horizo sausage is a perfect marriage of Old World curing ingenuity and New World ingredients. The Spanish-style pork sausage relies on chile pepper for its flavor and distinctive red color. Get linked-in with our chorizo sausage primer which includes ideas for cooking and enjoying it.
When Spanish explorers returned from the Americas with the chile pepper, from which pimentón (better known as paprika) is made, it was discovered that adding it to sausages helped to preserve them and also improved their flavor. Which is why pimentón is a basic ingredient for making chorizo, giving the sausage its distinctive red coloring and flavor. The Spanish, in a reciprocal culinary gift, introduced the pig to the New World, and Mexico still makes its own version of fresh chorizo as a result of this cultural exchange.
Chorizo can refer to either fresh sausage, which should be cooked before consumption, or a smoked and cured sausage that is fully-cooked and ready-to-eat. The spices will vary; some use sweet paprika and others hot paprika. Traditionally, the sausage is encased in natural intestines, though many are now made with artificial casings.
D’Artagnan chorizo is a Spanish-style smoked sausage made with humanely-raised pork and traditional Iberian spices. It is of the smoked and cured variety; it’s fully cooked, so it can be grilled until a little charred, and served in hefty chunks with bread, like hot dogs. Our chorizo is coarsely ground with a firm texture and natural casing that has a delightful “snap” when crisped. And pimentón gives the chorizo its carmine hue and fiery character, while natural wood smoke mellows the spice.
Just a Few Ideas for Cooking with D’Artagnan Chorizo Sausage
- Top-notch Tapas… Sliced chorizo is a traditional tapas plate. You can bring out the flavor by pan-frying the links with a little sherry vinegar before slicing or stuffing chunks of sausage into jarred sweet red peppers, like piquillos.
- Bubbling Brew… Chorizo holds up well when simmered in flavorful liquid. Chorizo stewed in Spanish red wine is delicious and traditional but cooking the sausage in apple cider is just as tasty and adds a mellow sweetness that pairs well with the smoky, spice. Serve the stewed links with rice or potatoes as a hearty dinner.
- Tortilla Espagnola… Spanish tortillas are delicious and satisfying any time of day. Cook starchy potatoes, chorizo and onion in a cast-iron skillet with olive oil until soft then add whisked eggs and finish in the oven. Serve for breakfast or brunch as-is or with a green salad for lunch or light supper.
- Charred and Sliced… Fire-grilling chorizo adds “snap” and layered smoky flavor. Grill until charred and crisp then slice for an easy appetizer.
- Make Seafood Sing… Chorizo adds fire & spice to your favorite fish and shellfish recipes. “Scale” firm white fish, like cod or halibut, by covering with slightly overlapping, paper-thin slices of chorizo before pan-roasting. Add diced chorizo to steamed mussels or clams for smoky broth with a piquant hit.
- Super Skewers… Thread chunks of chorizo onto bamboo skewers with shrimp, pork or chicken then grill for a quick and tasty summer meal.
- Spanish Breakfast… Chorizo is delicious with eggs. Pan-fry cubes of potato with bell peppers, onion and diced chorizo then top with a soft poached egg for a hearty Rioja-style hash.
- Feast for the Senses… Chorizo is a must-have for Spanish paella, the heavenly mélange of chicken, sausage, shellfish and saffron scented rice.
- Satisfying Soups… Hearty chorizo-studded soups and stews are the perfect antidote to winter's chill. Although traditionally used in Galician bean soup and Portuguese caldo verde, hunks of chorizo are wonderful added to many different kinds of soup – from corn chowder to lentil, split pea to red pepper bisque.
Storage & Use
Our Chorizo Sausage is sold fresh, fully-cooked and ready-to-serve, with or without heating. Keep covered in the refrigerator until ready to use or freeze before the date printed on the package. When frozen in airtight packaging, chorizo will keep in the freezer for several months. Chorizo can be kept whole, sliced or diced. Whichever way you slice it, chorizo is a spicy addition to any meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner.