By Jennifer McLagan

This is a tripe dish inspired by two British food writers of different generations, Jane Grigson and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and it will win you over. If you are still a little hesitant, serve the tripe with cooked pasta. Choose a pasta shape that mimics the tripe pieces; that way the tripe will be less evident.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

3/4 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, or 2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed well and dried
1 pound tripe, blanched
2 tbsp beef dripping or lard
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large sprig thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
Strip of lemon zest
1/2 tsp chile flakes
1 28-ounce /796 mL can San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup beef stock
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 ounces hot or sweet chorizo
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Drain the soaked chickpeas and place in a saucepan; if you are using canned chickpeas, skip to the next paragraph. Cover with 1 inch of cold water, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Skim, lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked. Drain well.

Spread the chickpeas on a paper towel–lined baking sheet and then place them, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before frying, so they crisp up better in the pan.

Cut the tripe into ½- by 3-inch strips; set aside. In a heavy flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, melt the dripping over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and begin to color, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, lemon zest and chile flakes, and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Pour in the tomatoes with all their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the sauce bubbles gently and cook, stirring from time to time, until the sauce becomes very thick. As it thickens, it will splutter, so use a splatter screen or leave a wooden spoon in the sauce; it helps to limit the spluttering.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Pour the stock into the pot, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and season with pepper. Stir in the tripe to coat with the sauce and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and cook for about 2 hours or until the tripe is very tender. Check the tripe after 1 hour, as it may cook faster. Remove and discard the thyme, bay leaf and lemon zest.

Place a large frying pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and when hot add the chickpeas and cook until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the chorizo into ¼-inch slices. Add the chorizo and red pepper to the pan and continue to cook until the chickpeas are crunchy and the red pepper has softened slightly. Stir the chickpea mixture into the cooked tripe, check the seasoning, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Recipe from: Odd Bits by Jennifer McLagan. ©2011 Jennifer McLagan. All rights reserved. Published in Canada by Harper-Collins Publishers Ltd. Reprinted with the permission of the pubisher.