You can find so many recipes containing chorizo in ingredients, but what exactly is it? What is chorizo made of and how to use it?
WHAT IS THIS?
Chorizo is a highly spiced pork sausage, very popular in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. It is the basis of many dishes in Spain and Mexico!
I mainly use Spanish chorizo in my recipes. However, you should know that there are two varieties of this sausage.
- fully cooked or partially matured: Spanish version
- raw and fresh: the Mexican version
Spanish chorizo is a cured or hard sausage made from coarsely chopped pork. The red color of Spanish chorizo is due to the high amount of paprika in the spice mix. Depending on the type of pepper used, Spanish chorizo can be spicy or sweet. The peppers used in Spanish chorizo are almost always smoked, giving the sausage a deep, smoky flavor. Other ingredients include herbs, garlic, and white wine.
Since the sausage has been cured, meaning it has aged for several weeks, it can be eaten without cooking and is often served sliced as part of a side dish / snack or tapas assortment. Spanish chorizo is also used to add flavor to cooked foods such as stews and paella . In general, the more fatty Spanish chorizos are used for cooking, while the leaner chorizos are cut and eaten without cooking. In both cases, the casings are edible.
WHAT IS MEXICAN CHORIZO MADE OF?
Mexican chorizo is a very fatty and spicy sausage, usually made from minced pork. However, it is also prepared with ground beef, chicken, game or turkey. Sometimes you can also find vegetarian and vegan versions made of tofu or soy!
The most popular type of Mexican chorizo has a distinct red tinge due to the spices (paprika) used in its preparation. What spices can we find there? These are e.g.
- Chilean Peppers – Guajillo or ancho chiles are the most common
There is also a green variety. As you might guess, it contains green tomatoes and coriander.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SPANISH AND MEXICAN CHORIZO?
Spanish and Mexican chorizo are two very different things and are not interchangeable in recipes.
the mexican chorizo is fresh and uncooked
You can find them loose like any other minced meat or in a casing like regular sausage. However, the casing is not edible and should be removed before cooking. (It is hard to find in Poland, or I have never met with it)
Mexican chorizo can be cooked on its own or with other ingredients such as pepper, onion, rice and more.
Spanish chorizo is dried and cured.
You’ll find cold cuts prepared in this way at the grocery store, i.e. pepperoni and salami. The casing is edible and does not need to be cooked. Thanks to this, it can also be added to soups and stews. It is also very popular on plates as tapas.
Spanish chorizo comes in smoked and non-smoked varieties, ranging from mild to very spicy. Always includes smoked paprika.
I regret the fact that it is hard to get Mexican Chorizo anywhere, so I enjoy the taste of Spanish. If anyone has information where I can find Mexican, I will be happy to find out