Chorizo

What is it?

chorizo

  • a versatile store cupboard ingredient-great for budget cooking as it’s packed full of flavour!
  • it can be eaten thinly sliced as charcuterie or grilled, fried or cooked in a pot with other ingredients or served as a tapa.
  • Each region in Spain has its own recipe so there are many varieties of this distinctive  “red sausage” -with each region claiming they have the ultimate recipe!

What gives chorizo its characteristic look and flavour?

  • the unique combination of chopped pork, pimentón, garlic, herbs and spices .
  • its typical orangey-red colour comes from pimentón-another very Spanish ingredient.
  • depending on the type of pimentón used, the chorizo can taste smoked or unsmoked, mild or hot!

Buying and storage tips:

  • chorizo is a preserved meat product which has been “cured”-  a traditional salting process going back hundreds of years.
  • the level of “curing” creates different products from  the ready to eat variety which resembles salami sold on deli counters to the fresh or semi cured smaller and softer sausages used in cooking.
  • there are also  mini chorizos which  are great for tapas, called  “choriceros”
  • if properly stored, it will keep for several weeks as the meat is cured.
  • They do not need to be kept in the fridge but if you prefer to do so, do not cover in plastic as they as they do not react well to humidity.

knife&spatulaCooking tips: 

  • you can fry, sautée, grill, roast or add it to soups and  rustic stews.
  • its flavour goes with just about everything-potatoes, pasta, pulses,rice, beans, vegetables and meat.
  • chorizo has a high fat content so for a healthier option, fry chorizo in a hot pan without any oil. The heat will draw out the oil in the chorizo and you can use this to cook the rest of the dish without need for further oil.

chorizoPsst!  Do you know how to say chorizo like a true Spaniard?

  • in the UK the “z” in chorizo is often mispronounced making the z  sound like the hard “z” in pizza. But chorizo should be pronounced with the “z” sounding like a soft “th”- so next time you buy some, remember to say  “choritho” 🙂

 

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