This is a recipe that started a few weeks ago when visiting a small tapas bar in Lisbon called "Sr. Guilho" and had a delicious “callos”, a tripe stew cooked with chickpeas and chorizo, rich with smokey tones from the tender chorizo and pimenton. It tasted more or less the way it did when I had it in Spain last summer, when hitchhiking with Nora from Bordeaux, France back to Lisbon. The many stories of that trip I’ll save for some other time (or for a book, who knows), but what I love about tripe is, once you get over the idea of eating animal intestines and the pungent smell when you cook it, is the beautiful gelatinous quality of the meat itself, tender and full of flavour when cooked right.
I’ve adapted the recipe here and there from the original Spanish one, because “a recipe should be a tune to which you can sing your own song”, to quote Rick Stein. My version turned out quite light with carrots, white wine and chicken stock and fresh chickpeas for some extra texture. Whenever I cook it, I always invite friends over to share it with because this is a dish that tastes best eaten from a big earthenware bowl in the middle of the table with some good red wine, crusty bread and everybody diving in. Plus, organ meat is not gross, it’s actually good for you and by eating as much of it as possible, it’s your way of paying respect to the animal that died for your sins. In other words: being a vegan or vegetarian is not a problem, being a meat eating hypocrite kind of is (unless you really don’t like the texture of tripe, in which case you are forgiven). —The Melting Pot