Chorizo: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by schmoozer, Apr 1, 2010.

  1. schmoozer

    schmoozer

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    Yesterday I bought some chorizo sausage for the first time.  From the package information it was Mexican style.  I believe there's a Spanish style, and maybe some other types as well.  Since I bought the sausage to pill a dog, I didn't care much about taste or quality.  Actually, I bought it because it was the cheapest sausage in the meat case.

    However, I did fry up a small piece just to give it a taste.  It was incredibly greasy - there was a big puddle of grease in the skillet - and that allowed the meat, such as it was, to crisp up nicely.  But there's more to sausage than crispy meat.

    So, what should this chorizo novice look for in good chorizo?  Is it usually so greasy?  What meats and spices would be considered for a good quality, traditional chorizo?  What are the differences between Mexican, Spanish, and other types of chorizo?

    Thanks!
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Spanish chorizo is cured, hard sausage -- a lot like pepperoni.  Mexican chorizo is loose, fresh sausage. 

    Yes, it is and should be extremely fatty/greasy.  You control it by draining it to whatever degree you desire after cooking the fat out. 

    What should you look for?  A lot of cuts that would gross out "ordinary" North Americans like lips, spleens and all that good stuff.  Also heart-burn.  And atherosclerosis.  If you can't hear your arteries close audibly -- it's not good chorizo.

    BDL
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Mexican style is well known for pairing with eggs for breakfast. I'd think you could do a good home fry/hash brown with chorizo. I guess that makes it a hash but....

    I like to use it start my chili. Good flavor base, lots of color and the rendered grease does the job on the vegies when they get added.

    I need mexican chorizon thinned out with plenty of other filler (added vegies, rice, beans) or it disagrees with me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  4. gerdosh

    gerdosh

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    The different types of chorizos are simply spiced differently to acceptable flavor for locals. In general sausages and salamis have about 30% fat. Cheap ones can be much higher, even 50%. Buying cheap sausage is always a bad deal (same with bacon). More expensive ones are more economical than cheap ones. If packaged, read the label and figure out the percentage of fat per serving. Try not to go much over 30%.
     
  5. hungrystudent

    hungrystudent

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    My absolute favorite chorizo application is fried up with grated/shredded potatoes, some peppers (anaheim and jalapeno are good, but I'm pretty sure that no matter what you use it would turn out more-than-OK) and some over-easy eggs, all wrapped up in a tortilla with some salsa.  This breakfast burrito is by FAR the best way to start a long day - or to finish a long night!
     
  6. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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           Hi Schmoozer /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

       Yes, Mexican chorizo sure is greasy.  I would have to second (or third) the comment that Mexican chorizo goes well with breakfast.  Eggs, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs & chorizo in a tortilla with whatever toppings you like.  Yum yum!

       For Mexican chorizo your deli may make a good chorizo too.  You're always going to have grease, with Mexican chorizo, but one of my deli's does have better meat...and seasoning than the two other brands that are pre-made in the store.  You should give your grocery stores a check and see if they make it fresh too.

       Spanish chorizo (as stated above) is indeed an entirely different thing.  The Palacios chorizo is a hard, dry cured chorizo...this goes well in rice dishes.  I've also had a nice slicing chorizo, Cantimpalo style chorizo.  This was more like a traditional deli type meat, on the lines of salami (but different).  It's nice to just eat alone, on a sandwich or with a charcuterie plate.  



       Anyway you slice it...or cook it, you're sure to enjoy!

      
        yummy pimenton /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

      dan

        
     
  7. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Spanish chorizo also comes in two basic styles: hot and not. The hot will carry the word "picante" on the label.

    There's also a Portugese variation. It's also a dry, cured sasage, similar to the Spanish, but with different herbs/spices. I've no idea how it's really spelled, but they pronounce it "chareeze."
     
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Chourico.

    BDL
     
  9. michael valdez

    michael valdez

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    As others have described most chorizo is going to be greasy but can easily be drained after cooking, leave a little grease to cook with eggs.

    The thing to look for in a chorizo is that it's meaty instead of mealy after cooking. I mean some chorizo adds so much cereal that it's nothing but grease when you've finished cooking it. In the area I live a butcher in a nearby town has some of the best chorizo that I've ever had. It's meaty! The downside to that one though is the're hardly any seasonings. Chorizo has a very "spicy flavor" not necessarily hot just flavorful. In addition, due to the vinegar that is added to cure it will also have a slightly tangy flavor.     
     
  10. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    My question is this: I tend to treat Spanish style Chorizo(cured, not fresh) the same way I cook bacon. Which is placed in a cold pan and then gradually heated and crisped over a period of time. I would like to add it to pasta dishes, but I have a problem with too much grease once worked into the pasta. I do strain it on a paper towel after it's cooked, but I would like to use it in spaghetti dishes(with just basil and parm, not sauce).

    Anyone know of a solution for this?
     
  11. ordo

    ordo

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    Lucas: you can always boil the pierced chorizo first. Grease wil float. Also the punch of course.
     
  12. helloitslucas

    helloitslucas

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    Brilliance. Thank you, ordo! It's one of those things where you just say, "DUH!" to yourself! And I learn again. :)