Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked pimentón (paprika) and salt. It is generally classed as either picante (spicy) or dulce (sweet), depending upon the type of smoked paprika used. Hundreds of regional varieties of Spanish chorizo, both smoked and unsmoked, may contain garlic, herbs and other ingredients. Spanish chorizo is known for its rich red colour and tangy, smoky flavour, equally delicious eaten in slices as tapas or used in cooking to give wonderful depth to a bean stew or egg dish. Chorizo in its present form has only been enjoyed in Spain for the last few centuries, as pimentón was introduced to Spain in the sixteenth century from the Americas by the explorers and conquistadors. Depending on the variety, chorizo can be eaten sliced without further cooking, its used in many tapas dishes, sometimes sliced into a sandwich, or barbecued, fried or baked alongside other foodstuffs, and is also an important ingredient in several dishes. Although its not really practical to attempt to make your own chorizo at home it is widely available from both supermarkets and deli’s. Here’s a recipe for a simple tapas dish


  • 250 g shelled broad beans
  • 125 g spicy chorizo sausage
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, rougly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • salt and pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve


  1. Blanch the beans in lightly salted boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold water. Dry well.
  2. Cut the sausage into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and fry gently for 2-3 mins, until softened and discard. Increase the heat, add the sliced chorizo and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until it is golden and has released some of its oil.
  3. Stir in the beans and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the mint, squeeze over the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with crusty bread,.