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Do You Have The Guts To Celebrate World Tripe Day?

Chef Matt Bennett came up with Cowboy Calamari for World Tripe Day.
Sybaris Bistro
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Chef Matt Bennett came up with Cowboy Calamari for World Tripe Day.

An Oregon chef is asking if you have the guts to celebrate World Tripe Day on Friday.

Chef Matt Bennett came up with Cowboy Calamari for World Tripe Day.
Credit Sybaris Bistro
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Chef Matt Bennett came up with Cowboy Calamari for World Tripe Day.

What is tripe? It's the lining of a cow's stomach.

Matt Bennett is the owner of Sybaris Bistro in Albany, Oregon. He volunteered to promote consumption of beef stomach on behalf of the British-based Tripe Marketing Board.

"They had good luck with calling it 'Lancashire calamari,'" Bennett said. “It is very similar in texture. So they said, 'Well, maybe you could do a Portland calamari or Tillamook,' which was funny because they were apparently just looking at a map."

Instead, Bennett's gourmet restaurant will serve a spicy special he calls "Cowboy Calamari.”

Bennett concedes you might find the idea of eating tripe stomach-turning. But he says it's a popular dish in many foreign cultures.

The growth in the Hispanic population across the West has actually made it easier to buy tripe here. Butcher shops catering to Mexicans stock it because it's an ingredient in a soup called menudo as well as some taco recipes.

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If you can stomach the idea, here is Chef Bennett's recipe for Cowboy Calamari:

Cowboy Calamari

5 lb honeycomb tripe, cleaned, blanched and cut into 2” squares (this is how it is available at any butcher shop with a bit of notice)

3 onions, peeled and cut into large dice

6 carrots, peeled and cut into large dice

1 12 oz can chipotles en adobo

1 bottle dry white wine

1 qt chicken stock, preferably home made or low sodium store-bought

Masa harina (the fine grind for making tortillas)

Deep fryer with oil of your preference, we use bacon fat at the restaurant

1 T salt, to taste

1 qt real mayonnaise, like Hellman’s or Best

Assortment of vegetables for dipping, coarse salt, lime wedges

Method:

Day 1- Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Combine tripe, onion, carrot, chipotles and sauce, wine and stock in a Dutch oven. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover by an inch, add water.

Cover with the lid and bake for 12 hours. I usually do this before or after dinner and deal with it in the morning.

Day 2- Remove from the oven and check for tenderness. Let cool until it can be safely separated into four groups: 1. Strained broth 2. Tripe 3. Vegetables 4. Chipotles

Chill the broth until the fat solidifies, discard the fat. Reduce the broth to about 3 cups.

Meanwhile, heat fryer to 350 degrees F. Puree the vegetables (I usually do not use the chipotles, if you are a chili head, go for it) and the broth. Whisk into the mayo. Correct with the salt, remembering that store bought stock is usually salted. Dredge the tripe in the masa, shake off excess and fry until crispy and hot, about two minutes. Drain. Serve with the dip and assorted vegetables. Guests can salt and lime to their tastes. The dip lasts several weeks in the fridge and is great with cold meat and fish.

Serves 12 (at least) Dip yields about 2 quarts

Recipe courtesy of Matt Bennett, Sybaris Bistro in Albany, Oregon

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Tom Banse covers business, science, public policy, sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding.