I can’t help but be excited every time I see Miriam publish a new recipe in her series on tapas over on Honest Cooking. As a Spanish major in college I spent a year studying abroad in Madrid, there’s a flash of recognition as I read each post. And an impetus to try my own hand at it. No sooner had she published her post on Chorizo a la sidra was it on my “to-do” list. (Admittedly, that to-do list is pretty long, but this one did manage to jump the queue). Perhaps I was a little too swept over by nostalgia when I read the recipe as I failed to buy the sidra. I know something always gets left off the shopping list by accident, but when there are only three ingredients making up the entire recipe, it’s a little silly.
But perhaps my experience in Spain was of some use here, as a I had some vague sense that it would be perfectly alright to make it with wine (and — what’s that in my fridge? An unfinished bottle of red?)
I changed up Miriam’s method a bit too, taking a cue from a tourism site (not that there was any need to, but just because this seemed even easier than her own very simple technique): rather than making my chorizo over the stove, I baked it in a broth of red wine and fresh herbs from our garden. (I’m not going to insist you only use fresh herbs, I am sure dried herbs would work just as well here as they can easily release into the heat of the wine).
What’s nice about this recipe (aside of being quick and simple to prepare) is that it softens up what is otherwise a rather tough cured sausage, all while infusing it with a new set of flavors. At the same time, the chorizo renders its own meaty taste into the wine-herb soup, creating a broth that is ideal for dipping toasted slices of good bread. While I didn’t do so, it wouldn’t hurt to reduce the liquid into a thicker sauce over the stove after the chorizo is done. Either way, it’s an elegant, but easy, appetizer.
Because this is so quick and easy to prepare and because the ingredients are good keepers, you can enjoy this any time, at a moment’s notice. Well, as long as you remember to put those recipes on your shopping list.
Chorizo al vino tinto
- 8 ounces (225g) Spanish chorizo.
- a generous half cup (120mL) dry red wine
- Several sprigs of fresh herbs (I used parsley, oregano, and thyme) or 2 teaspoons dried
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of you knife
- Crusty artisan-style bread for serving.
Preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Slice the sausages into 1/2 inch (1.25cm) thick slices and do your best to arrange in a single layer in an oven-safe dish. Pour the wine over the sausage and add the garlic and herbs. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Reduce the sauce if you like, and serve with bread for dipping.
Note that you’ll want to use Spanish rather than Mexican-style chorizo for this recipe.