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Brindisa - Picante Chorizo

By: Brindisa

The second SOTW outing for Brindisa is the hot cooking chorizo which is A) one of the best pound for pound sausages you can buy (as in boxing) and B) widely available.

Brindisa are Spanish food specialists, they have a website selling by mail order, a stall selling food and the famous Chorizo sandwich, at Borough marketand a shop at Exmouth market in Clerkenwell.

Non cockneys fear not, they have a wide distribution throughout the country. I have recently seen Brindisa Chorizo for sale at Arcimboldo''s in Harrogate and The Real Eating Company in Hove.

The Chorizo Picante is a raw, semi cured sausage made with 115g of meat for every 100g in the finished product. The sausage is made and then dried - hence the weight loss. In order to make chorizo lean and fat pork is chopped and mixed with seasonings such as garlic, paprika, salt and herbs, wine is often added. This mixture is then stuffed into sausage skins and left to dry. Depending on the salt content and the drying time you can make a fresh, semi cured sausage (as here)or a dried salami type chorizo.

Paprika is the key ingredient, adding the all important colour plus a smoky taste and heat. Good Spanish shops will sell several different types of paprika (which the Spanish call Pimenton). Hot pimenton is called Picante, and mild Dulce. The smoked pimenton is often used in recipes, this is made by drying peppers over a wood fire for 2 weeks, removing the stalk and then slowly milling the peppers into a fine powder. This is then sold in small tins and can keep for upto 2 years. A good pinch of fresh pimenton can perk up a dish made with a flacid supermarket chorizo and is a useful store cupbouard standby.

A good chorizo is a little time bomb of taste and flavour. Each Brindisa chorizo weighs around 75g or 3 ounces, not much but each sausage could flavour a pot of beans and vegetables to feed a hungry family. You can use them in many ways - as the flavouring to a stew, grilled for a sandwich, sliced and fried for tapas, roasted in red wine or in one of our many chorizo recipes - we like chorizo so much they have a separate recipe section!

When they cook they will release a fair amount of fat and lots of colour. Don''t eat these wearing your best white shirt!

They cost around 5 for 500g but as they score a 9 on our scoring system and are guaranteed to turn you into a tapas master we think that this is a price worth paying.

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