Brazilian cuisine has some of the most unique foods as well as cooking methods in the world. One of those foods is chorizo, or spelt more specifically, in Portuguese: chourico, with the ‘c’ given an ‘s’ sound.
Chorizo plays a strong role in Brazilian cuisine, thanks to the heavy influence of the Portuguese bringing their chourico, and the recipes for such, to South America. There are many ways to make chorizo, but one of the more common ways you’ll find in Brazil is smoked and/or cured chorizo, the latter of which means you’d be able to eat it cold, sliced thinly on a sandwich, rather than having to cook it first. If it’s simply smoked, you will still have to cook it
This said, Brazilian chorizo plays a role in a lot of their hot dishes as well, one of them being the ever-famous feijoada, their national dish consisting of beans and meat.
Just How Is Chorizo Made?
It would seem there is no one way to make chorizo, if you wish to make it yourself. The only difference between what you make and what you purchase is, that unless you’re able to put together the equipment for smoking and curing your own chorizo, what you make will have to be cooked. A Portuguese-style chorizo, which you might find in Brazil, is more than likely fully cured.
This said, here are a common list of ingredients for a more or less typical chorizo:
- Pork (usually pork butt and pork belly) + Pork Fat
- Cayenne (or other spicy pepper)
- Black pepper (best to use fresh ground)
- White wine (you can also use red wine or vinegar)
There are other ingredients that might be added for the purpose of smoking or curing it, but those are the chief items you’ll need.
Most chorizos are made with actual casings, and some, particularly in many Latin American countries, use an artificial casing. In many instances, you’ll need to pull off the casing before using any type of chorizo, because unlike many breakfast sausages you might be familiar with, that are not Brazilian, the casings are often not that tasty, let alone edible.
As mentioned before, Brazil makes heavy use of chorizo in feijoada, which will come up a lot in web searches. It is the national dish after all. But there are other ways to use this famous sausage, such as a Brazilian breakfast burrito. Or, perhaps try a Brazilian pomonha, which is a very simple corn paste meal wrapped in corn husks, and filled with other things, such as chorizo. It’s from Northern Brazil and is a staple of the people that live there.
Another popular Brazilian dish that includes chorizo is Pastel de Acelgas, which consists of swiss chard, chorizo and cheese/cheese sauce.
If you like spicy sausage and are up for sampling any type of Brazilian food, you can’t miss out on giving Brazilian smoked chorizo a try.