Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Rumba Meats. As always, all opinions are mine and mine alone.
Sundays in Mexico are the best. In Durango, the entire city would practically shut down. Even the kids would go inside to spend time with their families and less time outside playing fútbol. Church was a must. Maybe a walk later around the Plaza de Armas for a paleta or a visit to a relative who might or might not know that we were coming over (“Surprise!”). Sunday morning always started the same way – with a big pot of Menudo, or Pancita.
This is Rumba Meats beef honeycomb tripe, or Pancita de Res. I got it at ALDI. There really wasn’t much excess fat to remove. Love that! It also comes in a vacuum-sealed package which allows the meat to stay fresher, longer. You can find Rumba Meats at a store near you.
Chop it up into 2-inch cubes. I like to cut them smaller because of my son. The redhead is not a fan of big pieces. In fact, he won’t even “give piece a chance.”
Menudo, or Pancita, has a distinct smell, and there are several ways to minimize the smell. Here’s what I do.
Tips to Reduce the Smell of the Honeycomb Tripe:
Put the tripe in a large stockpot. Cover with water. Add juice of 2 limes. Let sit for at least 1 hour. Discard water. Continue with recipe.
Put the tripe in a large stockpot. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Turn heat off. Add 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar and 2 garlic cloves. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. Discard water. Continue with recipe.
If you are using the same pot as when you were trying to take the smell away, you will need to wash the pot. The odor always seems to linger. Then place the honeycomb tripe inside the pot and cover with a lot of water. Add a whole onion, 5 garlic cloves, and 2 bay leaves. I leave them on the edges for me to find them easily at the end. Cover and let simmer for 2 ½ hours.
In some parts of Mexico, the recipe for Menudo, or Pancita, would stop right here. In Durango and several northern states, we also add hominy and a red chile sauce. After 2 ½ hours of cooking the honeycomb tripe, add the rinsed hominy and cook for another ½ hour.
In the meantime, make the red chile sauce. We do that with lots of guajillo chile and chile de árbol. Don’t worry. The sauce is not spicy. Remember that there is a lot of water in the big pot. Take out the whole onion, garlic, bay leaves, then add the red sauce to the pot and cook for another ½ hour.
We serve Menudo, or Pancita, with raw, diced white onion, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and corn tortillas. Some people will serve dried chile de árbol, crush it open slightly, and put it in their soup bowls for some extra heat. This is truly Mexican comfort food. Enjoy!
- 6 lbs of Beef Honeycomb Tripe, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 1 onion + ¼ onion (divided)
- 7 garlic cloves (divided)
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups Hominy
- 8 chile guajillo, stem removed, deveined, and seeded
- 3 chile de árbol, stem removed, deveined, and seeded
- Pinch of whole cumin
- Diced raw onion
- Chopped Cilantro
- chile de árbol
- Rinse the beef honeycomb tripe well.
- Add honeycomb, 1 whole onion, 5 garlic cloves, and 2 bay leaves to a large stockpot.
- Add water. About 6 inches above the honeycomb.
- Cover and bring to a boil for 2 ½ hours.
- Rinse the hominy.
- Add the hominy to the pot.
- Cook for an additional ½ hour.
- Note: Add water to the pot if needed.
- In the meantime, make the red chile sauce.
- In a smaller stockpot add the chile guajillo and the chile de árbol.
- Add water. Enough to cover all the chiles.
- Bring to a boil.
- Turn heat off and let sit for 5 minutes until soft.
- Add all the chiles, ¼ onion, 2 garlic cloves, pinch of cumin, and salt to the blender.
- Using the water from which the chiles cooked in, add it to the blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add the red sauce and 2 tablespoons salt to the honeycomb tripe pot.
- Add 1 cup of water to the blender to get any remaining red sauce and pour into the pot.
- Stir to combine.
- Cover and let simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
- Serve with toppings and enjoy!