Chorizo de Bilbao


Chorizo de Bilbao is a spicy semi-cured sausage popular in Spain and in the Philippines.

It is dense and very red. Spices used include garlic, paprika, pepper, cumin, pepper, sugar and oregano.

The sausage is a mixture of 50% beef, 30% pork, and 20% pork fat.

To make the sausage, the meat is ground and the fat is cubed. The fat and meat are then combined, and mixed with salt, phosphate and curing salt,
then the seasonings are added.

The mixture is then allowed to sit 8 to 12 hours at room temperature, or 1 to 2 days chilled.

It is then packed into 4 inch (10 cm) long sausage casings, then dried naturally in the sun for 4 hours, or industrially, for 20 minutes in a turbo oven at 110 - 120 F (43 to 48 C.)

It is sold canned or frozen in vacuum sealed plastic packages. In tins, the sausages are packed in lard.

A popular brand in the Philippines is Marca El Rey Chorizo, usually available tinned there. In America, this brand is also available frozen because it is actually made in Nebraska, USA. The brand is owned by Conagra (as of 2008.)

Chorizo de Bilbao is expensive -- about $32 US for a 4 pound tin (2008 prices.)

Cooking Tips

To use, you slice and use in small amounts as a flavouring ingredient in recipes such as paella, callos or pesang manok.

Substitutes

Linguica; other spicy sausages such as pepperoni or kielbasa.

Equivalents

Homemade ones, per 6 sausages, 8 3/4 oz (250g)


Commercial ones, about 2 1/2 oz (70g) each.

The vacuum-sealed packages have only 2 sausages in them, and weigh about 5 oz in total (140g.)

Storage Hints

Stores for a long time in the refrigerator.

History Notes

Chorizo de Bilbao originated in the Basque area of Spain.

Acknowlegements