A South American Sausage Sandwich: Choripán with Chimichurri

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choripan with chimichurri

This is a choripán sandwich whose name is a mash-up of the Spanish words for sausage — chorizo — and bread — pan. The choripán has changed little in the centuries that it’s been popular in Argentina and Uruguay. That’s probably because the concept is so simple. It’s a grilled chorizo sausage (could be beef could be pork) slapped on a roll and slathered in spicy chimichurri sauce. The greatness of a  traditional choripán sandwich rests on three simple things: the quality of the bread and the sausage, and of course, the perfect tang in the chimichurri sauce. Though I’ll admit I like to serve mine with diced tomatoes, I don’t know how traditional that is.

I’ve read that in South America — where grilled meat reigns supreme — the choripán is often considered an appetizer. That’s because in a traditional parrilla the asador or grill master throws all the meat onto the huge grill at the same time and the sausages are the first thing to finish cooking. Hungry folks grab a chimichurri laced roll and then a sausage. Once the mess is married the simple choripán sandwich is created. The spicy sausage fat soaks into the bread to bind things together and the chimichurri creates a welcome bolt of bright, sharp, herbaceous acidity that takes this fire-cooked sandwich to new heights. People’s hands may be a little messier, but their appetites are quelled long enough for the real meat to hit the plate. Although in my world a half-pound sausage is way more than something to start a meal. So when I make them at home they pretty much are the meal.  GREG

A choripán sandwich is as simple as I’ve described above. You don’t really need a recipe. However, I did include Ox Restaurant’s (Portland, OR) version of chimichurri sauce because it’s the recipe I turn to when I crank up the grill and pull out the links.

Raw Sausage LinksOx's Chimichurri Choripan with Chimichurri

Ox’s Chimichurri

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2 cupsSource Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez DentonPublished

To get some of the prep work out of the way, make chimichurri up to 4 days in advance but do not add the vinegar; bring it to room temperature and add the vinegar a few hours before serving.

Ox's Chimichurri

Ingredients

  • ½ cup minced yellow onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated or minced garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon reshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar

Directions

In a medium bowl or jar, combine the onion, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Add the oil and vinegar and mix well. Store covered for a couple of days and use before the herbs start to turn brown.