Tripe and beans is one of those dishes that gives you the feeling that you’ve made something really special and no one can question it.
You see, this is one meal that some people will politely say no thanks to because not everyone who tries to make this Jamaican delicacy often succeeds. First of all the innards must be cleaned by experienced personnel…by that I mean your granny.
And, most people would rather pass on the few “delicate” and time-consuming steps that must be taken to properly prepare the tripe before cooking. Be that as it may, a good plate of this delicacy with spinners (small dumplings) on a weekday afternoon just as the sun is going down can’t be beat by anything in the Jamaican culinary roster.
The best dish is usually made with the fresh cow tripe, sometimes a day old. However, nowadays you don’t have to worry about the age of the cow’s tripe because everything is mixed up, cleaned, and placed in the refrigerator at the butcher’s shop for sale.
Even though we now use modern methods to pre-prepare the tripe, I still recommend washing it with vinegar or lemon juice before cooking…please take my advice.
Now frankly speaking, this dish is not the kind of food that Jamaicans advertise to the world that it is one of their delicacies. But instead, you’ll find all the other “accepted” foods in all their glory and pomposity making it to everybody’s table for acceptance…I sometimes wonder why. However, if you get that squeamish feeling about eating innards, as some of my compatriots do, please don’t knock it ‘till you try it. Seen? Yah Mon!
Of course you should wash it in a solution of vinegar and water and then remove it from the solution and discard the water. Alright, cut the tripe into small pieces… let’s say three to four inches or so. Don’t measure the pieces just estimate the sizes, that way you will get a feel for what you are cooking.
If you don’t have a pressure cooker you will spend a little longer trying to cook this meal.
Now add water and salt to the pressure cooker, and then add the tripe. Pressure it on a high heat for about a half an hour. Turn off the heat and wait five minutes before removing the pot from the stove.
Put the pot under the pipe in the kitchen sink and run the cold water over the top of the pot for another two minutes, this will cool the pot some more and reduce the pressure build up before removing the cover.
Pour everything out into a stock pot or dutchie. Use a fork to check the texture. If it is not soft enough, not to worry because you can now boil it further if needed.
Barring that, add the other ingredients to the pot with some spinners, except the thyme and black pepper, and cook the stew on medium heat for another ten minutes.
Taste the stew now. If everything seems alright, add the thyme and black pepper and then stir the pot. If not, add more black pepper or salt to taste. Reduce the heat some more to medium low and allow the stew to simmer. When ready, serve in a plate with white rice, or boiled ground provisions.
Yah Mon! (2 times)