Yorkshire Recipes

Main Meals

Tripe and Onions

Tripe and onions – you’ll love it, or hate it. It’s a Marmite taste, but plenty of Yorkshire folk still eat this.  And once upon a cob-webbed time, most Yorkshire markets had a tripe stall where you could eat a plate of dressed tripe drenched in vinegar and salt.

Tripe is the lining of a cow’s stomach, but don’t let that put you off, as you’ll most likely buy it’ ‘dressed’, that is, washed, bleached, cooked and ready to rock ‘n roll from the butcher.  And being low in calories and high in protein, it’s offally good for you, too.

Eaten with onions, it’s – let’s say – an ‘acquired taste’, but one that’s worth trying, at least (and maybe only) once in your life.  Here’s an old Yorkshire recipe, enough for four people.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (900g) dressed tripe
  • 1 lb (450g) sliced onions
  • 1 oz (28g) butter
  • 1 oz (28g) flour
  • 300 ml (½ pint) each of milk and water
  • 2 tablespoons grated cheese
  • Seasoning

Method

  1. Cut the tripe into bit-size pieces and put in a saucepan with the onions, milk and water
  2. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the tripe is tender
  3. Mix the butter and flour together and, when all the flour is absorbed by the butter, break into small pieces and put into the tripe, stirring all the time until the liquid thickens
  4. Transfer the mix to an ovenproof dish and bake in a hot oven for 30 minutes
  5. Sprinkle cheese over the top and brown this, either in the oven, or under a hot grill.

 

Source: Theodora Fitzgibbon.  A Taste of Yorkshire (1979).  p.72. Pan Books, London. ISBN 0330257137.

15 Responses to Tripe and Onions

  • Bill Power

    A traditional Irish dish too. I cook it exactly as suggested here, but without the cheese. I like it with a couple of grilled pork sausages, and fresh sourdough bread with plenty of salted butter on the side.
    Some of us older Irish Times readers remember Theodora’s weekly column – she had a tendency to omit the odd ingredient from recipes from time to time.

  • Derek Stocks

    Lovely! Used to eat tripe as a lad at my grandmas in Sheffield, then growing up in Rotherham – used to get it from the Tripe Shop in Wellgate next to Sugg Sports

    Saw some in Morrison’s supermarket today – 28 December 2020, and bought a pack.

    I know what one having for tea tomorrow night

    • Catherine

      Exactly the same – found in Morrison’s after hunting in London for 20y!
      On the hob now.

      • Anita Chowdry

        Try the Halal butchers in Stroud Green Road near Finsbury Park, or Dalston Market. They cater for Turkish and Afro Caribbean cooks, and you can always buy fabulous honeycomb tripe here, very cheaply.

    • Lillian Robinson

      I make tripe and onion soup all the time l love it, thank God for Morrison’s It’s the only place round here I can buy it.

    • Peter Godfrey

      I grew up in Sheffield with Grandma and Grandad in Meersbrook. During T’war.

      I recall buying tripe from butchers in the bombed church on Valley Road. Great with Salt and Vinegar. Oh how I wish had enough teeth now. 🙂

      Also memories of The Shambles in Castle Market. Piklets and oat cakes and little dishes of cockles and whelks again in plenty of salt and vinegar

      Thank you for the memory jolt

    • Ste

      Hello fellow rotherhamer I last had tripe when I was a kid at my grandmas in Thrybergh. I can recall eating it although unable to remember what it tasted like. Can you have it with Vinegar and black pepper?

  • Andrew Waterhouse

    I spotted it in Morrisons in London too.
    Just about to cook it.
    Loved it in London as a child in the 50s and 60s. Ordinary butchers used to sell it then.
    Also got some about a year ago from the market in Doncaster

  • Richard Spence

    My mum would cook it ,under duress, for us. Her understanding was it had no nutritional value Today they claim it is a superfood? Go figure! Hers was with onions in what seemed to be a béchamel sauce.  when I was about 12 we visited Manchester and I found a place called UCP cafeterias.  Plates of it brimming with flavor and no complaints from mum. I suspect the labor intensive process back in the 50s put her off. Like 12 hrs of simmering etc. Still love it that way but my wife who is South African likes it curried. Ya can’t please all te people all the time!

  • colin

    Finding where to buy tripe can be hard.
    My local butcher in Manchester keeps it in the back, but not on display, and he will bring it out to sell it, if asked.
    My local butcher a few years ago in Bicester, Oxfordshire, didn’t have any, and blamed EU rules for not being able to sell it. That must be bunkum, because one could buy tripe everywhere throughout the EU countries.

  • Eve

    I made this recently for a 95 year old client who had a yearning for tripe and onions. He ate most of it but said he didn’t like the cheese and where were the onions? It waxed the first time I’d cooked it. I was expecting an awful smell when cooking it and had 3 fans going but cooking in milk dampened the smell a lot. It was tender but the texture put me off. I’m not a fan of boiled onions but you couldn’t taste that boiled onions taste. It tasted like a savoury white sauce. My husband’s mum would make it once a week in Rhodesia. He loved it. I think a lot of these traditional meals were ‘economy’ meals so the ingredients are very simple and we’re cheap.

  • Elspeth Dornan

    I’m in Scotland and can hardly get tripe except for Morrisons who sometimes stock it but hey it every time in Chinese supermarkets , mostly frozen so it can be kept until I fancy it – my dad loved it and we had a big bowl each with bread n butter

  • Bill

    I’m an ex-pat Brit living in small town Alberta, Canada.  Like some commentators I grew up in wartime England and remember in the years after, my mother feeding us tripe and onions occasionally. It was just the two of us and money was very tight.  Tripe was an inexpensive option for a nourishing meal.
    I spotted some frozen honeycomb tripe at the local supermarket and grabbed a small pack.  I haven’t seen tripe here in forty years!  My late wife despised the stuff so it has never been a part of my diet for a long, long time.  It used to be cheap but not now!  Today, I paid $15.85 a kg.  That’s about ten pounds sterling.  Does that seem expensive?
    Thanks for the recipe, I’m looking forward to supper tomorrow!

  • David Procter

    My great-grandmother owned and operated a tripe shop in Clayton-le-Moors near Accrington from 1900 to 1949.

    “Knight’s Tripe Shop”
    158 Whalley Road
    Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire

    Items sold:

    TRIPE:
    Fatty Seam
    Honeycomb (put vinegar in every hole, please)
    Ladies Tripe (Cow’s uterus)
    Elder (Cow’s udder)

    COW’S HEELS
    SHEEP TROTTERS (delicious from all accounts)
    SHEEP’S BRAINS (Boiled and eaten, tasty gravy)
    PIG’S FEET (Trotters)
    BLACK PUDDING
    POLONY (Know it was a stuffed casing, but that’s all)

    There was a small eating place in the back which consisted of a table and a bench with salt, pepper and MALT vinegar available.

    Grandma did a booming business during WW2 as meat was largely unavailable.

  • Denis Hutchinson

    I am also an expat from Yorkshire, Doncaster, we used to have tripe and onions regularly but I seem to remember that my mum just boiled the tripe and onions in milk in a large pan. Never had that in 50 yrs..
    I also remember going to the butchers for a couple of pounds of sparib, which was cooked all day in the coal heated oven and served with chips floating in the gravy, the bones were even soft enough to eat, delicious…. For years I have tried to figure out what sparib was, I just recently found it was spare rib so I decided to buy some. Local butcher had SIX small pieces for $35….. it used to be a cheap satisfying meal..

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