Spanish cuisine is filled with recipes prepared with chorizo, such as the Asturian fabada, lentils, eggs with chorizo, or potatoes a la riojana.
But, What is cooking chorizo? Not every variation of this sausage is suitable for cooking, and knowing which chorizo to use for each dish can be more complex than it seems.
At Enrique Tomás, we have been dedicated to ham and everything related to this product for over thirty years, and as such, we know perfectly well which hams and sausages can be cooked and which cannot. Below, we will tell you which is the best chorizo for cooking so that you don't unintentionally ruin the artisanal work that chefs have put into making such delicious chorizo.
Types of Chorizo According to the Pig They Come From
Pigs can always be classified following the same category: their breed. Iberian pigs are those that come from the peninsula that gives them their name, while non-Iberian pigs, also known as white pigs, are all the others, such as Duroc or Landrace breed pigs, among others.
Depending on the pig they come from, hams are classified as either Iberian or Serrano, right? Well, chorizo follows the same pattern, except they are called Iberian chorizo or homemade chorizo.
Iberian chorizos, being from pigs that have the ability to infiltrate fat into the muscle, are juicier and have a flavor full of aromas and nuances, so if you have one of these, enjoy it raw. There's no better way to savor it than with a bit of bread!
As for homemade chorizo, it can be included in all sorts of dishes, but you need to consider that some are air-cured for a specific period, while others have been smoked with natural woods.
Depending on the process used to make them, their shape, and whether they are stronger or milder (which depends on the amount of spices used), they will be used for different types of dishes.
Types of Chorizo According to Their Shape
The ones known as serranitos, for example, have a very intense flavor and color and are small, perfect for stews and casseroles. On the other hand, the horseshoe chorizo, which is a single chorizo joined by its two ends, is perfect for eating raw.
Regarding the string chorizo, the one that is tied in the middle, resulting in smaller chorizos, it's perfect for barbecues or grilling and is generally soft and very juicy. Nothing will be dry!
The candle chorizo is also not cooked, like the horseshoe chorizo, but in addition to being perfect for enjoying raw, it can be eaten in a sandwich with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. This chorizo is the most common in supermarkets and has an elongated appearance.
Finally, the circular chorizo, which requires the longest curing time. It has the same shape as the candle chorizo but is usually wider and is also used for tapas or sandwiches.
So, What is cooking chorizo? The serranito and the string chorizo; as for the circular chorizo, candle chorizo, or horseshoe chorizo, they are chorizos to be enjoyed as tapas or in sandwiches.
Sausages According to Their Origin
Spain is a country composed of fifty provinces and two autonomous cities, and each region has its typical cuisine. For example, in the coastal areas of Galicia in the north of the country, seafood is often consumed, while in the Mediterranean coast, especially in the Valencian Community, paella is the most typical dish. The same applies to sausages.
Although there are certain processes that are shared among all chefs, nothing can compare the Canarian Teror chorizo with the Segovian Cantimpalos chorizo. Navarra and Galician chorizos are perfect for enjoying raw, but at Enrique Tomás, we will now explain how to cook the rest of the Spanish chorizos.
is perfect for use as an ingredient in the typical fabada, be it from Rioja or the more popular Asturian fabada.
Segovian Chorizois mainly used to prepare scrambled eggs with chorizo and thanks to the Vera paprika, a unique spice from this province, it has an unmistakable flavor.
this chorizo is perfect for preparing stewed beans.
Extremadura Chorizois the most used for preparing lentils or migas extremeñas (a traditional Spanish dish made with breadcrumbs).
Canarian Chorizothe recipe prepared with this ingredient is very specific: scrambled eggs with Teror chorizo, a very typical dish in the area.
With that said, now that you know what types of chorizos there are and which ones are good for cooking and which are not, don't think twice...
Open the chorizo you have at home now!