Forget hair-of-the-dog. For a cure to last night's partying try Mexican menudo. (Photo/Courtesy David Matias, Teresa's Mosaic Cafe)

Forget hair-of-the-dog. For a cure to last night’s partying try Mexican menudo. (Photo/Courtesy David Matias, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe)

New Year’s Eve Hangover Cure: Mexican Menudo

The real cure for a hangover? According to just about every medical authority, it’s not to drink too much in the first place. But for those of us who—ahem—didn’t heed that advice on New Year’s Eve, there’s another legendary remedy rooted in Mexican cooking and tradition: menudo.

A long-simmered soup made of beef tripe and hominy, exactly why menudo is said to be curative isn’t clear. Some argue the soup’s fat content helps line and soothe the walls of a nauseated stomach. Others say the tripe itself is nutritious and high in vitamins A and C, which help re-energize the body. Or it could just be that a homemade batch of something brothy is precisely what a dehydrated soul needs. Whether it’s backed by science or just an emotional connection to a bowl of comfort food, menudo (known to many Mexicans as “the breakfast of champions”) is one of the world’s most famous hangover remedies and people swear by it.

Mexico, of course, isn’t the only Latin American country to rely on offal to cure a hard night of drinking. Colombians reach for sopa de mondongo, Peruvians for cau cau and Ecuadoreans for guatitas—all variations that, like menudo, start with beef tripe. In all cases, the dish’s history is tied to the peasant experience; poor people forced to be creative with the little meat to which they had access or who brilliantly found ways to use every part of the animal in order to minimize waste.

Today, as the snout-to-tail gastronomic movement continues to take on steam in foodie circles, menudo is anything but poor. Just ask Chef David Matias, of Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe in Tucson, AZ, who by yesterday afternoon had already sold 250 pounds of menudo. “We have it on the menu every day,” he says. “And just about every day we sell out. There’s a new generation that has really learned to appreciate it.”

The 35-year-old Matias, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and whose family has owned Teresa’s for more than 30 years, shared with NBCLatino.com two recipes for menudo, one white and one red, which is colored and spiced with chili powder. Both are very traditional, Matias says, and based on the Sonoran interpretation of menudo. (As with most Mexican food, there are regional variations.)

The restaurant, which two years ago was featured on the Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay (“We made huevos rancheros. The judges decided he won, but I am still reaping the benefits,” Matias says with a laugh) serves “homestyle Mexican food with a twist that makes things a little more proper. I did go to the CIA after all.” His menudo, with its perfectly clear broth and its precisely-diced tripe, is a great example. “When you go to a lot of places and ask for menudo, sometimes you get this yellow mushy soup,” Matias says. “That’s not ours.”

If you’re going to try to make this at home, Matias offers a few pointers: “Make sure to really clean the tripe. That’s key. Also, as the soup is simmering over medium heat, make sure you skim the impurities that come to the surface. That will keep the broth clear and really flavorful. Last, give it time. It takes about 3 hours for the tripe to get tender. And during that time…your hangover will probably start to feel better too.”

White menudo (Photo/courtesy of Chef David Matias, Teresa's Mosaic Cafe in Tuscon, AZ.)

White menudo (Photo/courtesy of Chef David Matias, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe in Tuscon, AZ.)

White Menudo

3 cups of honey comb tripe, well rinsed and medium diced

1 1/2 cup of hominy, well rinsed

1/2 gallon water

1/4 onion

3 cloves garlic

2 whole scallions, washed

1/2 green Anaheim chile

1/4 cup salt

1. In a medium-size pot, add honey comb tripe and water and allow to boil over medium heat for 2 hours.

2. Add hominy, onion, garlic, scallions, and green chile and allow to boil for 1 hour or until hominy is tender.

3. Add salt and taste to adjust seasoning if needed.

4. At this point, if you cleaned the tripe and hominy well, you should have a nice white broth. Serve hot and top with minced cilantro, and minced white onion as garnish.  May be optionally seasoned with crushed chiltepin and dry oregano.  Enjoy with buttered and toasted pan birote. Serves 6.

Red Menudo

Red menudo (Photo/courtesy of Chef David Matias, Teresa's Mosaic Cafe in Tucson, AZ.)

Red menudo (Photo/courtesy of Chef David Matias, Teresa’s Mosaic Cafe in Tucson, AZ.)

3 cups honey comb tripe, well rinsed and medium diced

1 1/2 cups of hominy, well rinsed

1/2 gallon of water

1/4 onion

3 cloves garlic

2 whole scallions, rinsed

1/2 green Anaheim chile

1/4 cup salt

1 cup good quality red chile powder

1 tbsp granulated garlic

1 tsp Mexican oregano

1. In a medium-size pot, add honey comb tripe and water and allow to boil over medium heat for 2 hours.

2. Then add hominy, onion, garlic, scallions, green chile, and red chile powder and allow to boil for 1 hour or until hominy is tender.

3. Then add salt, granulated garlic and oregano.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

4. Serve hot and top with minced cilantro, and minced white onion as garnish.  May be optionally seasoned with crushed chiltepin and dry oregano.  Enjoy with buttered and toasted pan birote. Serves 6.

Comments

  1. Simply want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness on your place up is just nice and that i could assume you?ˉre an expert on this topic. Nicely along with your permission let me to seize your feed to help keep updated with imminent post. Thanks 1,000,000 and please maintain up the rewarding work.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,285 other followers

%d bloggers like this: