Keep it simple, make it tasty
I love chorizo.
It’s all those smoky, tangy flavours and rich red colour.
Like most sausages it’s made from minced seasoned pork. But what makes chorizo so special is the pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika, made from ground peppers that have been smoked).
Pimentón was first introduced to Spain from the America’s. The conquistadors took it back to Spain where it was quickly put to good use. Especially for the process of curing meat. Food that helped get families through the cold winters.
There are basically two types of chorizo…. Chorizo you cook. And chorizo you don’t cook.
Chorizo you need to cook
It’s soft and squidgy. Best stored in the freezer but you can keep it in the fridge for a short time. You don’t eat it till it’s cooked.
Picadillo a bit like Mexican chorizo. Loose ground meat that hasn’t been cured. Fry it like mince or use it to add flavour to other dishes. Take care you don’t over cook it and burn it.
Fresco (fresh) same as picadillo. But it’s in a casing and you cook it like a raw sausage.
Semicurado (semi-cured) this one’s a bit of a hybrid. It’s been cured and fermented but not dried. It comes smoked or unsmoked. You cook it like a regular sausage.
Chorizo you don’t need to cook
This is the one you see hanging up. Slice it and eat it as it is. Dry and firm it isn’t the best for cooking. Too high a heat and the flavour changes… especially if fried.
It doesn’t need to go in the fridge, but you can if you wrap it with kitchen towel. It’s best stored in a dry place below 8°C for up to a year. Older it is, better it tastes. And if you see any mould just wipe it off Never freeze it.
Curado (cured) cured and fermented then dried.
An interesting little nugget of information I came across while diving into a chorizo-internet-rabbit-hole was this…
Apparently the Spanish King Charles IV was out hunting one day and his hunger caught up with him. He came across a local chorizo-maker, José Rico who had a load of dry-meat sausages and he tucked in.
The king loved them so he named José Rico his own royal chorizo provider!
Not only that, one day, King Charles IV commissioned a portrait of José Rico and his chorizos…
Know any other interesting chorizo facts? Have a great recipe using chorizo? Drop me a line or leave a comment, below…
Chorizo and Cabbage Salad
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cut the core out and shred red cabbage (or if you can't find any red, then white is fine)
- 150 g diced peeled chorizo
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 crushed cut garlic
- big pinch of freshly chopped parsley
- pinch of freshly chopped tarragon (or dried)
- good squeeze of a lemon
- Over a medium heat, add the shredded cabbage and fry until soft
- Add the chorizo, stirring for approx 3 minutes or until the lovely chorizo starts to cook and it's oils start to ooze out. Then remove and let cool
- Make your dressing in a large bowl and when everything has cooled, add the cabbage and chorizo, toss and serve