Mondongo (Tripe stew)

Mondongo (Tripe stew)

We once took a poll amongst our readers called “Mondongo: Yucky or Yummy?”, which sparked in me some reflection. My money was on a landslide victory for the Yuckies. I admit it, I voted more than once, in order to better register my enormous dislike. The Yuckies lost. By a lot.

Limes

For those innocently unaware, “mondongo” is a cute name for cow or pig intestines, a supposed delicacy, usually boiled and then served in a tomato sauce on rice. Although in my opinion of little esteem it resembles a smooth mass of rotini-shaped viscera in form, and a worn rubber bicycle tire in texture, it remains a savoury delight to many others. Unfortunately, my own intestines cringe at the thought of processing their own kind. They go tense at the pervasive and instantly recognizable smell of cooking mondongo.

Mondongo is not unique to the DR – my British Dad calls it “tripe” – and although it is by far the most popular edible innard, it is not the only one. Butifarrabofe, and pico y pala are some other beloved names designed to mask a food’s dubious origins. (You can see that much more thought and wit go into naming these foods than those that are plainly called exactly what they are.)

Mondongo

But don’t get me wrong: I am not a vegetarian. I will enjoy a juicy steak, devour a pica pollo, and during pregnancy even craved liver. My diet is diverse and colourful, which is why it rankles me to be cast in the role of “picky eater”. While it’s only a small group of issues that dictates what I will not or cannot eat, they have occasionally caused my husband’s Dominican family to mock me and view me as delicada (read:weird). My refusal to eat certain items has also left me excluded from many a late night cocina’o or celebratory meal. The finicky outcast.

My mother-in-law was a commanding figure and a fearless eater; nothing off-limits and no understanding of squeamishness whatsoever. One day, I observed my little son nibbling on something in her company, something foreign and suspicious-looking. I asked what it was. “Nervios de vaca, mi hija.” Cow nerves. My instinct was to tear it from his little hands and throw it into the gutter. Alas, I didn’t have the guts.

Mondongo (Tripe stew)

So I do not like foods that too closely resemble a recent past in which living and breathing were involved. I do not hunger for meat that I have to gnaw down to a bone, nor do I like to discern shapes that belie a previous function; a chicken’s wing or a pig’s foot on a plate is, to me, unnerving. My critics will say, “If you can eat one part of an animal, then why not the rest?” I know – it’s a quirk, but I do recycle my bottles and cans.

Jill Wyatt

Jill, a member of our original team (where we knew her as Aunt Jane), and contributor to our book, is Canadian, mom to two Canadian-Dominican boys and resided in the Dominican Republic for several years.

Mondongo (Tripe stew)

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Mondongo (Tripe stew)

Although this dish might not be of the liking of many people, especially outside the Dominican Republic, our collection would be incomplete without it.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of pork or beef tripe, clean and stripped of fat.
  • 3 large potatoes cuto into cubes
  • 6 plum tomatoes cut into 4 quarters
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 limes
  • 4 green bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 2 red onions chopped into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mashed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of hot sauce or agrio de naranja (may be omitted)
  • A pinch of oregano
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Boil the tripe in half a gallon of water until tender, adding the juice of two limes, cilantro, a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper to the water.
  2. Cool to room temperature, remove from the water and cut into small pieces.
  3. In a pot heat the oil add the onions, and garlic.
  4. Cook and stir until the onions become transparent.
  5. Add celery, peppers and tomatoes. Cook covered over low heat for a minute.
  6. Add the tomato sauce and oregano and stir.
  7. Add the tripe.
  8. Cook over medium heat for five minutes.
  9. Add 2 cups of water, potatoes and carrots.
  10. Simmer covered over low heat until the potatoes and carrots are cooked.
  11. Season with salt to taste.
  12. Serve hot with arroz blanco. Garnish with the remaining lime cut into wedges and serve with hot sauce .

Notes

Mondongo (tripe stew) is a popular dish in the Dominican Republic. Learn how to make it with our easy-to-follow recipe and handy video.

This is a favorites of most Dominicans, and if you have no qualms about it, we encourage you to try it.

http://www.dominicancooking.com/685-mondongo-stewed-tripe.html

Originally published Dec 2003.

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{ 29 comments… add one }

  • Mariana June 18, 2011, 8:36 AM

    I love love mondongo. Almost all dominican's love it, but the smell is terrible when your cooking it. So I always order it from a dominican restaurant.

    • Lachikita December 15, 2012, 11:47 PM

      The secret is washing it with narjana agria and when u boíl it put cilantro

  • Maggie October 19, 2011, 9:13 AM

    you know, it's unfortunate that you can't buy the honeycomb tripe here in the states, otherwise, i'd actually cook AND eat it here. oh, well. it's time to stink up the homestead with the scent of tripe!

    • Ludovico October 28, 2011, 10:48 AM

      If you're from NY Vincents meat market on arthur ave in the Bx still sells honeycomb tripe.

    • Charlie Sommers November 28, 2011, 9:21 AM

      I live in Nashville, Tennessee and tripe, both honeycomb and smooth, is available in every Asian or Hispanic market in town. I actually prefer the smooth tripe (rumen) rather than the honeycomb (reticulum) and can even buy it at my local Walmart. The smooth tripe is thicker and requires longer cooking but makes excellent munedo and Dutch pepper-pot. Got some simmering on the stove right now.

