How to cook Tripes Porto Style - "Tripas à moda do Porto"
Where is Porto in Portugal
Porto's most traditional recipe
Just the other day as I answered a comment in one of my latest hubs, the one about cooking “Chanfana”, I realized how much Portuguese culinary history goes hand in hand with war… Some of the most traditional recipes have something to do with war. After all during a war there are less food produces available and you have to make do with what there is around… And here is the thing, in Portugal for centuries and centuries we were always at war with someone, the Romans, the Spaniards, the French, each other, here, overseas… It doesn’t really matter the why, the how or the who, the fact was there was no shortage of warfare. Perhaps that’s why we are now such a peaceful people and want nothing to do with war and violence, we are done fighting, at least for now. But all the fighting sure paid off when it comes to our culinary history, because we made up some culinary gems while trying to make do with the little we had. I’ve already talked about the “Chanfana”, so today I would like to tell you about another famous wartime recipe that lasts to our days, that is one of the best comfort food in the world and that actually is the reason for the nickname of the people from Portugal’s second major city – Porto. Let’s talk about “Tripas à moda do Porto”, as we say in Portuguese – Tripes Porto Style.
Travelling back in time to 1415
It was in the beginning of 15th century that our story starts. The beach of Miragaia in Porto was the shipyard for the ships that were to set sail to Ceuta. In 1415, Henry the Navigator visited Porto to see how the work was coming along. Not totally happy with the progress he confided to the master-builder of the shipyard that he expected more from the men, especially considering that the ships were to be used to conquer Ceuta. Given the important goal of Henry, the Navigator, the master-builder assured him the men would do much better, much faster.
Now, this is where the versions differ, because there can never be one version only: so, there are those who say that being warned by the master-builder what the ships were to be used for, the men altogether decided to talk to the rest of the townspeople and everyone agreed to offer all the meat they had to the sailors and troops, so that they were properly supplied of meat to withstand the voyage and the battle; then there are those who say that, actually, it was Henry the Navigator that ordered the townspeople to hand over every piece of good meat they had, to pitch in for the war effort.
One way or the other, the fact was that the only pieces of meat left in Porto at that time were the entrails of the animals, which the sailors and soldiers wouldn’t take with them. There was nothing else to cook apart from that, so someone came up with the idea of cooking the tripes and it stuck, it stuck so much that people from Porto started being called “Tripeiros” (tripe eaters), since they were from the place that had invented the tripes’ famous recipe. This nickname is also a sign of the generosity that characterizes the people of Porto.
From then until now it is one of the most famous dishes in Portugal, now it is not the healthiest thing you can eat and it sure isn’t recommended if you are on a diet, but it is comforting and tasty and different and full of history, so it’s like time travelling and you should definitely try it at least once…
What you should know before cooking
This may be a strange dish, you may not be accustomed to such strange ingredients, although there are many other places in the world where far stranger things are eaten, at least in my opinion, but just the idea of tripes may be a deterrent for a lot of people, so let me just clear a few points.
What you will be cooking are calves’ or cows' tripes - beef tripe. You can get it at the butcher and ask them to cut the tripe in medium size squares. At the butcher they will have washed and cleaned the tripes properly, but a bit more cleaning can’t hurt, at least that’s my view on it, so what I do when I get home is I clean and wash the tripes again, with a lot of running water, then put them in water and salt for a while and then running water again.
Also, through the centuries the recipe has changed and been perfected, for instance in the beginning the tripes were served with slices of bread, later on people started using beans. Also, some recipes now include chicken and other meats, which weren’t available at the time. Personally I like the recipe as simple as possible, as my mother taught me to cook it.
Now, it’s been some time since I last cooked Tripes Porto Style, because it is something that does take its time and usually it’s more of a big family lunch recipe, because it doesn’t make a lot of sense cooking a small amount.
So, it’s not your everyday recipe, but it’s definitely worth it and it’s a recipe you should try if you are having a big family get together.
- 1 Kg/2,2 lb Beef tripe, Washed tripe
- 1 Calf's knuckle, Optional
- 1/2 Chicken, Optional
- 150 gr/0,33 lb Portuguese, Traditional Portuguese smoked pork sausage
- 150 gr/0,33 lb Bacon
- 2 Carrots, Sliced
- 2 Onions, Chopped
- Olive oil
- 2 Bay leaves
- Pepper, To taste
- Salt, To taste
- 2 teaspoons Sweet paprika
- 1 Kg/2,2 lb White beans/Butter beans
- Wash the tripe, as well as the calf's knuckle. Place each of the ingredients in a different stockpan/saucepan and cover with water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower the heat to medium heat and let it boil for about 1 hour.
- In a different stockpan/saucepan boil the rest of the meats you will be using, including the "Chouriço". When the different meats are cooked take them out the saucepan.
- In another saucepan boil the beans until they are cooked or, if you want, you can already buy them pre-cooked, which will save you some time.
- Once the calf's knuckle is cooked you will be able to remove the meat from the bones.
- If you have not asked the butcher to cut the tripe in medium size squares, you should do it yourself once the tripe is cooked.
- Finally, get another stockpan/saucepan - be sure to get a big one - a pour olive oil in the pan until the bottom is covered, then add the onions. Sauté for 10 minutes over medium heat until you find the onion has passed the translucent stage and is turning already a bit yellowish.
- Add the carrots, salt, pepper, paprika, the bay leaves and stir well for 5 minutes.
- Afterwards add the different meats. Don't forget to slice the chicken (if you decide to use chicken) and the bacon in pieces. Let it cook for another 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the beans and water (just enough to cover the ingredients) from boiling the beans and/or the "chouriço", bacon and chicken. Reduce the heat to the minimum and let it boil for approx. another 45 minutes and be sure not to let it burn.
- As soon as the gravy has thickened (it should not be liquid) turn off the heat and let it rest for a while before serving.
- Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with the chopped parsley. It's ready!
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I would like to thank the Mrs Rosa Gomes for allowing me to use her wonderful photos of the dish Tripes Porto Style.
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© Copyright Jun 25 2012/ Algarveview.hubpages.com. To use part or the whole article you must first get written permission from the author. Feel free, nonetheless, to use an intro of the hub with a link to the article here on hubpages for the rest of the article.
© 2012 Joana e Bruno
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