Our Portuguese Tradition–Linguica Braised in Red Wine
by Sarah on January 3, 2010
We’re not Portuguese.
But we eat linguica, a Portuguese sausage, every single year for Christmas breakfast. I have no idea why, but I’m not going to question it, because I like this tradition. I like it very, very much.
It may have something to do with the fact that there are a lot of linguica producers in the Bay Area, Silva’s–shown below–are in San Jose, and Amaral’s, in San Leandro, is just a stone’s throw from Hayward, where my grandparents lived.
Linguiça is distinguished by a mildly spicy flavor tempered with a smoking process which makes the sausage flavorful and tender. The primary ingredient of linguiça is pork butt, which is cut into rough pieces and mixed with spices. Pork butt tends to be lean, resulting in a leaner sausage with a more meaty flavor. Common spices in linguiça include oregano, garlic, pepper, cumin and sometimes cinnamon. These spices are mixed throughly with the uncooked meat, which is allowed to rest before being forced into sausage cases.
First, we cut the sausage into 1-2″ chunks, on a bias or not, it doesn’t matter. Brown the sausage in a heavy saucepan on all sides.
When the linguica is all browned, pour in about a half-bottle of red wine. A cab or merlot, or whatever you’ve got laying around or left over. Cover the pan and lower the heat to low.
Cook until sausage is cooked through and wine is evaporated, about 15 minutes.
Enjoy. Perhaps a new tradition for you?
Never mind that grease, you’re only eating it once a year.