      • ANTON PABLO HANDAL January 10, 2012, 4:30 PM

        I LIVE IN SACRAMENTO, I BUY THEM FROM ASIAN MARKET , THEY CARRY ALL KINDS,I WAS IN NEW YORK LAST WEEK , AND I HAD SOME AT 181 STREET AND SAN NICHOLAS, THEY COOK THE REAL DOMINICAN FLAVOR.

      • gerri January 24, 2014, 1:43 PM

        Made your mondongo recipe came out delicious except for the tripe it was tough I followed the recipe I’m guessing I either over or under cooked it some advice would be appreciated thank you

    • Maggie November 29, 2011, 1:51 PM

      I'm glad Mr. Sommers replied to my comment, for it gave me a chance to talk with the person who said I couldn't get the tripe that I'd experienced in Santo Domingo. However, I was wrong about 1 thing–I should've said the smooth type was not available here. So, here goes the clarification: A well-trusted individual, who works within the food industry, told me, some, I don't know, 8 years ago(?), that I could not buy the smooth tripe here in the states. Upon reading Mr. Sommers comments I, then, questioned my "confidant". The story I was JUST TOLD, is I can NOW buy that specific tripe just about anywhere. My source then clarified that years ago one could only special order it from a butcher or get it straight from the source, ie, the cow(that bit of info was not communicated to me). Hmmm. Now I'm wondering what else I'll be told in the future:)

      • chelle December 30, 2012, 1:08 PM

        Well i live in Nashville and They have honeycomb and smooth at walmart. Its with the oxtails in the beef sections. And they have been selling it for years!! Well over 10 years.

    • Aunt Clara December 3, 2011, 4:05 PM

      That was very interesting. Thank you, Charlie, for sharing!

    • Fiwizone June 29, 2012, 11:38 AM

      Yes u can. Where are u from?

    • faith March 12, 2014, 8:37 PM

      yes you can buy honeycomb tripe in the states. in fact, you can buy it at publixs

  • ivan Acosta December 3, 2011, 2:18 PM

    hi, are u sure this is the way to do mondongo dominicano?

    • Aunt Clara December 3, 2011, 4:03 PM

      I am sure that is the way that I and many, many Dominicans do it. Do you think you can get 10 million Dominicans to agree on anything? :)

  • ANTON PABLO HANDAL January 10, 2012, 4:32 PM

    HI , I LIKE THIS RECIPE, ONLY THING I LIKE TO ADD ON THE GARBANZO BEANS,

  • rosaura sanz February 9, 2012, 5:56 AM

    when do u add the celery? doesn't say……………………..

  • Charlie Sommers April 13, 2012, 4:52 PM

    I have never eaten mondongo but I love the Mexican version of tripe soup which is called menudo. It is a savory concoction of hot chilies, tripe, hominy and some herbs and spices and is purported to take away the pain of a hangover, not that I would ever require that of course.

    My wife is disgusted by the smell when it is cooking so I make it in large batches and freeze it in individual servings. That way I only stink up the house occasionally. I love it for breakfast along with a corn tortilla or two.

  • Jan W August 9, 2012, 7:52 AM

    My family is from the South and we cook tripe fried and served with beans. Tripe can be found in the South both canned and fresh and like the Southern tradition of cooking hog intestines, tripe can be smelly when cooked.

    • Aunt Clara August 9, 2012, 8:18 AM

      Yeah, I knew about the tripe-eating traditions of the Southern US. Tripe is more common that most people realize.

      • melissa August 22, 2012, 8:15 PM

        Hi Aunt Clara,
        How long do you boil the tripe?

        Thanks.

        • Aunt Clara August 22, 2012, 9:14 PM

          Until it’s cooked-through. Time will vary depending on a number of thing, but it will be 30 mins at least, an hour at most. If you use a pressure cooker it will shorten the time.

  • Paul Tremaglio March 12, 2013, 9:24 AM

    There are so many different ways to cook tripe . It’s hard to find sheep tripe in the U.S. , depending on where yo live . I tried this recipe that you presented and it was very good . I boil my tripe a lot longer and scrape the excess fat off . Thank you very much for this info and I will be visiting this site again ………..Paul Tremaglio Eastlake ,Ohio

  • restaurante murcia July 24, 2013, 5:40 AM

    ¡Hola
    Es realmente delicioso! A menudo comer en un restaurante murcia. Muchas gracias por la receta!

  • gerri January 24, 2014, 1:39 PM

    Made your mondongo recipe came out delicious except for the tripe it was tough I followed the recipe I’m guessing I either over or under cooked it some advice would be appreciated thank you

    • Aunt Clara March 21, 2014, 10:07 AM

      It needed boiling for a longer time. A pressure cooker helps a lot.

  • Saye January 31, 2014, 9:30 PM

    I am Liberian-American and I love Mondongo. In Liberia we put cow beef tripe in our soups as well.

  • Mayra March 14, 2014, 5:39 PM

    Tía clara gracias por sus recetas! Me encantan, una preguntita, en el video agrega las papas y zanahoria antes de la tripa, pero en las instrucciones dice que después; cual sería la mejor forma de hacerlo? Y puedo usar pasta de tomate en lugar de salsa?