Guide to The Best Choripan. Recipe, Types and Origin
Choripán the essential Argentinian street food
Bread and meat, bread and meat, bread and meat. If you´ve been here for 3 days this is probably your diet. The porteños have gotten this down to an art and how they do not get scurvy is beyond me. Choripán´s are sold more or less anywhere that has a grill, ferias, protests, parillas, street corners, or parks on the weekends. Look for smoke and follow your nose and you will stumble across this delicacy.
So… What is a choripán ?
In Argentina a choripán consists of chorizo sausage grilled and cut in half and put onto a baguette or crusty bread of sorts. They will usually have chimichurri on the side for you to put over it, it´s not needed but will offer a different flavour and make it a little messier. Chorizos are also served with bread as an appetizer a lot of the times. Which means that you can have a choripán for lunch and dinner and not feel any bit of guilt. I try to have choripáns at every opportunity.
Different types of choripan
All around south america (and the world) has a variety of sausage in bread. Argentina has 2, the pancho which is a hot dog or known as a perro caliente to the rest of South America and the Choripán. Throughout South America the Choripán changes slightly country to country, Chileans usually put mayonnaise and uses longaniza sausage instead of chorizo (which is usually a sausage that is more cured than a chorizo). A lot of the change from place to place will depend on what spices and cuts of pork or beef put into there chorizos, which can change from a Spanish, Portuguese, or Mexican style of chorizo. Football matches will be your most likely place to find these delicacies throughout South America.
Where did choripáns originate from
Chorizo sausage are thought to have come from the Iberian Peninsula, with the Spanish and Portuguese cultures having there own twist of chorizo sausage. Sausage making is dated back to the roman and Greek times as a form of efficient butchery. With the Spanish colonization of South America brought the culture of Spain and their love of sausage. As to who put a bun around could be anyone´s guess.
How to make your very own choripán
For this you need a lot of patience or a sausage maker. If using a sausage maker, I like to put all the equipment into the freezer to get it as cold as possible, this will make life easier. Start with meat. Any meat really the cheaper the better, there is going to be so much other flavors going on to hide it that it does not matter. I like pork butt, mince it in your meat and lay it out on a flat surface. Dice pork back fat into approximately 1 cm cubes and add it to the meat. Mix together salt, black pepper, oregano, paprika, cayenne pepper (if u want it hot) and fennel seeds. Sprinkle over the meat and knead it like bread until it sticks to your hands. Cook onions and garlic in red or white (any cheap wine) and reduce it until it tastes good and cool it down. Once cool add in parts to the meat, making sure it is mixed in well before adding more. Put it in the fridge overnight. Next day prep your sausage skins and start filling it very tightly. (if you do not have a sausage maker or skins and want to make it, you can use cling film and poach it in water). Once your skins are filled tie it up and hang it/dry it for 2 weeks keeping an eye on it as it may mould. Grill your sausages over charcoal to get the true Argentine flavour. Cut it in half slap it on a baguette cut in half length ways. Eat immediately and eat a lot of them!
Simple Choripan Recipes
- One Pork, beef or chicken chorizo sausages per person.
- Baguette or classic bread. (Toasted if possible)
Instructions for cooking the choripan:
- Cooking the chorizo on any grill (if possible a charcoal BBQ)
- Leave them on the grill for about 20 minutes
- Before they are ready, cut them in half and put them back on the grill
- Cut the baguette and place the bread on the grill. (Not too long)
- You can put some chimichurri on the bread while is still on the grill
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and make sure is well mixed. Chimichirri can last for months inside the refrigerator. So you can make a lot and keep using it.
- One bunch of parsley 1/2 cup chopped
- Two tablespoons of chopped oregano (fresh if possible)
- Four garlic cloves (smashed)
- One cup finely cuted onions
- Small Grilled Red chili pepper
- Two tablespoons of any vinegar
- Lemon juice (3 table spoons)
- 1/2 cup oil (Olive oil if possible)
- Pepper and Salt (As much you want)
Notes: If you are a vegetarian, you can still make a great chorizo using any veggie sausage.