Mondongo is one of those dishes that you either love or hate. Just knowing the kind of meat that is in the stew can put a damper on your appetite. However, when prepared carefully and cleaned thoroughly it’s not so offensive and can be quite hearty and delicious.
I myself am not a lover of Mondongo (although many of my family members are), however, my husband is and for his sake I decided to learn how to come up with a way to make it that I can tolerate eating it and actually enjoy it.
A very important tip that I find helpful, before I begin working with the tripe, I like to take a medium sized pot, fill it with water, then I raid my spice rack and take some cinnamon sticks, cloves, all spice, anise seeds, any sweet and pleasant smelling spice and put it to boil. Once the air is infused with the spice smell, it will mask the tripe odor when you begin to work with it.
Also, some people like to use a pressure cooker because it can soften the tripe quicker. I must admit that I am afraid of working with pressure cookers so I don’t cook the tripe using that method.
One last tip before we get into the recipe, you can boil the tripe until it’s fork tender the day before using the method I describe below, then save it in the fridge (after it’s cooled down). That way the following day it will be quicker to make the stew.
To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
4 lbs of Beef Tripe
12 Cloves of Garlic
1 Large Onion (White or Red)
6 Aji Gustoso
2 Stalks of Celery
Salt (will vary)
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Coriander
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
2 tbsp Spanish Olives (optional)
4 Tomatoes (plum or Roma are fine)
1 Cup Vino Tinto (red wine)
~1 Cup Fresh Cilantro
~3/4 Cup Fresh Green Onions
2 tbsp Achiote Oil (or 1 tsp Achiote powder), may substitute with 2 tbsp Tomato paste
2 tbsp Olive Oil (may use vegetable oil)
Before you start working with the tripe, take a large pot and fill it 3/4 of the way with water then it put it on the stove with the heat on high to bring it up to a boil. Then mash or mince 4 cloves of garlic and add it to the pot of water,
Add 1 stalk of celery (I just cut it into several large pieces and leave the leaves on it) then add it to the pot, along with 2 aji gustoso (remove the seeds and cut them into large pieces),
While the water is coming up to a boil, let’s wash the tripe to add it.
The tripe that is sold here in the states is relatively clean compared to the tripe sold in Dominican Republic, however, it still needs a thorough cleaning. (It also stinks when it comes out of the package!)
Make sure to wash the tripe well with plenty of water before starting to boil it and inspect it for hairs, also remove some of the loose fat that might be stuck to the lining. I usually rinse it for a few minutes under running water,
Then add the rinsed tripe to the pot (notice I didn’t use a huge pot because I am saving my larger one for later use, if you have a bigger one, use it!), then squeeze the lime juice of 3 limes into the pot, also add the lime halves as well,
Stir everything gently and let it come up to a boil,
After it comes up to a boil, keep it half covered and let it boil for about 30 – 45 minutes.
After it’s been boiling for about 15 – 20 minutes, take another large pot and fill it about 1/2 – 3/4 of the way with fresh water, add 4 cloves of mashed garlic, 1 stalk of celery (with the leaves on), 2 aji gustozo, the juice of 3 limes (DO NOT ADD THE LIME HALVES TO THIS POT, ONLY THE JUICE),
Then add about 1 tablespoon of salt and let it come up to a boil,
Remember while the tripe is boiling in the first post, stir it every 10 minutes or so then put the lid lightly back on,
After the tripe has been boiling for about 30 – 45 minutes, take some tongs or a large fork and gently remove it from the pot (be careful not to be splattered with hot water) and add it to the second pot that should be boiling by now,
After adding the tripe to the second pot, let it continue to boil for about 1 – 2 hours until it is fork tender. Remember to keep the lid half on. Discard the water from the first pot.
After the tripe is fork tender, turn the heat off and let it hang out so it can cool down a bit before we cut it. In the meantime, let’s start to make the stew.
Take the large onion and finely chop it,
Then take a medium sized pot put the heat on medium high, add about 2 tbsp of olive oil (may use vegetable oil) and add 4 cloves of garlic, that have been mashed or finely chopped,
Let the garlic cook for about a minute and become fragrant, then add the onions to let them sweat,
Adding a pinch of salt will help the onions release liquid; while the onions are cooking, take 4 tomatoes (I am using plum, but you can use whatever kind you like), and chop them up (I leave the skin and seeds on, but you can remove them if you’d like) then add it to the pot,
Take the remaining 2 aji gustoso, remove the seeds, finely chop them and add to the pot,
Then take the red and green bell peppers, remove the seeds, finely chop them and add them to the pot,
Then take about 1 cup of red wine (I like to use vino tinto which is a sweeter wine) and add it to the pot,
I did not add Spanish olives to the pot since my husband is not crazy about them, but if you like them, mince about 2 tablespoons and add them to the pot,
Now add about 1 tsp of salt (you could do this before adding the wine as well),
Add about 1 tsp of ground black pepper,
Add about 2 tsp of oregano,
Then add about 2 tablespoons of Achiote oil (you can use 1tsp of powedered achiote or 2 tbsp of tomato paste if you prefer, this enhances the “orange” color),
Add about 1/2 – 1 tsp of coriander,
Stir everything well and let it continue to cook while we cut the tripe. Take the tripe and remove it from the pot (DO NOT DISCARD THE WATER IN THE POT) with either tongs or a large fork, then put it on a cutting board (be careful if it’s still very hot),
*One tip, put a towel under the cutting board so the juices don’t spread all over your counter-top,
Cut the tripe into bite sized pieces,
Then add it to the pot with the vegetables. Take about 2 cups of liquid from the pot that the tripe was boiled in and add it to the stew,
Stir everything well, if you want it to be “soupier” add more liquid from the previous pot,
Now cover it, let it cook for about 20 – 30 minutes until all of the vegetables break down, the tripe absorbs the flavors and the stew gets thick.
Then take about 1 cup of fresh cilantro, chop it up and add it to the pot,
Then take about 1/2 – 1 cup of fresh green onions, chop it up and add it to the pot,
Stir well, let it cook for a couple of minutes, do a taste test and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Then turn the heat off and keep it covered until serving time.
I recommend you serve it with a side of white rice, some avocado and lime wedges. Yum!