Thursday, March 6, 2008

Homemade Chorizo with Leeks, Fennel and Cannelini

The Chorizo Experiment

Phase One:

Coming off of my successful attempt at Merguez, I decided to take on the challenge of making my own chorizo.

I love chorizo.

It’s the sausage with the major kick to it. It’s a must have ingredient in paella and tapas and people are as passionate about their chorizo as they are about their wines.

If you start a discussion on chorizo and what you can do with it, people get worked up . “I only use such and such a brand.” and “don’t use that one it has blah blah in it and that’s not what goes in chorizo.”

Ok. Nice talking to you.

I’m not sure that I have had enough chorizo in my life to get that picky, but the section on sausage in Joyce Goldstein’s book, The Mediterranean Kitchen, has gotten my interest up in trying my hand at more sausage. And the idea of being able to reach into the freezer and pull out homemade sausages to go into my dishes is very appealing.

Ingredients purchased, the time came for THE CHORIZO EXPERIMENT.

I didn’t make it.

Groom did.

He has now become the official Chorizo maker here at the Red Brick Ranchero.

It took all of ten minutes. I’m not kidding. We took a bit of the spicy mix and sautéed it to see if we needed to correct the seasoning. Nope. Perfection. Feeling highly pleased with himself, Groom patted out 24 two inch patties, which we immediately froze for phase two of THE CHORIZO EXPERIMENT.

Phase Two:

Several nights later, we decided to embark on Phase Two of THE CHORIZO EXPERIMENT.

A craving for comfort food entered the picture. I took a pack of 4 chorizos out of our freezer and thawed them in their Ziploc baggy in cool water for an hour. A short time later, THE CHORIZO EXPERIMENT was complete. A fabulous pasta sauce was ready for its orecchiette and we tucked into something special, a collaborative effort that we’ll repeat often.

Adapted from The Mediterranean Kitchen by Joyce Goldstein

2 pounds ground pork, 1/3 the weight in fat
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2-½ tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp smoked hot pimenton
1-½ tbsp dried Turkish oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin
½-¾ tsp cayenne pepper
1-½ tsp coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Fry a small patty as a test and adjust seasonings to taste.
Shape into 2 inch patties and freeze in batches of four in between sheets of waxed paper.

Makes 24 patties.

Homemade Chorizo with Leeks, Fennel and Cannelini

4 two inch patties homemade chorizo
2 small fennel bulbs, diced
1 medium leek, trimmed and washed and cut in small dice
½ medium sweet yellow onion, diced
1 14 ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14 ounce can organic diced tomatoes
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
A couple of good swirls of extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces dried orecchiette, cooked while you’re making the sauce

Heat a large skillet and add a couple of swirls of extra virgin olive oil. When oil shimmers, add leeks and onion to pan and cook for about 15 minutes til golden. Add fennel and cook about 10 minutes, until soft. Remove from pan.

Keep pan over heat, add a little extra olive oil if needed, and put in chorizo patties. Break up with fork and cook til done. Remove from pan and put in bowl with veggie mixture. Add can of tomatoes with their juice to hot pan. Be sure to stir well as they saute so they get all the chorizo flavored oil absorbed. Add the cannelini beans. If the sauce seems a bit dry, add a little hot pasta water and swirl around. Throw in the orecchiette and toss well.

Serves 3.



cook eat FRET said...


damn - that's a fine dinner right there.

chorizo. with eggs. breakfast. perfect.

Anonymous said...


I was at the super market yesterday and saw Gaspar's
Linguica, but no chorizo. Gaspar's and Amaral's are the two brands that were always available when I lived in New Bedford, Ma. I was told, however, by a member of the sausagentsia that the one to buy was Davidson's (if memory serves) because although it had a tartan in it's logo, it was as portugese as bacala and "coffee milk".


Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

That looks really awesome! i love chorizo, it has such a nice flavor!