Romanian Beef Tripe Soup | Ciorba de Burta

This post presents a delicious and fairly unique authentic soup from my home country Romania. Informally, we call this "the queen of soups", and it is considered a rare delicacy. It is sweet, sour and garlicky, with many other subtle flavors that blend together under the surface. The soup is so simple that many of these aromas are magical: the guests are left wondering where they all come from when the dish seems to only have water, tripe, and a couple of vegetables. The obvious answer is that all these mysterious flavors come from the chef's artful technique, which is the explanation I usually go with. Serve hot with a pickled hot pepper, and it will provide an unforgettable experience for you and your guests.



Ingredients:
 - Two pounds of beef bones (optionally with a bit of meat). I prefer beef shanks or short ribs
 - Six pounds of beef trip (honeycomb)
 - One celery root (peeled, whole)
 - Two parsnips (peeled, whole)
 - Two squash (peeled, whole)
 - Three yellow onions (peeled, whole)
 - Four carrots (peeled, whole)
 - 20 ounces of sour cream
 - Six egg yolks
 - Three heads of garlic (peeled)
 - Half a pound of pickled paprika or peppers (cut into stripes)
 - Five bay leaves


Preparation:
 - Cut the honeycomb tripe into strips. it's a fairly tedious process, so start early and see it to completion.
 - Boil the beef bones in about 2 gallons of water for an hour hour (or until any meat easily falls off the bone). Remove the froth regularly to keep the broth clear. When done, add the celery root, parsnips, onions, and carrots, and boil for another 45 minutes (or until you can easily pierce them with a fork).
 - Remove all bones from the broth, and discard them.  - Remove all vegetables from the broth. Save one carrot separately. You can use all others (minus that one carrot) separately for a boeuf salad, for example.
 - Add the tripe strips and boil for another hour (remove the froth regularly to keep the broth clear).
 - Separately, mix 20 oz sour cream with 6 egg yolks. Scoop one cup of hot broth and mix with the sour cream. Repeat this a few times until the temperature of the sour cream rises. Poor over the broth and mix thoroughly.
 - Mash the three heads of peeled garlic, and add to the soup
 - Finely mash the saved carrot, and add to the soup. This adds a beautiful orange tint to the soup.
 - Add the pickled pepper stripes and mix.
 - Stop the oven and set aside.
 - Serve hot, accompanied by slices of bread. You should also have some salt, pepper, vinegar, and garlic sauce ready for use.


Presentation:
 - The best presentation involves both color and texture. The honeycomb tripe has such a brilliant pattern, and you should try to stack a few pieces in the middle of the plate such that some of them show over the surface.
 - As for color, the pickled peppers tend to rise to the top, adding some beautiful red accents. This nicely complements the yellow and orange color of the soup.
 - Feel free to sprinkle some flakes of fresh parsley for a hint of green.

3 comments:

  1. i don't like beef but this dish is looking yummy and not look beef material

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  2. I'm a new reader your blog, I visit today and I think this site have a lot of awesome articles... I will study according to some your recipes and make it for my small family :D
    Thank you for sharing....

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Monica. Please let me know how the recipes turned out. :)

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