Callos a la Madrileña in Whisk(e)y Pimento Sauce
Madrid style tripe stew, or Callos a la Madrileña, is a very common dish in Spain since the 16th century. Offal meat was popular in Europe and considered a delicacy until the 20th century when technological innovations in farming significantly changed the yield, therefore enabling consumers the luxury of picking their preferred cuts of meat.
Callos is an easy dish to make but requires a long time to prepare. What used be served in lowly taverns and peasant kitchens is nowadays considered a luxury dish served worldwide in elegant Spanish restaurants.
Trivia: There are 4 types of tripe, namely: plain, book, honeycomb, and reed. Honeycomb tripe is the best type to use as it is the most tender.
Another variation with Spanish manzanilla olives
1 kilo Honeycomb Tripe (cleaned)
2 Chorizo Sausages (sliced)
1/2 Cup Cured Smoked Ham (Serrano ham is preferred)
1/2 Cup Smoked Pork Jowl (or Bacon)
4oz. Maker's Mark Cask Strength or any robust whiskey to counter the gamey flavor of the tripe (2oz. for deglazing, 2oz for the sauce)
2 Tomatoes (Roasted)
1 bulb Garlic (sliced in half - mince one half, the other half will be browned)
2 Red Bell Peppers (Roasted)
1 Large Onion (thinly sliced)
1/8 Cup Balsamic Vinegar (or Apple Cider Vinegar)
3 Dried laurel leaves
2 tbsp Freshly Ground Black pepper
5 tbsp Paprika (Smoked - makes all the difference)
Salt & Pepper - To Taste
Brown Sugar - To Taste
Beef stock or flavored bouillon diluted in water
Rinse and clean the tripe under running water, scrub with coarse salt, and rinse again.
In a Dutch oven, add enough water to cover the tripe and tenderize it on a low heat for at least 30 min, then set aside.
In a different pot, drizzle with olive oil and sauté the Chorizo (Chorizo burns quick), minced garlic, and the half bulb of garlic (flat side down) until golden brown. Once browned, take out the half garlic bulb and set aside with the roasted bell peppers & tomatoes.
Using the garlic chorizo oil, sauté the onions, ham, and pork jowl and continue to cook until the onion & fat is caramelized on the edges. Stir in the whiskey to deglaze the pot and add in the freshly ground pepper, paprika, and brown sugar to taste.
Into the Dutch Oven with the tripe, add the laurel leaves, chorizo/onion/meat mix, bell peppers, tomatoes, 2 oz of whiskey, the balsamic vinegar, and enough stock to slightly cover the mixture (add more stock as needed). Simmer on low for 3 hours or more until the stock is reduced to a creamy texture and the tripe is very tender to the bite (you may add flour to thicken).
About 10 minutes before serving, add in the half of the browned garlic bulb and cover to perfume the dish.
Salt and pepper to taste and garnish with your herb of choice.
The salinity and the welcome pungence of peat makes for the perfect continuity with the strong flavors of Callos. Lagavulin 16's smokiness is akin to the satisfaction of that much needed smoke break after a heavy dinner.