Introduction: Menudo

About: I love all aspects of cooking...okay that's not true, I'm not a fan of baking. I love the free form of cooking savory foods versus baking but with time, I hope to learn more techniques as I peruse the differen…

From the flu to a hangover, this sometimes scary soup is what we would eat on New Year’s Day for as long as I can remember. The ingredients are not what you would call appetizing, but the end result is AMAZING! This is an all day process and it WILL stink up your house. Try it if you dare.

Step 1: Ingredients

1 ½ lbs of pansa (cow stomach lining)
3 onions
6 cloves of garlic crushed
A ton of salt
2 16 oz cans of hominy (corn kernels soaked in lye, I said it was a scary soup!)
2 1/2 cups of homemade red chile sauce or Las Palmas Enchilada sauce (hot).

Garnish (optional)
shredded cabbage
chopped onion

Step 2: Clean, Cut, Boil, Wait

Take your pansa out of it’s packaging and inspect. Get your collander and turn on the cold water. You need to rinse and clean the “meat.” You are looking for stray hairs and other foreign items in the lining of the stomach. It will be easy to find against the white of the stomach. Rinse clean and drain.  Again, the pansa I bought from Walmart was very clean, but I still gave it a little rinse.

Chop your onions into quarters and make sure your garlic is slightly crushed. Get a very sharp knife and cut your pansa into 1 inch cubes. Fill a large pot with water and add your onion and garlic. Add 2 palmfuls of salt, stir until dissolved. Add your pansa and let it cook for 2 1/2 hours on medium. Check periodically to skim the top of the soup. This frothy spuma needs no place in your soup, discard. 

Step 3: While You Wait....

At first I was going to just use canned enchilada sauce for this soup; which there is no shame in because that's how my Gramma would make her menudo - but I had plenty of time and all the ingredients to make the sauce so I did.  

Step 4: Almost Done!!

So after you have aired out your house and burned all of your incense...check the tenderness of the pansa. It should be chewy. Open the two cans of hominy and drain, add to your soup.  Let the hominy simmer in the soup for half an hour.  Add your enchilada sauce and stir until the soup is a beautiful deep orange. Let this simmer for another hour or so...the smell will improve. After an hour, taste.

Step 5: Garnish With Love...

Menudo is traditionally served in a large bowl and may be topped with the following:
- oregano
- lemon/lime
- diced white onion
- shredded cabbage
Serve this cure all with hot corn tortillas and you’re ready to eat!! This is the soup I grew up with and sometimes there were yummy cow hooves in the soup but I figured one scary ingredient was enough. For leftovers, let the soup come to room temperature and put in an old tupperware (it will stain it orange) with a lid. It will congeal (kind of like an aspic) in the refrigerator. To reheat, add the soup to a pot and let it cook on medium low until it looks like a soup again...maybe 10 - 15 minutes or zap it in a microwave for 2 -5 minutes (depending on your microwave). Buen Provecho!

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