2 – 2 ½ hours approximately until tripe is tender but firm (make sure you do not overcook). You could also use a crock pot and set it in low for 6 hrs.
Remove the cow feet and marrow bones from the pot. Skim the fat that forms on top of the broth. Once the Cow foot cools a little, remove the bones and chop the meaty parts of to be returned to the pot.
While the meat is cooking, prepare the guajillo sauce. Toast the Guajillo peppers in a griddle over medium heat. Press them down with a spatula slightly toasting them without burning them.
Place the toasted peppers in a bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for about 25 minutes until soft. After that, drain the peppers and place them in your blender with the rest of the garlic, ½ cup of the broth, and cumin if using. Blend until very smooth. Strain the sauce using a sieve and pour into the pot. Simmer the broth for another 30 minutes, partially covered. Taste to season with more salt if needed.
Note; Some people add Hominy to the soup. If you can buy Hominy in a can, drain it and add it to the soup in the final simmering.
Serve the soup in large bowls and place the garnishes in a dish in order for everyone to add to their liking. Do not forget warm corn tortillas to soak in the broth.