One way of guaranteeing that your food is served hot in Portugal is to order chouriço (smoked sausage which is coloured and flavoured with red pepper) assado (spit-roasted) com aguardente (with spirit – as in alcohol, not ghosties).
I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Portuguese sausages, which is a pity as there are so many of them. That’s got more to do with my squeamishness over icky bits of meat and gristle and dislike of the flavour of smoked food than anything to do with Portuguese meat products.
However, I can easily be persuaded to share a chouriço assado. Not only is it fun to watch the flames licking around the sausage, but it means that the fat gets cooked and the flavour improves. I recommend you try it at least once if you’re visiting Portugal, unless you’re vegetarian of course.
If you want to try this at home, you’ll need:
- as much chouriço as is necessary (although it’s already sliced in this photo, most people cook it whole)
- a dish to grill it in (if you haven’t got an authentic ceramic Portuguese dish, you can use any flame-proof dish and a rack)
- aguardente (or cheap brandy if you can’t get Portuguese aguardente). I don’t know how much you need so it’s best to keep an eye on your sausage so it doesn’t burn but gets cooked through
- a lighter or matches
- a long-handled fork in case you need to rescue or turn your chouriço
- a camera and admiring audience to make appropriate Ooooh! sounds
Find out which other Portuguese food you should try while you’re here.
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