Chorizo in Wine Sauce

Chorizo in Wine Sauce

In Spain, a tapas party or any gathering for that matter would not be complete without chorizo being present in someway, shape or form. Spaniards take their chorizo very seriously and many small towns across Spain boast to produce “the best chorizo in the country.” Many years ago I had the privilege to visit one those small towns (La Alberca, a quaint medieval town) where I was able to taste their local chorizo. Needless to say, it was amazing!

Chorizo: Spanish vs. Mexican. So, what’s the difference? Is it taste, texture, smell? Well… how about all of the above.  The word chorizo means sausage in Spanish. Pretty plain huh? Well, not really! Whether you choose the Mexican or the Spanish variety, they are both full of rich, robust flavors. So, let’s get back to those differences. The first and foremost difference lies in the fact that Spanish chorizo is cured,  Mexican chorizo is not. It is often found raw (rope form) or partially cooked in the form of links. Both varieties also vary in taste. Spanish chorizo is flavored mainly with paprika whereas Mexican chorizo’s derives its punch from chilies; its texture is also different. The Spanish variety tends to be firmer than its Mexican counterpart.  When working with it in rope form it is best to either cut it while it is still frozen, or cook it thoroughly, allow it to cool and then slice it. It will be a lot easier, trust me on this one!

Although this recipe is pretty unassuming, and perhaps a tad homely, if I may say so, it makes up for appearance in flavor.  Cooking the sausage twice and simmering it in the wine infuses the meat thoroughly. This is definitely the tapas dish you can make in the spur of the moment.  Sprinkle with parsley for added contrast. I usually like to serve this with slices of artisan bread and a wedge of  Manchego cheese.

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