(Tripe, Madrid Style)
Tripe is especially favored in Spain and, in fact, most countries where there is still a strong Spanish influence. This isn't surprising, because it makes a number of very different, but extremely tasty dishes. It requires long cooking times (less here because it is almost always cleaned and partially precooked when you buy it), but it keeps very well for days, in the refrigerator, and is even better when reheated than when first prepared. Since it's difficult to buy half a pig's foot or half a veal knuckle, this recipe makes enough for 4 - 6 servings as a main course. Make a full recipe a day or two ahead of time, serve as many tapas as needed, then enjoy the rest as a main course or snacks. This can be reheated very nicely in the microwave, by the way.
To serve 4 - 6 as a main course, or make 12 - 18 tapas:
Rinse the tripe well, then put it into a rather large kettle and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then drain immediately. Cut the tripe into 1 1/2-inch squares and return it to the empty kettle. Add 3 cups cold water and the wine, tomato, pig's foot or veal knuckle, parsley, peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg, bay leaves, thyme, salt to taste, coarsely chopped onion and the garlic. Cover and simmer over low heat for 4 to 5 hours, until the tripe is almost tender.
Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the finely chopped onion until it is wilted. Add the chorizo and ham and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and paprika and cook 1 minute more. Add 1/2 cup of the liquid from the tripe kettle, a little at a time, and cook-stir until the mixture thickens.
Add this and the chile to the tripe. Cover and cook 1 - 2 hours more. Remove the cover and continue cooking until the tripe is very tender.
Remove the pig's foot or veal knuckle from the tripe. Remove and discard all skin, bone and fat. Cut the meat into pieces and stir into the tripe.
Serve in warmed bowls or shallow individual tapa-size dishes. Serve with good crusty bread for sopping up the sauce.