Tripe is the muscular stomach lining of meat animals.Although lamb and pork tripe are sometimes available, beef tripe is by far the most widely used. Because cattle have four stomachs, there are four kinds of beef tripe. Honeycomb tripe, from the second stomach, is the kind most widely available. Other kinds,however, can be substituted in recipes that call for honeycomb tripe. In France, another type of beef tripe, known as gras-double, is popular; it is smooth rather than honeycombed.
Most tripe that comes from the market has been partially cooked, but it still requires several hours of simmering to be made tender. Undercooked tripe is chewy and somewhat rubbery, but tripe that has simmered long enough is tender, with a pleasant gelatinous texture.
To prepare, first remove any lumps of fat by pulling or cutting them off. Next, blanch the tripe, if desired.Although it is already partially cooked when purchased, blanching freshens it. Place it in a pot with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 to 10 minutes, drain, and rinse under cold water.
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