Chorizo is a name that describes several types of spiced pork sausage. Chorizo can be served fresh or as a dried and cured roll of sausage. It is common in several Philippine, Portuguese, Spanish and Mexican dishes. Each culture spices and serves the chorizo in a slightly different manner. Chorizo can serve as a substitute or addition to ground beef in several recipes. Additionally, chorizo can be eaten in a sandwich, barbecued, fried or sliced.
Spanish chorizo is a meat mixture made from chopped pork fat and coarse pork meat. Spanish chorizo is traditionally encased in the intestines of the pig rather than an artificial casing. The chopped meat is combined with salt, garlic, oregano and paprika. However, in some variations of Spanish chorizo, paprika is withheld from the recipe and replaced with ground black pepper. The meat is marinated in the seasonings for 24 to 48 hours before being stuffed into the sausage casing.
Portuguese chorizo is a combination of ground or chopped pork meat and fat. Like Spanish chorizo, Portuguese chorizo is still commonly stuffed into natural intestine casing. The meat is mixed with wine, paprika and salt before being stuffed into the casing and slowly smoked. Several flavors of Portuguese chorizo exist, as the type of wine, salt and paprika used varies in each recipe.
The most common type of Mexican chorizo is the uncooked variety made from fatty, inexpensive cuts of pork. Most Mexican chorizo is deep red in color from the ground, dried red peppers added to the meat. The meat is typically seasoned with tomatoes, cilantro, garlic and assorted chilies. The seasonings vary widely by region. While some Mexican chorizo is packed within an intestine casing, in most cases chorizo is stuffed in an inedible plastic coating. The plastic must then be but away to reveal the meat within before cooking.
Philippine chorizo is made from ground meat of varying quality and served in sausage form. Each region of the Philippines specializes in a different taste of chorizo. The most common seasonings are garlic, salt, relish and vinegar. Some Philippine chorizos are based on Chinese seasonings, such as red pepper, ginger and fish sauce as well. Philippine chorizo, unlike other chorizo, can be made with tuna, chicken and beef in addition to pork.
- "Chorizos In An Iron Skillet: Memories And Recipes From An American Basque Daughter"; Mary Ancho Davis; 2001
- "The Complete Sausage Cookbook: How to Make the World's Best Bologna, Salami, Frankfurters, Kielbasa, Mettwurst, Bratwurst and Chorizo"; Jack Sleight; 1995
- "Cooking Basics For Dummies"; Bryan Miller, Marie Rama and Eve Adamson; 2011
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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