In Greek: πατσάς, say: paht-SAHS
Patsas, which came to Greece from Turkey in the 1920s, is tripe soup, and considered a classic winter hangover cure. Often made with hooves as well as tripe, this recipe uses only tripe. Some add egg-lemon sauce (avgolemono) and others add skorthostoubi (garlic crushed in vinegar), but I prefer this version with garlic, tomatoes, cinnamon, and cloves. If hot is your preference, add red pepper flakes to taste.
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds of honeycomb tripe (beef)
- 2-3 lemons
- sea salt
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 3/4 pound of onions, cut in chunks
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of tomato paste
- 1/4 cup of red wine
- 3/4 pounds of cherry tomatoes, finely chopped (or 1 pound of ripe large tomatoes)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 sticks of cinnamon (break the whole stick in half as well)
- 3-4 whole cloves
- freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt
- red pepper flakes (optional)
Wash the tripe well, and rub all over with sea salt and lemons. Let sit for at least one hour with the salt and lemon rub.
Bring 1 to 2 gallons of water to a boil and dunk tripe to rinse. Discard water. Cut tripe into small squares or rectangles.
In a soup pot, preheat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, sauté onions, garlic, and the tripe.
Dilute the tomato paste with the red wine and stir until completely blended.
Add fresh tomatoes to the pot, the tomato paste and wine, and enough water to cover. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat to a simmer (slow boil).
Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper to taste. Simmer for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, adding more (boiling) water as the soup reduces.
Cooking time will depend on the tripe and the soup:
- Tripe is done when it pulls apart easily.
- The soup should be nice and thick (not as thick as a stew, but not watery).
10 minutes before cooking time is up, add sea salt to taste.
Serve with red pepper flakes on the side for those who like it hot.
Yield: serves 4-6