We're crazy about the pairing of tripe and red, paprika-scented sausage
2 ounces dried chickpeas
2 pounds tripe, cleaned
3/4 pound fatty, boneless pork
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 pound onions, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine
28-ounce can plum tomatoes
1 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika
1/2 pound whole chorizo sausages
1. Cover the chickpeas with water and soak overnight.
2. Cut the tripe into strips approximately 3/4 inch wide and 2 inches long. Cut the pork into chunks a little smaller than dice. Salt and pepper well the tripe and pork, then toss them with the flour.
3. Place the olive oil over moderately high heat in a large, heavy stewpot. When it's hot, add the tripe and pork. Cook, stirring, until the meats are lightly browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, and stir to blend. Add the white wine, and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Crushing each tomato in your hand, add the canned tomatoes with their liquid. Add the paprika, and stir to blend. Drain the soaked chickpeas, and add them to the stew.
4. Reduce heat to very low. Make sure the meats are covered with liquid. Cook at a low simmer, checking occasionally to make sure the meats are always just submerged in liquid, for 4 1/2 hours (if the liquid level goes down, add a little water).
5. After the 41/2 hours of cooking, add the chorizos, submerging them in the liquid. Cook for 30 minutes more. Remove the chorizos, cut diagonally into broad, thin slices, and return chorizo slices to the stew. Season to taste and serve. (If you have a good Spanish paprika, you may want to sprinkle a little over each serving.)
It's hard to select our favorite tripe dish of the world: French gras double Lyon-style with white wine and onions; Italian tripe with tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano; Mexican tripe with posole; Turkish tripe soup with hot pepper oil (which is served all night in special Istanbul restaurants as a hangover cure). But the manifold tripe dishes of the Iberian peninsula may have the edge, for us -- particularly because we're crazy about the pairing of tripe and red, paprika-scented sausage. Serve this stew to your tripe-ambivalent friends on a wintry night, and watch their ambivalence disappear along with your stew. If you can, find a freshly packed, deep-tasting, spicy Spanish paprika (pimentÛn picante) for use in this dish. We sell a great one from the Alicante region called Carmencita, which is amazingly vivid in flavor, with a smoky dimension. Serves 4