Calf’s tripe soup | Mutton hotch-potch

On 14 October, in conformity with the Christian church calendar, the Reverend Saint Paraskeva’s (Petka’s) Day is celebrated. By a century-old tradition the village bull was slaughtered as sacrifice on this day. In certain Bulgarian regions a black sheep was stuck on this occasion. Everbody gathered in the village square, bringing along bread and a wooden vessel of red wine. Each family took home a portion of the boiled sacrificial meat, and the festive meal started after the table had been censed by the priest.

In addition to the sacrificial broth, the women cooked veal or mutton as a main course. This particular broth is a meat soup with vegetables and spices prepared by each housewife according to her own taste and recipe.

Perhaps of greater interest will be the calf’s tripe soup prepared in the Sofia region.

  • 1 calf’s tripe
  • 1 spoonful of fresh milk or yoghourt for thickening
  • salt
  • red pepper
  • ground pepper
  • a clove of garlic
    Clean the tripe well by scrubbing it with a sharp knife and wash it thoroughly under running water.

    To preserve the nutritious properties of the tripe, you should put the whole piece in boiling water. Let it be stewed very well. Take out the tripe and seive the bouillon.

    Put the tripe, cut in small pieces, back in the soup.

    Thicken with the milk and add salt and red pepper to your liking. Serve the soup hot, offering a mixture of vinegar, salt and crushed garlic for seasoning. Another spice to this dish is ground pepper.

    Do not serve the tripe soup to individuals with sensitive stomachs, even if they are real belly-worshippers. The spices in this dish are too strong and difficult to assimilate.

    Mutton hotch-potch may be served as a main course on Petkovden. Hotch-potch is a Bulgarian specialty prepared with a great number of various vegetables and baked on oven, a dish suitable for any taste and season.

    • 1 kg of mutton
    • 2 onions
    • 1 teacupful of grease
    • 400 g potatoes
    • 300 g vegetable marrows
    • 400 g French beans
    • 200 g eggplants
    • 250 g peppers
    • 200 g okra
    • 1 bunch of parsley
    • 2 teaspoonfuls of red pepper
    • salt to one’s taste
    • pepper
    Cut the mutton into portions.

    Add salt and pepper. Put it in water to boil together with the onions in a small quantity of water.

    When the water evaporates, add the grease. Stew the meat well and then transfer it into an earthen dish.

    Add the potatoes, peeled and sliced, the sliced marrows, the French beans, cut and stewed beforehand, the cubed eggplants, the chopped peppers and the okra. Sprinkle all these ingredients with the minced parsley, the red pepper, add salt and mix well. Roast it on a moderate oven.

    If you wish, before taking it out of the oven, you can make a paste cover of 4 well-beaten eggs. In this case, bake the dish till the cover reddens.

    The hotch-potch is served in the earthen dish in which it has been cooked.

1. Mantov, Dimiter. Folk Dishes. Svetulka 44 Publishing House, Sofia, 1998.
2. Cholcheva, P., Ts. Kalaydzhieva. Contemporary Domestic Cookery. Tehnika Publishing House, 1975.

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