Callos a la Gallega…i know that callos or tripe as we know it is not top of most peoples culinary lists, but this recipe could convert some of the more squeamish. The tripe in Callos a la Gallega is just one part of a layered, rich, complex and completely delicious stew and is a fine example of traditional Galician cuisine…
Spanish food can be quite complex and even labour intensive and this dish requires a bit of preparation…but it’s worth the effort. There are no amounts in the recipe below, use your own judgement…but make plenty as Callos are even better on the second or third day after cooking…
THE EVENING BEFORE:
Wash the tripe, chop into bite sized pieces and put it in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil for 2 or 3 minutes. Drain, cool and rinse with cold water and plenty of lemon juice. Rinse again with more cold water, dry and then marinade along with a piece of the hoof of a calf or cow (from the knee down – ask your butcher to slice into thick rounds). This hoof part provides plenty of gelatine which will thicken and enrich the final sauce. For the marinade itself use some olive oil, fresh parsley, chopped garlic and black pepper – leave overnight.
At the same time soak some dried chickpeas overnight in cold water.
Add a chopped salted pigs trotter to the tripe (in a large sauce pan with lid), a whole unsliced piece of pancetta or smoked bacon, the pre soaked chickpeas and cover it all with some COLD stock or even water give it a stir with a wooden NOT metal spoon… Put on to boil and leave to cook for around 20 minutes, removing any scum that rises to the surface from time to time. Now you can add your spices:
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
2 teaspoons of callos spices (you can make your own by blending cumin, cayenne pepper and a little salt together)
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon of pimiento picante or chilli pepper
2 envelopes of saffron – powder or strands
Carry on boiling till the meat and the chickpeas are tender…it should all smell very aromatic by now..
Make a rostrido – in a frying pan with some good olive oil, gently fry some sliced garlic till golden brown (be extremely vigilant, it burns very easily). Take the the pan off the heat and allow to cool for a minute or 2 – then add a couple of teaspoons of SPANISH sweet paprika – this cooling off minute is important, if you don’t do it the paprika will burn (incidentally, stick to Spanish for this, it’s way better than the Hungarian variety).
Add this rostrido mixture to the pan of boiling chickpeas etc… At the same time also add to the big pan 3 or 4 chorizo sausages and leave them to cook slowly till the sauce begins to thicken. Also to aid thickening you can add some torn up bread (white, no crusts) to the sauce. Now you can salt to taste and add a little more chilli for an extra kick
Like i said before…make a big pot as callos in my opinion is way better, reheated a day after cooking when all the spices hav had time to develop and the sauce has become even richer…
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