The most famous Spanish sausage is traditionally made on the third day of the Matanza. Preparation begins though as early as August, with the drying of sweet red peppers which can be seen hanging from terraces all over Andalucia.
There are two main types of chorizo “picante” or spicy and “dulce”, sweet. Both types of chorizo are widely used in many Spanish dishes and of course make for an authentic Spanish tapas dish.
The recipe below explains how families make their own years supply of chorizo during the matanza period.
14 kilos lean pork
2 bulbs garlic
Dry red peppers (about 20)
Cayenne pepper, for the chorizo picante (4 ounces minimum) or Sweet paprika for the sweet version (as much as 1lb is used)
Small pig’s intestines or false sausage skins
1. The peppers are prepared in advance, by cooking gently in water to soften. The seeds are discarded and they are chopped.
2. The pork is minced but not too finely.
3. The garlic is then peeled and crushed.
4. In a large bowl, the mince, garlic and peppers are mixed well and the spices added. (Cayenne pepper for the spicy version and Paprika for the sweet chorizo)
5. The ingredients are mixed again, usually by hand until they are properly blended together and the mixture becomes a lovely rich red colour.
6. Using the traditional “atacador” or sausage making machine, the cleaned small intestines are filled with this mixture and tied off at about 10cm intervals.
7. The finished chorizos are then hung in a cool dry place to cure until they are ready to be eaten.
Chorizo that have not fully cured are used in cooking and although the “dryer” chorizo can be used in recipes, they make a delicious tapas dish.