My Grandmother Mary has made this soup since I was old enough to appreciate it. My Auntie Grace also made it on Sundays when the family would visit her. She used to have chicken legs with claws sticking out of the pot, which completely revolted me! You know how memories can be, maybe that was her chicken soup! But anyway, the taste and texture of Menudo kept me coming back for more. And believe it, if you have headaches, or stomach aches associated with some foods, Boy! this cures it all!
You will need:
3 pounds of honeycomb tripe, white
1 large onion, chopped
red chili powder
salt and pepper
1-2 cans (large) yellow hominy with juices
2-4 fresh pigs feet
The most important thing to do first in this recipe is to wash the meat well. Let cool, fresh, water run over the tripe, and rinse the pork feet. Then put all of this into a large soup pot filled with fresh water along with the chopped onion. You will want to cook this together about one hour, or until the tripe is soft when pierced.
Then carefully remove the tripe to a pan which will hold the juices of the tripe. Cut the tripe into bite sized pieces, or as desired. Return to the pot, and add the remaining ingredients, to taste. You will want to add the hominy with its juices. Mix the chili powder into a little water, and stir til smooth. Add this to the pot and adjust the taste, if desired. You don't want a light red color, but a deep one. Be careful you don't put too much, as it will make it too strong tasting. I use about 6 to 8 oz of chili powder. I keep taste testing as the soup flavors develop. You can use New Mexico, Gebhardt's is a good one, or any powder you wish. You can also make this very chili-hot by adding pepper flakes. You can even add a little chicken soup base at this point.
Add your herbs, but remember, a little oregano goes a long way! Too much and the soup can become bitter. Sprinkle the thyme in, just a little, maybe one teaspoon to taste. I like alot of cumin powder, it makes the flavor so good and rich. Put it in a bit at a time to see how you like it. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add more powdered garlic if needed. Stir well, and let the whole thing cook at a medium simmer. Do not let this boil. Remove the surface skin as it appears. The soup should simmer just enough to break the surface.
Cook for about one hour or until all the meat is tender and the pork is falling off the bones. Pull some of the pork off the bones and distribute throughout the menudo. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You may find you need more salt, or garlic, or cumin. I use alot of cumin as I like the taste.
Serve menudo with condiments of chopped cilantro, lemon wedges, and finely diced onions set out in little bowls or saucers.
This mexican soup is very hearty, tasty and really does have headache healing properties, as I can personally attest. Whenever I have an upset stomach, this is one soup I want to be sure and have on hand! I hope you enjoy this soup.