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Merry Christmas Menudo Recipe 2013

Merry Christmas to you all from Santa Fe, New Mexico! Isabel and I are here enjoying the Holidays with Isabel’s family.

Not many know but Isabel is from Española, New Mexico which is about 40 miles north of Santa Fe. Add to that, the Candelaria family first settled New Mexico in the 1690’s. In fact, a major road in Albuquerque bears the Candelaria name.

So – Isabel and I love coming here for the culture and most of all, the food. We love New Mexican cuisine. Our favorite place to dine in Phoenix is Richardson’s or Dick’s Hideaway where we can get our authentic New Mexican cuisine fix.

This week I will share some of our Santa Fe finds from this trip. First and foremost we have to start with food and what could be better on Christmas Day but one of my family’s traditional dishes, menudo! This trip I had a fabulous bowl of menudo at The Plaza Café

right on the Plaza in Santa Fe. Not a fancy place, but I have to say their menudo was as close to my late Grandma Rose’s menudo as I have found.

So what is menudo???? How about a soup whose main ingredient is beef stomach lining!

Ok I know that sounds totally disgusting but I have to tell you this soup is delicious. Ok – if the stomach lining beef tripe is freaking you out we have a more mainstream way to enjoy this soup – pasole – substitute diced pork or diced chicken and you can join in on this traditional New Mexico Christmas dish. Menudo is also a well known cure for the hangover!!!

So here we go:



3 gallons water, divided


2 1/2 pounds beef tripe, cut into 1-inch pieces


6 cloves garlic, finely chopped


1 large white onion, finely chopped


1 1/2 tablespoons salt


1 tablespoon ground black pepper


1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano


2 tablespoons ground red pepper


6 cups canned white or yellow hominy, drained

Red Chile Sauce

¾ cup of red chile powder – choose your heat

¼ cup of crushed red chile flakes

2-1/2 cups of warm chicken broth

1 tsp of cinnamon

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of dried oregano

Some like cumin in their sauce, I do not.


1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup of shredded cabbage or radishes

2 limes or lemons wedged


In a large pot, bring 1 gallon water to a boil. Place the tripe in the pot, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Periodically skim off fat with a spoon. Drain water, reduce heat, and pour in a fresh gallon of water. Continue to simmer tripe for 2 hours; drain.


Pour remaining 1 gallon water into the pot with tripe, and bring to a boil. Stir in garlic and 1 white onion. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.


In a blender or food processor, blend some powdered New Mexican red chile powder and some crushed red pepper flaxes with hot chicken broth, a couple cloves of garlic, salt, cinnamon, and dried oregano until very finely blended into a nice thick sauce. Mix into the pot, and continue cooking 2 hours over low heat.

Mix the hominy into the pot. Continue cooking 1 hour. Serve with red onion, cilantro, shredded cabbage or diced radishes and a lime or lemon.  Enjoy.

Again for Pasole - and this is Isabel's recipe! - substitute the diced pork or chicken and you can go with green chile or the red.