May 19, 2012 in Uncategorized
A couple of months ago my Portuguese father in law taught me how to make the traditional Spanish sausage chorizo, the Portuguese way. For years I’ve enjoyed eating this sausage in soups, on the braai, in stews and my all-time favourite, flambéed with brandy and served as a snack (tapas)
So when he agreed to show me how to make my very own I jumped at the chance and couldn’t wait to begin.
Hours later of endless chopping, stuffing & filling (we were making enough chorizo sausage to feed the Portuguese community for 20years…or so it felt like) I finally asked him “couldn’t we use a sausage maker to make things easier”. He took one look at me, gave me the death stare and in his Mafioso voice said “I don’t mess with tradition…this is how it’s done …keep chopping.”
So 3 days later after chopping, marinating, stuffing, filling, more stuffing & more filling I walked away with my very own ton of home-made chorizo sausages. What an experience, what an accomplishment!!!
So now I’m ready to share this wonderful tradition (I got the consent from the Godfather) with you and have designed a ‘don’t mess with tradition’ course to incorporate the making the chorizo with some home-made pickles & marinades to compliment eating your chorizo the tapas way.
So it was with great excitement that I began my Chorizo & Pickle making course. I had 13 eager participants who had willingly committed to attending the 3-evenings-in-a-row course to learn how to make chorizo from scratch and how to make pickles like their great grandmothers did. When asked what their incentive for joining, some said it was the chorizo, others the pickles and 1 said ” I get to leave the kids with the husband for 3 nights in a row”…
Day 1 or should I say Evening 1:
No sooner had we started chopping up the pork belly, neck & spek when some poor soul ignorantly asked if she could use her meat mincer or food processor (she obviously hadn’t got the memo)…the whole class went dead quiet, I spun around and with my ‘bestest’ death-stare-I- learnt- from-my-father-in-law….I squeaked out NOoooo…we don’t want to mess with tradition!
With that said the class resumed with their chopping and I resumed to boss them around. Soon I was instructing them how to marinade their pork mix with fresh bay leaves, loads of garlic, paprika & spices. No Portuguese or Spanish fare is without the addition of wine so in between drinking & adding the wine to the pork we managed to get through 5L of red wine.
Festivities abruptly came to an end when I whipped out the intestinal casings needed to stuff our Chorizo. For some they were were prepared to wait until the following evening before being forced to handle it….others were more than happy to prod & poke………….personally the stuff gives me the heebie-jeebies but that’s just between you and me.
So with the pork meat marinating away and the intestinal casings soaking over-night we got down to marinating some Danish feta and pickling some juicy red peppers in preparation of Day 3′s Tapas feast!
To be continued…