Charcutepalooza November Challenge: Cured Spanish Chorizo

November’s charcutepalooza challenge was to cure a home-made sausage. This has been the most rewarding charcutepalooza challenge by far. I love Spanish chorizo, and never before did I dream that I’d be able to make it at home. The hardest part was waiting for the chorizo to cure in my curing chamber (read small wine fridge). By some miracle, the temperature was just right, the ventilation was just right, and the humidity was just right. The chorizo came out great.

I’ll be honest here: the best way to eat this chorizo is sliced thin atop a slice of Manchego. After all that work, cooking this chorizo seems like sacrilege. However, I had about 3 pounds after curing it, so I had plenty to use in different preparations.

I love lentils, and this dish is hearty, filling, and delicious.

Lentejas Estofadas con Chorizo
Serves 4-6
(adapted from La Buena Mesa)

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups Pardiña lentils (“Lentejas Pardiñas” are very similar to Puy lentils)
1 whole onion, peeled and cut in half
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 carrot, peeled and cut in 3 pieces
1 sprig parsley
3 leaves culantro (you can leave this out if it is not available)
1 bay leaf
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
¾ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 potatoes, peeled and cut in small pieces
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Procedure:
1. Place lentils, 2 onion halves, 2 whole garlic cloves, 3 pieces carrot, parsley, and bay leaf in a large pot and cover with water by two inches. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Check the lentils after 15 minutes, stir, and add more water if necessary.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, place the Spanish chorizo and cook until brown. The fat from the chorizo will render out. Remove the chorizo from the pan, and also remove most of the fat leaving about 2 tablespoons in the skillet. Add the chopped onion, chopped garlic, chopped carrot and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add in the tomato sauce, vinegar, and chorizo. Turn heat off and set aside.
4. Remove the onion, garlic, carrot, parsley, and bay leaf from the lentils. Add the mixture from the skillet, and the potatoes. Add water if necessary. Taste for seasoning, add just a bit of salt and pepper if necessary. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.

You can find the recipe for Spanish chorizo in our charcutepalooza bible, Charcuterie.

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