What is it?
Chorizo comes in two varieties: Spanish and Mexican. The Spanish version is a cured sausage like pepperoni or salami, but made with pork and lots of paprika. The Mexican version is a fresh sausage, but the key ingredients are still red chile and garlic. Many commercial offerings contain tongue, salivary glands, and other rather unappetizing things. So This version is made with regular ground pork, and lots of ordinary seasonings. It is quite delicious, and very easy to make.
What do you do with it?
The flavor of chorizo is very strong. It is normally used as a flavoring for another dish. My favorite way to use it is mixed with scrambled eggs, and normally I use this as a filling for a nice breakfast burrito.
- 2 – 2 1/4 pounds (around 1 Kg) fairly lean ground pork
- 10 cloves garlic, very finely minced (see note)
- 4 TBS ground red chile (see note)
- 2 TBS sweet paprika
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 TBS kosher salt
- 4 tsp oregano (Mexican preferred, mediterranean is fine)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander (ground, not whole)
- 1/2 tsp cinamon
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 8 TBS cider vinegar
For the garlic you can use granulated, just substitute 1/2 tsp for each clove (so for this, 5 tsp). Garlic powder us a bit less – 1/3 tsp per clove, although I haven’t tried this out.
This sausage is really all about the chile. I am able to find both mild and hot New Mexican Red chile, and us 3 TBS mild and 1 TBS hot. You can also just use California red chile (made from Annaheim pods). Note that crushed red pepper is NOT the same thing, and will make this inedibly hot. Otherwise, use what you can find, or what you prefer. If you can’t find smoked paprika, just add a bit more sweet.
Place the meat in a large bowl and add in all the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Use your hands. have fun. When everything is completely mixed, seal the bowl or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for three days. The first time, I couldn’t wait that long. It was fine when I used some after two days. But the third day it was even better.
This makes a lot of sausage. Unless you are feeding an army, divide it into three or four parts and freeze what you aren’t going to use in the next few days. Then fry what you are going to use in a 10 – 12 inch skillet. Drain well. The fat rendered is quite delicious, but really not good for you.
How do you Use it?
As mentioned earlier, This is primarily an ingredient in other dishes. The internet is loaded with ideas. But I like egg and chorizo burritos. These two photos show how.
The first shows three eggs being scrambled with a couple of large spoonfuls of chorizo.
Now the result is divided between two large flour tortillas. Fold the ends toward the middle, fold the flap over (keeping ends tucked in), and roll up.