Tripe & Onions

Location: Wolverhampton
Era: 1940 onwards

“I can assure you that I never had tripe and onion, I have no idea what it tasted like, but it looked disgusting. It is intestine and my father loved it, so my mother had to cook it for him from time to time. You’d cook it with onions and then serve it in a ceramic jug. My father would then be banished to another room so he could enjoy his tripe and onions. You do occasionally see tripe in butchers still. My father was not at all particular about food so would eat whatever he was given. But there were obviously one or two things, maybe from his childhood, that he loved. I think it smelt foul, but that might be because it looked so foul and so I expected it to smell foul too.”
Vivien Small


  • 2kgs tripe
  • 3 medium onions
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of milk
  • Half a pack of butter
  • 150g plain flour
  • Parsley to serve


Prepare your tripe by slicing into strips and then boiling. Once boiled, drain off the liquid.

Put the tripe, milk, sliced onions and bay leaves into a large pan and cover with water, then boil for 4 hours.

Now you need to thicken the sauce. Melt your butter in a separate pan and then stir through the flour. Once combined, add in some of the tripe stock to create a thick sauce, add another lot of the stock. Now pour this mixture into the main tripe pan and continue the cooking until the sauce thickens. Serve with freshly chopped parsley from the garden.