Paio de Beja

Paio de Beja is a thick smoked Portuguese sausage produced in Beja region. Paio sausages can be found throughout the country. Paio de Beja is produced from Alentejana breed of pig.
Paio de Beja carries PGI, 2007 classification.

Lean pork-butt, loin, legs750 g1.65 lb
Back fat, fat trimmings250 g0.55 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt28 g5 tsp
Cure #12.5 g1/2 tsp
Pepper2.0 g1 tsp
Paprika, sweet4.0 g2 tsp
Red pepper paste*30 g1 oz
Cumin or caraway1.0 g1/2 tsp
Garlic, dehydrated2.0 g1 tsp
Water60 ml2 oz fl
  1. * 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.
  2. Made marinade by mixing salt, cure #1, spices and 60 ml of water.
  3. Chop meat and fat into 3/8” (10 mm) pieces.
  4. Mix meat and fat with marinade and hold for 2 days at 10 °C (50° F) or lower (refrigerator). Drain.
  5. Mix marinated meat and red pepper paste together.
  6. Stuff into large hog casings. This is a large sausage, which has a straight cylindrical section, measuring between 5-8” (12-20 cm) in length and between 60-150 mm in diameter.
  7. 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.
  8. Dry/store at 5-15° C (41-59° F).
* red pepper paste (in Portuguese “massa de pimentão”) is an essential condiment in Portuguese cooking.

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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