Saturday, January 17, 2015

Penelope Casas' Callos

Copyright 2015 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Callos, a name which to me evokes the Spanish colonization of the Philippines for over 300 years. Despite the hardships the Filipino had to endure during this period, there were influences in our culture that may or may not be a welcome choice to the Filipinos. One such influence is in our food. The original Callos may have hailed from Madrid, Spain but Callos is a staple in most celebrations here in the Philippines. I have to admit that our family came across this dish kind of late but I have been trying on different versions of this dish recently based on recipes considered as original to Spain and not the adapted local version. Why the original? Simple. The original Callos is quite rustic and meager in terms of preparation and the amount of ingredients while the local version of the dish have morphed into different varieties with the addition of white beans, chick peas and even carrots. I just want a simple dish with nothing else to distract me from its pure and clean flavor. 

Copyright 2015 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
This new recipe is from Penelope Casas and uses beef tripe as the base. Pork legs are added for both texture and flavor. Morcilla or blood sausage is typically added in most recipes I've read but this particular recipe called for Spanish chorizo. I used an authentic Spanish chorizo imported from Spain and another one that is locally made (both canned). I have to admit, both are fairly similar in taste and in terms of prize, both are also quite expensive. Still, it was worth the expense. If cholesterol is not an issue for you, use the lard in the can as well. It adds to the flavor of the dish.

Penelope Casas' Callos

6-8 lbs beef tripe
4 lbs pork legs, sliced into 1-inch medallions
6-8 bay leaves
6 large Spanish onions, diced
1 bulb garlic, crushed and diced
2 tsp dried oregano
14-oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp peppercorns, freshly ground
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp thyme
2 cups white wine
12 cups beef broth
1 lb Spanish sausages (Chorizo)
1/2 lb cured ham, diced
6 tbsp Spanish paprika
6 tbsp flour
1 tsp red chili flakes
6 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste

1. In a large pot, fill with enough cold water to cover the tripe and the pig's 
    feet. Bring to a boil and immediately drain the liquid.

2. Rinse the tripe with cold water and slice into 2-inch squares. Clean the 
    pig's feet of any debris and set aside with the tripe. 

3. In the same large pot, add the tripe and pigs feet with half the onions, 
    garlic, bay leaves, oregano, diced tomatoes, white wine, beef broth, 
    nutmeg, thyme, ground peppercorns and season with a bit of salt. Bring 
    to a boil and simmer covered for 3 hours over low heat. Check 
    occasionally and add more water if needed. Stir to prevent the meat 
    from sticking to the pan. 

4. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat and saute the 
    remaining onions until softened. Season with salt. Add the chorizo and 
    cook until heated through. You may add the lard from the can if desired. 
    Stir in the flour and paprika and cook for a minute. Loosen with about 
    2 cups of water and add to the large pot. Stir well to prevent any lumps.

5. Add the red chili flakes and continue to simmer for another 1-2 hours or 
    until the tripe is very tender. Stir occasionally to prevent the meat from 
    sticking to the bottom of the pan. When ready to serve, fish out the pork 
    pieces and remove the bones. Slice the pork skin and meat into smaller 
    pieces and return to the pot. Check for flavor and adjust accordingly 
    with salt. 

*The New York Times: Cooking section