Painho de Portalegre

Painho de Portalegre is a smoked Portuguese sausage produced in the district of Portalegre. Painho de Portalegre is made from Alentejo breed of pig.
Painho de Portalegre carries PGI, 1997 classification.

Lean pork: shoulder, loin, legs700 g1.54 lb
Back fat, ft trimmings300 g0.66 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt24 g4 tsp
Cure #22.5 g1/2 tsp
Paprika, sweet4.0 g2 tsp
Garlic, dehydrated1.0 g1 tsp
Red pepper paste*30 g1 oz
White wine30 ml1 oz fl
  1. Made marinade by mixing salt, cure #1, spices and wine.
  2. Chop meat and fat into 3/4” (20 mm) pieces.
  3. Mix meat and fat with marinade and hold for 2 days in refrigerator.
  4. Mix marinated meat and red pepper paste together.
  5. Stuff into 36-40 mm hog casings forming 1 foot (30 cm) links.
  6. Using oak wood apply a thin smoke at 18° C (64° F) for 7 days. Smoking need not to be continuous, as long as the temperature inside of the smokehouse stays below 18° C. Think of the process as drying with smoke. Due to seasonal variations in temperature, the sausage is smoked for 3-4 days in the summer and 5-6 days in the winter.
  7. Dry/store at 12° C (53° F). 70% humidity.
* red pepper paste (in Portuguese “massa de pimentão”) is an essential condiment in Portuguese cooking.

Pepper paste. Cut bell peppers lengthwise into halves. Discard stems and seeds. Get a suitable pan and sprinkle salt on the bottom. Place peppers on salt, then cover them with more salt. Repeat the procedure creating a multilayer combination with salt being the top layer. Hold for 8 days. Rinse with water, pat dry with paper towel and grind through 1/8” (3 mm) plate or emulsify in food processor. Store in refrigerator.

Home method for making red pepper paste (about 1 cup):
3 red bell peppers
24 g (4 tsp) salt
2 cloves of garlic
1 fl oz (30 ml=2 Tbsp) olive oil

Cut peppers into quarters. Remove the stems and seeds. Remove the white pulp from the inside of the peppers.
Place peppers in a jar and sprinkle them with salt. Shake the jar. Leave uncovered for 24 hours at room temperature. Rinse the peppers and pat them dry with paper towel.
Spread peppers on a pan and bake them for 20 minutes until the skins are charred and dark.Remove the tray and let the peppers cool. Remove the skins from the peppers, they come off easily.
Using mixer blend the peppers with 2 garlic cloves adding gradually olive oil. The mixture should reach the consistency of a fine creamy paste. Place the paste in a jar and store in refrigerator. Use it as topping for hot dogs or any grilled sausage.

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