Recipe: Chorizo Jam (and ONIONS! Why do you hurt me so?)
Gird your loins, there is another chorizo recipe coming through. But this one is fabulous – even more than the others – even if I do say so about my own recipe my very self. Hey! It is chorizo week after all. Self declared and right now confined to, er, one London household, but I think this thing could get really big, you know? No? But I want to talk about onions too.
Onions. So important, yet so traumatic. One slice, and that acid sting stirs up and before long there are tears running down my face. Sometimes it drives me crazy (shakes fist at the sky!), other times I almost enjoy the gentle release and relish in the temporary sadness. Sadness is ok you know, as long as it is not ever present.
I thought that chopping onions in my food processor might ease the pain, but no. A small London kitchen has nowhere to hide from an onion ambush. And really, it is ok. Onions are onions, and a culinary war wound are those tears that rumble by. I will never be that person wearing onion goggles (although it is so bonkers, I have been tempted).
Would you like a juicy onion fact? I promise it won’t make you cry. And it is a lovely geeky one! Yes? Well you know why onions sting so? It is because sulphur is released as you chop onions and these mix with your innocent salty tears to form a light sulphuric acid. MY EYES! No wonder they sting so. But it is worth it.
Now, what brings this ramble on? Chorizo jam, my friends. Chorizo jam! You know of my bacon jam (it brings happiness to many a home and my breakfast table too) but chorizo jam, well this is new, at least here, and it is about time that I shared the recipe with you, forbidden as I am from sharing my current Project: BACON discoveries (with the many new bacon jams, bacon cakes, cookies, ice creams, suppers, cocktails, sweets and other joyful bacon things), until the book comes out next Spring.
This is good, very good. Joy in a teaspoon. It gives a deep savoury rumble to anything you add it to, with a hint of sweet spice too. The chorizo and onions are already sweet but the honey gives more, the sherry vinegar some throaty sourness, with some chillies floating on top, all sitting in a sticky cider caramel created by the slow gentle cooking down of the cider with the honey.
Note: you need a pan with a large area to make this, like a good large frying pan. This is essential to getting the stickiness that results from the slow caramelisation of the jam.
How to eat it? In a toastie, on its own, with cheese, stuff things with it (chorizo jam chicken kiev? HELLO). I made scotch eggs with it by mixing it with sausage meat. The possibilities are truly endless.
RECIPE: Chorizo Jam
400g soft cooking chorizo, chopped into small chunks (see yesterday’s post for details on where to buy it)
2 red onions, peeled and chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
2 chillies (I used one red and one green finger chilli but whatever you like really), chopped finely (seeds in if you like heat)
500ml nice cider (no wrongbow please)
150g nice honey
4 tbsp good sherry vinegar
In a large shallow pan, sauté the chorizo until it releases its oils. Don’t let it crisp. Remove the chorizo using a slotted spoon and put to the side.
If there is black sediment in the chorizo oil, pour the oil through a sieve and clean the pot. If there isn’t leave as it is. Sauté the onions over a low to medium heat in the chorizo oil until soft and translucent but not brown – about 5 – 8 minutes – then add the garlic and chilli for a minute, before adding all remaining ingredients (incl the chorizo). Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave it cook gently until super sticky, stirring occasionally as it does. This will take up to an hour. You must do this with the heat on to evaporate excess moisture and to caramelise it and make it nice and sticky and all jammy.
Blitz the jam in a blender until fine but still with texture (as in the photo). Try not to eat it all at once.
This will keep for a while, at least a couple of weeks, in a sterilised jar. If you want to keep it outside of the fridge, you can but you will need to can it. I keep mine in the fridge because it is easier and I am a little too lazy (read: I just don’t have the time) to do that at the moment.