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Beef Tripe and Beans

Beef Tripe and Beans – A soul-food specialty, savory beef tripe is a testament to our grandmothers’ resourcefulness. The mild flavor accentuates and absorbs the delicious spices you stew it in. Then low and slow turns this economical meat into a hearty and tender dish.

A bowl of beef tripe and beans with white rice

I recently visited an authentic Asian restaurant and was surprised to see tripe on the menu. It reminded me of the nutritious and healthy eru soup in my beloved Cameroon, and suddenly I felt a tad homesick. The version I’m sharing today is spicier, with curry taking it over the top.

What is Beef Tripe?

Tripe (stomach lining of cows, pigs, sheep, and goats) isn’t one of those things you slap on the grill for special occasions. While it doesn’t have much taste or smell (if you clean it right), it happily takes on the flavor of whatever spices you throw in the pot.

Offals are an economical way to feed your family. I know—I know, not everyone’s family is willing to chow down on this. But if you can get them past the mind over matter part, it’s a really nutritious and economical way to feed them. 

The texture is hard to describe. I’ve heard some describe it as a sponge, but I prefer comparing it to calamari. And it’s so good for you because it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Like shrimp, it’s a little high in cholesterol, but everything in moderation, right?

Beef tripe and beans ingredient list

What You Need for Beef Tripe and Beans

  • Tripe: I used cow tripe for this recipe, but sheep and goat work, too. The key is to clean it well.
  • Seasonings: Onion, garlic, thyme, curry powder, and delicious veggies make this recipe fantastic. After all, these guys give it all the flavor.
  • Wine and Beef Stock: Flavorful liquids simmer our tripe low and slow.
  • Butter Beans: A high protein addition makes this recipe even more nutritious. You can replace them with white kidney beans if that’s what you have.
  • Carrots: Another great veggie amps up our stew. Other fantastic additions are eggplant and potatoes or a handful of spinach at the end.

How to Make Beef Tripe and Beans

How to clean, cut, and make it
  1. Wash both sides of the tripe vigorously under cold running water. (Detailed instructions follow.)
  2. Place the tripe in a pot, add a tablespoon of salt and cover with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the tripe from the water and wash it under cold water again (keep doing this until it smells right). Cut the tripe into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and thyme. Sautee for 2-3 minutes until the onion is softened.
  5. Next, add green pepper, celery, tomatoes, and wine, and cook until the wine reduces to half. 
  6. Add the beef tripe, bay leaf, beef bouillon, scotch bonnet, beef stock, black pepper, and salt. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer for 30-35 minutes. 
  7. About 10-15 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the beans and carrots and continue cooking till the vegetables are soft.
  8. Serve hot, topped with chopped parsley as a garnish.
  9. Don’t forget the crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce!
Sauteeing seasonings and adding the carrots

Cleaning Tripe

  1. There are different ways to clean tripe. My opinion is that it’s easier if you scrub it with salt, rinse it well under cold running water, then boil it for about 10 minutes.
  2. Cool it enough to handle, scrape off all residue, including the inner membrane, with a knife, and then rinse several times in cold water. You can also add a tablespoon of vinegar to the rinse water.
  3. Some tripe has been bleached before you buy it. So you want to make sure you wash it in cool, clean water about five times to get the bleach off.
  4. Smell the tripe before cooking it. Clean it again if it has an offal smell (pun intended). Salt and vinegar help tame the odor and kill bacteria.
  5. Wash your hands really well after.
Beef tripe and beans on an oval white platter

FAQs

Why is it tough? Organ meat tends to be chewy. So if your tripe is still tough, simmer it longer because it gets softer when you cook it low and slow. Alternatively, you could use a pressure cooker. 

How clean is the tripe I just bought? Tripe comes in green (straight from the cow), clean, and bleached. I prefer the clean tripe because the green still has the cow’s last meal and is more work, and the bleached tastes terrible if you don’t get all the chlorine out.

Is there an alternative to bleach? I don’t like using bleach on food. Hydrogen peroxide is milder on the tripe and your hands if you want extra disinfecting.

Make-Ahead and Storage

Tripe isn’t always easy to find, so I get it when I come across it. If you clean it thoroughly and cut it into pieces, you can freeze it for three months. You could also make the recipe, let it cool, and then freeze it in a freezer container for three months.

The Perfect Sides for Beef Tripe and Beans

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Beef tripe and beans with homemade bread
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Beef Tripe and Beans

A soul-food specialty, savory beef tripe is a testament to our grandmothers' resourcefulness. The mild flavor accentuates and absorbs the flavorful spices you stew it in. Then low and slow turns this economical meat into a hearty and tender dish.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 345kcal
Author Imma

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cow tripe
  • 4 cups water, for precooking tripe
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, you can use less
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • ½ cup green sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 plump tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 15-ounce can butter beans, or white kidney beans
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
  • Italian parsley, chopped for garnish

Instructions

  • Wash both sides of the tripe vigorously under cold running water.
  • Place the tripe in a pot, add a tablespoon of salt and cover with water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the tripe from the water and wash it under cold water again. Cut the tripe into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and thyme. Sautee for 2-3 minutes until the onion is softened.
  • Next, add green pepper, celery, tomatoes, and wine, and cook until the wine reduces to half.
  • Add the beef tripe, bay leaf, beef bouillon, scotch bonnet, beef stock, black pepper, and salt. Mix to combine, bring to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer for about 30-35 minutes.
  • About 10-15 minutes before the end of cooking, add the beans and carrots and continue cooking till the vegetables are soft.
  • Serve hot, topped with chopped parsley as a garnish.

Notes

  • Organ meat tends to be chewy. So if your tripe is still tough, simmer it longer because it gets softer when you cook it low and slow. Alternatively, you could use a pressure cooker. 
  • Tripe comes in green (straight from the cow), clean, and bleached. I prefer the clean tripe because the green still has the cow’s last meal and is more work, and the bleached tastes terrible if you don’t get all the chlorine out.
  • I don’t like using bleach on food. Hydrogen peroxide is milder on the tripe and your hands if you want extra disinfecting.
  • Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 245g | Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 198mg | Sodium: 376mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g
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