Saturday, December 5, 2009

Callos, Spanish-Filipino Tripe Dish

It’s has been five days since my last post so I want to feature an extraordinary dish not only in the sense that it uses many special ingredients and requires a laborious preparation and cooking but primarily because it is uniquely rich, tasty comforting and deeply satisfying. It is simply known as “Callos” in the Philippines and called “Callos a la Madrilena” in Spain. This is probably among the original Spanish dishes introduced to the Philippines by the Spaniard colonizers. Filipino “Callos” is not an everyday dish. Even the affluent Filipino families only have entree during special occasions like Christmas and important family gatherings.

To find a really good “callos” though is not difficult when in the Philippines. A short visit to the many Spanish restaurants is all that is needed to enjoy the wonderful tripe dish flavored by Spanish chorizo (“chorizo de bilbao”) chickpeas (garbanzos), paprika and tomato sauce. Since vegetables like potato, carrots, green peas and bell pepper are usually added, the dish is considered a complete stew that can be eaten with rice as the main meal or with crusty bread as snack. Yes, it goes very well too with the Garlic Bread posted recently and among the popular “tapas” of Spain like “Gambas Al Ajillo” which I also posted earlier.

A good “callos” starts with fine beef tripe. I already provided some important information about tripe in my post about “Goto” or “Arroz Caldo con Goto”. The same method of cleaning and boiling the tripe with crushed ginger until tender is necessary to be assured of good-smelling and succulent tripe. :-)

For the dish, I bought around 2 kilos of beef tripe which I meticulously washed and cleaned and slowly simmered with the aromatic ginger until fork tender. I ended up with about 1½ kilos of thoroughly drained and already tendered meat, cut up to small pieces, about ¼ x ½ inches rectangle or 1 x 1 cm square.

In addition to beef tripe, some meat and processed meats are necessary to create a delicious “callos”. So, I added about 250 grams (8 strip/slices) streaky bacon (can be substituted by ham), chopped, 350 grams boiled pork knuckle (skin & tendon parts, you can also use pork cheeks or beef tendon) and 2 pcs “chorizo de bilbao” (garlic sausage of Spain), sliced thinly.

The first set of other ingredients are 2 tbsp vegetable oil (olive oil if you have), 2 tbsp butter or margarine, 1 head garlic, peeled and minced, 2 pcs. chili peppers, 2 large onion, peeled and chopped, 3 pcs tomatoes, chopped (but I ran out of supply so I compensated with extra tomato sauce), 2 pcs bay leaves, 1 tsp whole peppercorn, cracked, 1 pc green bell pepper, 2 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley, ½ tsp dried basil, 1 tsp paprika, ½ cup grated cheese and 1 tsp salt or to taste. If you have green olives, add about 10 pieces. I don’t. :-(

The other vegetable ingredients which will complete the rich stew dish are 1½ cups cooked chickpeas or garbanzos, ¾ cup cooked green peas, 1 pc large carrot, peeled and cut up to 1 cm cube and 2 pcs potatoes cut up to 1 cm cube. Of course, another key ingredient but not photographed is tomato sauce, about 2 cups. Around 4 cups of good chicken or pork broth is also required.

In a large pan or wok, heat the oil and fry the bacon followed by the "chorizo" until slightly browned and bacon has rendered some of its fat. Remove the cooked bacon and chorizo pieces and set aside.

Heat the same pan with remaining oil + bacon extract oil and add the margarine. Sauté the garlic followed by chili and onion. Add the bay leaves, tripe and pork meat and continue sautéing until it slightly sizzles and aromatic.

At this point, I figured out my wok can hardly contain all the other ingredients so I transferred everything in a large deep pan. Continue by pouring the broth and simmering on low heat. Add the cracked pepper and salt when liquid is boiling. Then, add in the chickpeas, green peas, carrots and potatoes and continue simmering. When the liquid is again boiling add the tomato sauce and further simmer until the veggies are just tender.

Add the remaining ingredients – basil, fresh parsley and cheese. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings. Since I don’t have and did not use the required fresh tomatoes, I added some more tomato sauce, about ¼ cup, and about 2 tbsp of white vinegar. All together they made the taste wonderful to me. Please adjust accordingly as tomato sauce differs in level of acidity. Sri Lankan tomato sauce is sweet and not quite acidic unlike the Del Monte brand common in the Philippines. So if you’re using the acidic type of tomato sauce, you might need a slightly lesser quantity than above.

Continue simmering for some more minute and it’s done. Transfer in a shallow bowl and serve immediately. Enjoy! c“,)

The dish is should be served with either hot steamed rice or garlic fried rice as main meal or with some bread for snack. Tripe dish at its best. :-)

1 comment:

  1. Cool recipe...I have an old, old, old, handed down from my greats to mom and now, tring to hand it down to my daughter but she is still not interested... well, time will tell



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