Friday, July 5, 2013

Choripan Argentino - Gringo Translation: Sausage Sandwiches

So, when you say the word "chorizo" it probably means something different to everyone. The problem is there are a whole heck of a lot of different types of chorizo from a lot of different countries. For example, Spain's chorizo is actually cured so it can be eaten without any further cooking, it's generally served with cheeses and other meets as part of a Charcuterie spread. Mexican chorizo is generally eaten in a taco or in accompaniment with a lot of other ingredients. It generally has a much stronger taste, saltier and has a very deep red color from the paprika.

Anyway, you get the point, lots of chorizo's out there, but when it comes down to it, chorizo is just a term that encompasses a lot of different types of pork sausages. With that being said, we grew up eating lots of Argentine Asado in our house, one of our favorite dishes was Choripan, which is basically a pan (bread in spanish) and chorizo squished together. Argentine chorizo is course ground pork often mixed with beef, super tasty, but also super hard to find in the states. We didn't really have time this past week to make our own authentic argentine chorizo so, in the interest of time, we bought a bunch of really good, fresh sausages from a local butcher. We decided to go with Hot Italian sausages. We set up our grill on indirect heat (charcoal on one side, food on the other) and got the temperature to about 350 degrees. We also threw a little cherry wood on the coals for some extra flavor.

Sausages are tricky business when you try and cook them, whether on the grill on in a fry pan, they can be very picky. I know everyone has had experiences of exploding sausages, hissing and spewing out grease that either makes a mess of your kitchen or throws out huge flames on the grill. The trick to cooking sausages is cooking LOW AND SLOW, hence the reason for us using indirect heat on the grill. If you are cooking sausages inside the best method I've found is to use a cast iron pan, sear one side of the sausage, flip it and then put it in the oven at 350 degrees until you reach 165. You will turn out great sausages every time with no fuss using any method.

After the sausages were done, we split them length-wise threw them on some good french bread and slathered the inside with Chimichurri. Chimichurri is a condiment popular in Argentina that is served with Asado. There are a lot of different recipes for Chimichurri, mine is made with equal party parsley and olive oil. I also add garlic, vinegar, and red pepper flakes to taste. Trust me, it makes the best steak even better, and it's amazing with Choripan. Try it, you won't be dissapointed!