chorizo 2, blue salt 044For cooks who enjoy process and transformation, leisurely, at-home sausage making can make for a very satisfying afternoon’s work. This Mexican chorizo recipe is a delicious example.

Goddess, Chorizo 1 001Not to be confused with Spanish chorizo, which is a cured sausage, dense, dark, and hard, Mexican chorizo is a fresh pork sausage spiked with chiles, cumin and coriander. A generous dose of vinegar gives it its distinctive tang.

Chorizo is best enjoyed fried in loose chunks but transports and keeps better in a casing.  They freeze beautifully and it’s easy to pull out a couple of links when you’re whipping up some hearty quesadillas or Mexican scrambled eggs (or as they say in Mexico, huevos revueltos, but revolting eggs with home made sausage might be a difficult sell, so just call them Mexican scrambled eggs and everyone will be happy).

chorizo 2, blue salt 002Natural sausage casings are sold in hanks, packed in salt. A hank contains what seems to be a millions miles of casing, but they keep for a long, long, long time in the refrigerator, covered in the salty slurry and wrapped well. Revive them by a short soak in water followed by a cool water flush by fitting them over the faucet head.

This video shows basic grinding and stuffing techniques.

chorizo 2, blue salt 035MEXICAN CHORIZO

3 lbs. pork butt, cut into 1″ cubes
1 lb. pork fat, in 1″ cubes
3 T. coarse salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. hot red pepper flakes, such as Aleppo
2 t. ancho chile powder
1 T. whole coriander seeds, crushed
1 T. whole cumin seeds. crushed
1 T. sweet paprika (not smoked)
2 t. black pepper
1 T. dried oregano
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. cider vinegar

2 yards of natural sausage casings

1. Cube the meat, crush the spices and mix everything well by hand.

2. Refrigerate the meat mix for 2 or more hours, until it’s good and cold.

3. Grind the meat using the coarse blade. Grind on speed 4 on a KitchenAid stand mixer (medium speed on other grinders). Mix well again, and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more, to preserve the chill.

4. Grind the meat a second time, using the small cutting blade. Fry a small patty of sausage to taste for seasoning.  Adjust as desired, making sure any additions are mixed in well.

5. Rinse the natural sausage casings in cold water.  Fit one end of the casing over the opening of the faucet and run cold water through it to rinse the insides.

6. Slip one end of the cleaned casing over the tip of a stuffing tube, then scrunch up the entire length onto the tube, leaving just 2″ hanging off the end.

7. Affix the stuffing tube to the grinder (with the blade now removed) and start stuffing. Start with a very low speed. Hold the open end of the casing and as it fills, gradually let the casing slip off the tube.  Twist the sausage every 6 inches or so to form links.

8. Chorizo tastes best after a day or two after making.  Store unused chorizo well wrapped, in the freezer.

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Written by on May 26, 2014 under ALL RECIPES, Charcuterie, Main Dishes.

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