Tag Archives: lareira


The matanza continues…(like i say it’s raining, what else is there to do??). We make chorizo sausages. Not just with dis-guarded parts of the pig that don’t belong in any of the joints that are portioned out by the butcher, we put in choice parts like the loin and the shoulder. We have a small mountain of meat to chop up, this is an artisanal product and everything is done by hand.  The ratio of meat to fat is about 65% meat to 35% fat. Then it is very simple…

Garlic, salt, sweet paprika and chilli powder are added and that is it. It is all mixed up and left to marinade for 2 days.


This mixture is called zorza and it already smells wonderfully like chorizo. After day one you take a little of the mixture and fry it to taste it and adjust the seasoning accordingly. One more day of marinading and the zorza is ready to be made into chorizo sausages.

I kind of like this process, after getting over the obvious rude bit…it takes some skill to fill the skins just so without bursting them, and then each individual sausage is tied with string. Making chorizos like this is a very labour intensive process, our fingers are raw from the tying off part by the end, but it is very satisfying. In the end we produce around 500 sausages.

The chorizos are now hung to cure around an open fire-place (the lareira) in a well ventilated room…

Perks of the job, with the matanza comes the pleasure of the choicest of cuts for your lunch, here the pork loin is simply fried in olive oil with some salt and garlic and a few slices of apple thrown in for good measure. Simple and delicious:

other foody posts on this blog:

cocido gallego


returning to the matanza


chocolate con churros

pani puri sunday

cicchetti tea-break



further adventures in foraging

revelations in a milanese restaurant

cooking the haul



more foodie questions

foodie questions

nose to tail,

(s)light relief,

pulpo a la gallega

the matanza

morcilla and dying arts

jamòn serrano


The countryside here is peppered with pazos, a type of traditional Galician manor house, usually in the countryside and usually belonging to the same wealthy local landowner for generations..though often the wealth has gone but the family and house remains.

Nowadays many are still lived in but are often semi decrepit due to infeasibly high running costs and very hard winters. I was lucky enough to be invited into one the other day…falling apart, still lived in, mouldy, dusty, beautiful and full of the ghosts and traces of a couple of centuries of family life…

Above is the lareira, a raised open fire flanked by benches, the typical set up in old houses here regardless of their status – my grandparents had an almost identical one in their much more modest affair. It was the place to stay warm in the winter and to cook – you can see the bread oven at the back…

Glimpse through the window of the horreo (maize store typical in this area – but more of that in future post…)

If you want to understand the very particular atmosphere and climate of this corner of Galicia and how these old pazos used to function socially and physically  in the day, read one of galicia’s most beloved authors, Emilia Pardo Bazan’s Pazos de Ulloa, its kind of melodramatic but i love it.