The Mexican Beef Chanfaina (Chanfaina mexicana de res)

This dish is actually quite old… historians attribute the origin of this dish to the feudal period of Spain, when a lord would summon his shepherd to go slaughter a lamb for him to prepare it to eat, roasted in the traditional way. The butcher would give the "noble parts" of the animal to the lord, after removing the bowels and offal. Then, with these “less noble parts" of lamb, a traditional chanfaina would be prepared, in the same way we know today; today of course this dish from Spain has become quite prized for its unique taste, and is today enjoyed in Mexico as well.

I am sure not everybody will agree with this recipe because of its ingredients, but for a taste of working class cuisine from the 19th century, the delicious mexican Chanfaina is something to try…

Recipe for Chanfaina:


* 1 lb. liver of beef
* 1 lb. of assorted beef offal: heart, spleen and kidney
* 2 lb. beef tripe
* 4 ripe red tomatoes
* 3 cloves of garlic
* 1 medium onion
* 1/4 teaspoon oregano
* 1 sprig of thyme
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 5 tablespoons oil
* Beef broth
* 1 bay leaf
* 6 cloves
* 8 or 10 Castilla peppercorns (black pepper)
* 1 cinnamon stick


1) Slice the offal in small cubes; thoroughly wash the tripe (clean tripe should never have an unpleasant smell). Fry the liver with the heart, spleen and kidney in a skillet, separately from the tripe.

2) Slice the tripe in short strips; simmer in just enough water to cover with some beef stock, in a covered pot, for about 3 hours, or until tender. Discard the water.

3) Slice the rest of the offal and reserve.

4) Liquefy the tomatoes with the garlic, onion, oregano, thyme and vinegar. Drain and fry with hot oil in a pot. Add chopped offal and cooked tripe, bay leaf and salt. Wrap the cloves, pepper and cinnamon stick in cheesecloth and put this in the preparation.

Simmer with all ingredients combined for 15 minutes, remove from stove, take cheesecloth out and serve with rice; your mexican chanfaina is ready…

a hot pepper

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