I like to think the deep red colour of one of the World's best known sausages as a reflection of the lifeblood of the Iberian peoples and their colonies. Whether you are from Catalonia (xoriço), Portugal (chouriço), the Basque Country (txorizo) or even of Creole descent (chaurice); one can find a relation to the humble chorizo español...
The success of this sausage is down to one fact only, it is delicious! And as pointed out already, there are many varieties of chorizo (pronounced sho-ree-tho by the way), from dry-cured to fresh sausages in casings, sometimes containing the blood of the pig or not and most cultures have their own way of preparing and cooking or eating these sausages.
Me and R like to make our own variety of chorizo fresca, this is a fresh sausage mix that does not get put into casings, rather made, left to mingle and then cooked for use in dishes. A fresh chorizo is an easy thing to make, it packs a punch flavour-wise and transforms boring pork mince into something truly amazing! I will often make a batch of this at home and use it to flavour dishes throughout the week, it also freezes amazingly and can be made well in advance.
You will need:
500g Pork mince (containing at least 20% fat, ask your butcher to mince some extra backfat in with the mince)
10g Fennel Seed (toasted until fragrant)
15g Sweet Paprika
5g Hot Paprika
25g Tomato Puree
25ml Red Wine (preferably Spanish!!)
5g Smoked Chilli Paste (Ancho or Chipotle or sub for 2g Cayenne Pepper)
3g Chilli Flakes
20g Garlic (minced)
The key to this recipe (and most others) is to get your hands on the best that you can. For this one, good quality pork mince and good quality Spanish paprika will make for a truly great chorizo. Try not to be tempted to use that paprika you bought 5 years ago in the back of the cupboard, it will lack pungency and colour.
There aren't many complicated steps to this recipe you'll also be happy to know, place everything into a big mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands until the mince is a nice deep red colour with no pockets of unmixed spices. You may end up with red stained hands from the paprika but a little soap should sort this out, however feel free to wear gloves. You will want to heat up a frying pan with a little oil and test fry a piece of the sausage mix, it should not be too salty and should have a warming heat. Place the sausage mix in the fridge covered for 12-24 hours to let the flavours mingle and combine before using, always cook this fresh chorizo before consuming. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer it will keep for 3 months.