Chorizo con Berza (Sausage with Cabbage)

Recipe and photos contributed to Hispanic Kitchen by Veronica Shine


Spanish sausages come in many shape, sizes and colors. Probably the best known sausage is chorizo, a semi hard sausage of pork “marinating” with spices. Spanish paprika (sweet or spicy) is the spice which is gives chorizo its characteristic flavor and distinguishes it from other sausages.

Generally speaking, the roots of chorizo are difficult to trace, largely because the Iberians have been preserving meat for so long that the origin stories have been lost. The residents of northeastern Spain believed that the chorizo originated in Catalonia from its derived name of “xoriço.”

However, it is believed that affects of the Black Plague has something to do with the popularity of sausages. Spain, Italy and the rest of Europe population began to increase in the aftermath and the inhabitants of Spain turned towards agriculture to produce much of their staples. The populace was still leery of fresh meats and had the need for foods that could stretch farther than fresh meat and not be subject to quick spoiling. Cured and smoked meats sufficed as just the thing for longevity. In time, they adapted their sausages to include other foods and introduced new flavors to them.

There are 17 officially recognized varieties of chorizo and they can be either spicy or sweet. Normally, chorizo is thinly sliced and eaten as tapas. It can also be fried, used in soups or stews or simmered in apple cider or cognac.

This recipe calls for chorizo with cabbage and potatoes.

Cabbage is prevalent in Spain and surprisingly always available. It is used in pueblo style cooking, whereas red cabbage tends to be popular in Cataluña (called lombrada) and white (known as repollo) is prevalent in Valencia. No matter the style or name, cabbage is delicious when slowly cooked, and especially when adding chorizo to it.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb. chorizo (can be substituted with a spicy pepperoni) sliced
1 cabbage chopped in strips
1 medium sized onion peeled and cut in half
4 medium potatoes peeled and cut into slices
4 cloves of garlic
8 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt

Directions:

1. Place the chopped cabbage into a pot with some water. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover and boil for 20 minutes.
2. Once cooked, drain and place the cabbage/onion aside
3. Arrange the cut potatoes into a saucepan covered with water. Boil them and add a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Once the potatoes are cooked drain them, and mix them together with the cabbage in a skillet.
5. Add the garlic, olive oil, paprika and the sliced sausage. Heat for approximately 5 minutes or until sizzling and serve.

 

 

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