I had some pig’s liver, chorizo and mushrooms in the fridge and looked for a Spanish recipe which utilised all three in a sauce. Finding nothing satisfactory, I made up my own receta, with surprisingly good results.
Hígado con Chorizo recipe (serves 2-3 people):
1lb pig’s liver (cut into bite sized pieces)
1/2 hot chorizo ring (cut into bite sized pieces)
1 large onion (chopped)
6 pieces garlic (chopped)
6 mushrooms (chopped)
3 grated tomatoes (or half a tin of chopped tomatoes)
1 red pepper
a splash of sherry vinegar
a dessertspoon tomato purée
a teaspoon ground sage and thyme
a teaspoon of fresh coriander (chopped) or parsley
sea salt and black pepper
1 dessertspoon plain flour
extra virgin olive oil
Before embarking on the dish itself, burn a red pepper until it is black all over – on a barbecue, under the grill (broiler) or on top of a gas hob. This is a very popular method of preparing red peppers (pimientos) in Spain. When completely black, put the pepper in a paper bag, Tupperware or cling film and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. The pimiento will steam in the residual heat and the skin can easily be removed with the fingers or the back of a knife, with a little help from the cold tap. The seeds are removed and the flesh has a sweet and smokey flavour. In Spain pimientos are commonly served in strips with a little olive oil, on top of salads, stuffed inside olives and in cooking. Those who can’t be bothered with the burning, can purchase pre-prepared red peppers in jars from all supermarkets and corner shops.
In a cazuela, cast iron casserole or large frying pan, gently soften a chopped onion in olive oil until it goes translucent and then stir in the chunks of chorizo. Be generous with the olive oil, it’s not just a cooking medium and it stops the onion burning.
When the onion stars to go orange from the pimentón in the chorizo, add the chopped liver. I used pig’s liver, but I’m certain that any type of liver will do.
Sprinkle on some ground sage and thyme (I used a mortar and pestle, with a pinch of coarse sea salt and a few black pepper corns).
Turn the heat up to half way, sprinkle on a dessertspoon of plain flour and a couple of turns of sea salt and black pepper. Stir vigorously to brown the liver without it sticking.
When the liver has browned a little, mix in the mushrooms and garlic.
Cut 3 medium sized tomatoes (the riper the better) in half and grate the wet side into the cooking vessel. You should end up with all the pulp in with the liver and two flat pieces of tomato skin.
Fold the tomatoes and a big squirt of tomato purée into the solid ingredients, to make a sauce.
Slice up the roasted red pepper and mix that in to the liver and chorizo, along with a teaspoonful of chopped cilantro (coriander) and a splash of sherry vinegar. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
I was expecting to have to adjust the flavour and possibly add chicken stock or milk, but the dish was perfect, almost creamy, with a thick umami sauce. I deliberately used tomato and pimiento because they are typical Spanish ingredients, but also to act as a sweet counterpoint to the pig’s liver. I’m surprised not to have come across a similar recipe – perhaps el Duende was in the kitchen with me…
Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or pasta and seasonal vegetables. A robust Spanish red wine, such as, Muriel Vendimia Seleccionada (a Tempranillo from Rioja) will perfectly compliment the liver and chorizo.
Yes, yes, definitely yes ! Absolutely love liver from any animal and could live on it ! Have never used chorizo with it. Methinks pig’s liver I could only get from a butcher and calves liver supplies are limited – the so-called lamb’s fry is the common type here and chicken livers available everywhere. Don’t think the latter would have enough oomph but are beautiful with lots of onions and apples ! Just one peculiarity of mine . . . love the ‘bigger’ livers sliced not cubed . . . shall see but the recipe is in the kitchen . . .
Thanks Eha – I think lamb’s or chicken liver would work very well! Lamb’s kidneys or chicken hearts could be good too…
Oh, Mad & Eha ~ I do love fois gras, but childhood experiences with liver in cream sauce (served by Mama who declared I had to eat a few bites) & trying to get a little down from time to time during pregnancy, have sorely tested me. But this blog makes the dishes look & sound so tempting, I wouldn’t say no if served this dish.
Thanks Judith – there’s no cream in there, but pig’s liver is quite strong tasting. You might prefer duck liver…
Any post that starts with “I had a pig’s liver in the fridge” is going to be worth reading. Lovely post MD and a great reminder that there is more to pigs than pork chops.
Thanks Connor – as I’m sure you know, the only part of a pig that you can’t eat, is the squeak!!
Mad Dog, I do believe your el Duende was there with you when you created your Hígado con Chorizo as it looks to have a magical taste. I don’t think I’ve ever had pigs liver in a soup or stew and I need to remedy that soon. So when you list chorizo as an ingredient is it cured (cooked) or fresh (raw) sausage? Great idea for a tasty and different way to enjoy liver.
Thanks Ron – it’s dry cured, which is probably the most common Spanish variety. They mince the pork with salt, pimentón de la vera (smoked paprika), garlic and water. The sausage is hung up to ferment and dry for 3 + weeks. There are literally hundreds of Spanish varieties though, including fresh, smoked and blood. I hope you enjoy the stew!
I’ve only eaten beef liver with lots of sautéed onions and bay leaves. This does sound like a different and flavorful dish. I’ve never seen pork liver in our markets but I’m sure veal would do in the recipe.
Thanks Karen – beef liver would be very good with this and veal liver would be delicious!