Chorizo al vino tinto or chorizo in red wine is one of the more traditional Spanish tapas recipes. The chorizo is slowly braised in red wine which allows the sausage to absorb all the delicious flavours. It is an easy to prepare dish made with minimal ingredients that bring together a perfect balance of sweet, smoky and savoury flavours.
These chorizo bites braised in red wine are usually eaten as an appetizer together with slices of crispy french loaf to mop up the delicious wine sauce.
What is chorizo sausage?
Spanish chorizo is a pork sausage seasoned with garlic, salt and smoked paprika powder (also known as pimentón). It is the pimentón which gives the sausage its specific red-orange colour, flavours the chorizo anywhere between mild and spicy and provides its typical smoky aroma. Most people should know the dried and cured chorizo, often thinly sliced and sold worldwide.
Which ingredients to use
For this recipe, you’ll only need 2 key ingredients apart from seasoning. Make sure to use good quality ingredients for the best and most intense flavour.
- Chorizo: Make sure to use an uncooked or semi-cured Spanish chorizo sausage as it will better soak up the delicate red wine flavour while simmering.
- Red wine: Your favourite red wine will do, and preferably a good Spanish wine to keep it more traditional. Don’t use a wine that you wouldn’t also drink since it’s the wine in combination with the chorizo that makes the dish. If the wine isn’t good this tapas dish won’t be good either.
- Bay leaves: These add a subtle extra layer of Mediterranean flavour to this dish without being overpowering.
- Salt: Just a pinch, for a bit of extra taste.
How to make red wine chorizo bites
This chorizo tapas dish is super easy to prepare, just allow enough time for it to simmer slowly in order to get the best and most intense flavour.
- Prepare the chorizo: I prefer to cook the sausage as a whole in the red wine and not to cut it into pieces before cooking. This is so the sausage can soak up the flavours of the wine without releasing too much of its own flavours. With a sharp knife make 2-3 small cuts in each sausage. This will allow some of the juice of the sausage to mix with the wine, but not too much as this would cause the sausage to dry out while cooking.
- Cook the chorizo: Pour the wine in to a skillet or sauce pan and bring it to a boil with a pinch of salt and the bay leaves. Add the chorizo to the wine once it starts boiling, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. Leave to cook for 10 minutes. Then turn the sausage in the pan and continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes on low heat but this time uncovered.
- Finish the dish: Remove the pan from the heat and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow all the flavours to settle. Take the sausage from the pot and cut in to bite-size pieces of 1/2 inch or 1 cm. Serve in a tapas dish and pour the red wine sauce over the chorizo bites.
How to serve
In Spain, chorizo al vino tinto is usually eaten together with other Spanish tapas like grilled Spanish Padrón peppers, garlic mushrooms or chorizo braised in cider. Serve this dish with crunchy french loaf or farm bread in order to be able to mop up the delicious red wine sauce.
This chorizo is usually served cut up in bite-size pieces together with the red wine sauce it was cooked in. But you can also serve the sausage as part of a main course. In this case, count 3 small sausages per person.
Chorizo in red wine
- 14 ounces (or 400 grams) uncooked fresh chorizo
- 1 cup (or 250 ml) red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Make 2 small cuts in each chorizo sausage with a sharp pairing knife.
- Add the red wine to a saucepan together with a pinch of salt and bring to a boil on medium heat. Once the wine is boiling, reduce to a simmer then add the chorizo sausages and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the lid, turn the sausages and cook for another 10 minutes. Leave the lid off this time in order to allow the sauce to reduce.
- Take the pan off the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
- Take the sausage out of the pan and cut into bit-size pieces (1 cm or ½ inch). Serve in a shallow dish with the red wine sauce.