Hello and Many Blessings to You!
While Filipino cuisine is, if you think about it, a mish-mash of several cuisines and influences, there is still something distinct about it. Take this Spanish-influenced Beef Tripe stew, or Callos.
This Madrid-inspired dish is a traditional stew of boiled beef tripe with tomato sauce, and is called locally as callos a la madrilena. While not a commonplace in your usual Fil-Spanish stews like Afritada, Mechado, Pochero, and Caldereta, Callos has found its way to our family table thru my mother and her Spanish ancestral roots.
Whenever my father would buy beef offal for Papaitan (another Filipino favorite, a bitter-sour Ilocano soup made with goat or beef offal), we would always reserve a pound or so of boiled tripe to make either one these two dishes in the next few days: Kare-Kare or Callos. Either way, my mother and I would make whatever we feel fancy making.
Searching the web led me to know that the original Callos recipe had Spanish Chorizo and white beans. When I asked my mom about this—she used bacon and chickpeas instead—she made the substitutions because she had trouble looking for Spanish chorizo, and she never really liked white beans much. Although there is another kind of chorizo being sold in market, Chorizo Macau, she didn’t use those either because it had an “oriental” taste, and just didn’t have the same note of smokiness as a Spanish chorizo would have. Either way, I loved how she thought of using everyday common ingredients to achieve the taste she wanted to achieve.
So feel free to use either Spanish Chorizo and white beans, bacon and chickpeas, or make your own pairings altogether. Though I recommend trying out this version first, make this recipe your own by fitting it to your taste.
Filipino Callos: Beef Tripe Stew
A Filipino take on a classic Spanish Callos
- 500 grams pre-boiled beef tripe, sliced into medium squares
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 strips of uncooked lean bacon, chopped
- 200g tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup carrots, cubed
- 1 cup potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup pre-cooked or canned chickpeas
- 1 medium-sized red bell pepper, julienne
- Vegetable oil for sauteeing, approx. 3 tbsp.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a skillet, saute the oil with the onions until slightly translucent. Add the minced garlic and saute until it has turned golden brown.
- Add the tripe and saute for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the chopped bacon and stir until the bacon has browned, but not completely crispy. Discard some of the bacon fat if you feel that the dish is a bit too oily.
- Add the tomato sauce, stir the mixture a bit, then add the water. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow to simmer in medium heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the lid, add the carrots and potatoes into the stew, stir, then cover again. Simmer for five minutes or until the vegetables are slightly tender.
- Remove the lid again and add the sliced bell peppers and chickpeas. Season again with salt and pepper to taste, and allow the stew to simmer for five minutes, uncovered, before serving.
Until the Next Time, Blessed Be!