How to Cook Beef Intestines

Beef intestines are used as casings for sausages, but quite often the intestines and the stomach, or tripe, are cooked for use in a number of dishes, such as menudo, trippa alla fiorentina, soups and stews. Cooking the intestines slowly produces a flavorful broth and a meat with a soft, chewy texture. Wrapping your mind around the idea of eating a cow’s intestines might take a bit of work, but once you can push past the mental picture of what you are about to ingest, the flavors produced by the tripe should banish the unpleasant images, allowing you to savor the dish.


Clean the beef intestines, or tripe, under cold running water. Flatten the tripe with your hand and cut it into 1-inch-square pieces with a sharp knife. Make sure you use a combination of honeycomb tripe and smooth blanket tripe from the cow.

Place the chopped tripe in a large stockpot filled with water. Place garlic cloves, peppercorns, thyme and bay leaves into a piece of cheesecloth. Tie the cheesecloth closed, creating a small bundle of spices.

Drop the bundle into the water. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming any foam that might rise to the top of the water with a serving spoon.

Turn the heat to low. Allow the pot to simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the tripe becomes tender.

Add canned hominy, salt, chopped cilantro and chopped green onions to the stock pot. Allow the tripe to cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the bundle of spices and serve.


Place whole beef intestines, or tripe, into a large stockpot. Cover the tripe with water, at least 2 inches above the tripe. Add vanilla and vinegar to the water.

Bring the tripe to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to low and simmer the tripe between 1 hour and 1-1/2 hours.

Drain the water from the tripe and allow it to cool. Use a sharp knife to slice the tripe into 1-inch pieces.

Heat olive oil on high in a large skillet. Add sliced red onions, chopped garlic and the sliced tripe to the hot oil. Saute the tripe in the skillet for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onions become translucent.

Add tomato sauce to the tripe. Bring the tripe and tomato sauce to boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer covered for about 30 minutes.