Easy Homemade Mexican Chorizo

homemade Mexican chorizo recipe authentic

SALIVARY GLANDS AND LYMPH NODES. That’s what you’ll find in the list of ingredients of a lot of  store-bought chorizo. I bought some a while back, cooked with it, and it wasn’t until after we had eaten it that I saw the foreboding list of ingredients.  Yes, I felt a little ill.

The “daring” in Daring Gourmet isn’t referring to entertaining members of the lymphatic and exocrine families.

Since seeing that I haven’t been able to stomach the thought of ever eating store-bought chorizo again.  I don’t trust it.  That’s right, I have trust issues with chorizo. So, I make my own. I don’t bother using the sausage casings – no point since when cooking chorizo you remove it from the casing anyway. So I either grind my own pork or have the butcher do it for me. That way I know EXACTLY what’s in it!  And, more importantly, what ISN’T!

Chorizo is a heavily spiced sausage commonly used in Mexican dishes. It’s crumbled and fried up with whatever other ingredients the dish calls for. It’s made with a variety of ingredients, including various ground chiles, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar, etc. Many recipes call for about 1/4 lb at a time, so I divide it up into 1/4 lb “sausages” and freeze them so they’re ready for use when I need them.

And as for my chronic trust issues with store-bought chorizo…I’m afraid it’s a hopeless case, a lost relationship.  I don’t think I can ever learn to trust it again . I suppose we could seek counseling together, store-bought chorizo and I, but what’s the use? We never loved each other in the first place, have since lost the ability to communicate, and

“Now it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late…

Something inside has died and I can’t hide it,

and I just can’t fake it.”

Store-bought chorizo:  We’re through.

(Thanks, Carole King, for those fitting lyrics.)

This homemade Mexican chorizo is super simple to make.  I did the work in experimenting with the different spices and ratios – now all you have to do is combine the spices with the meat and you’re done!  It’s really that simple.  And this chorizo tastes good!  Just grab some ready-made chorizo from the freezer whenever you need it.

Many authentic Mexican recipes call for chorizo.  Here are a couple of mine and more will follow:

Tinga Poblana Pulled Pork Tacos

Mexican Meatballs with Roasted Garlic, Chipotle and Tomatillo Sauce

East-West Lentil Stew

 

*  Remember to show me some love, y’all, and come “like” me over at The Daring Gourmet on Facebook!

 

homemade Mexican chorizo

Easy Homemade Mexican Chorizo
 
Simple and quick to make, you have have this delicious chorizo on hand any time you need it. Just grab some from the freezer.
:
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 1½ pounds
Ingredients
  • 1 lb coarsely ground lean pork
  • 6 oz coarsely ground pork fat
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place the meat in a large bowl and all all remaining ingredients. Use your hands to thoroughly combine the mixture. Place the chorizo in a colander or sieve over a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 days, daily squeezing out and discarding any liquid. After 3 days, divide the meat up into 6 little 4 oz loaves, wrap each one in plastic wrap and place the loaves in a freezer bag or wrap again in aluminum foil. You can also use wax or freezer paper.
  2. The chorizo will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. Storing it longer doesn't really pose a safety concern, but the taste will suffer.
  3. Makes 1½ pounds, divided into six 4 oz. servings.

 

Mexican Chorizo

 

 

30 Responses

  1. wrote on

    Since we live right on the border with Mexico, and I’ve started doing Mexican cooking, I really appreciated seeing this recipe. We do have one grocery that sells the equivalent of homemade chorizo, but I liked the idea of making my own. I have now made a batch of it, and used it in a recipe (Chorizo-Stuffed Chayotes from http://www.mexconnect.com), and it is really good! Especially with some wonderful beer (in this case Dogfish Head’s Aprihop). The smoked paprika in it gives it an interesting (in the best sense) flavor. Anyway, the dish came out really nice, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some eggs & chorizo, too. I did not get any pork fat, and used 7% ground turkey to round out the 5% ground pork I found. The chorizo did not turn out dry and was still very flavorful, despite the lack of fat. This is a really nice recipe, one I will be making anytime I need chorizo. [A post-script: if you had the fresh chorizo from Vista Central Market, here in El Paso, you might still buy some chorizo if you were in the neighborhood.] I’m going to check into your other chorizo dishes, and re-try the East-West Lentil Stew using this chorizo, which I’m sure will solve the problem I had of the dish being way too hot. I would recommend this recipe to anyone who wants authentic Mexican chorizo flavor. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      That’s wonderful, jesusan! You’re the first person, besides me, who has made this…or at least who has left feedback :) I’m so happy you liked it and I value you’re opinion as to its authentic flavor. You mentioned wanting to try some of my other recipes using this chorizo – the Tinga Poblana Pulled Pork Tacos are fantastic! (In fact, they won Better Recipes’ “Best Mexican Recipe Ever” contest :) If you don’t like a lot of heat, adjust the amount of chipotles accordingly.

      • Rodney

        wrote on

        Thanks for the recipe. I have not tried it yet. (And yeah, I hate people who review and say enthusiastic things without trying the recipe, too!)

        I tried another homemade approach and it was fair, but not sufficient. Yours sounds like the spices are in the ball park! His was kind of odd & I was surprised it worked even as well as it did.

        • The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Hi Rodney! I think you’ll be happy with the flavor of this chorizo. Having made homemade chorizo before, you have a point of reference to draw a comparison, so please do let me know what you think once you’ve tried it!

      • wrote on

        Just wanted to let you know that my husband give your chorizo an enthusiastic thumbs up today (I don’t think it was entirely the 9% ABV beer he was drinking). I used it in a dish from the MexConnect website – Chorizo Stuffed Chayotes. In case you want to make that recipe, I’ve given up trying to stuff the chayote shells. It works just as well to cook the squash completely, chop it up, and add everything to the pan with the chorizo. I put it in the microwave to melt the cheese I put on top. Thank you again for this wonderful recipe. I hope many others try it and enjoy it.

        • The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Thanks for the feedback, jesusan! I think I’d go a little nutty trying to stuff those chayotes as well. Agreed, it ends up tasting the same unstuffed anyway :) Thanks again for making the chorizo and I’m so happy you and your husband enjoyed it…even if his enthusiasm was even partially due to the liquid influence ;)

      • wrote on

        Dobrý den,
        přečetl jsem si váš recept na přípravu choriza. Je mi 72 let a celý život se zabývám výrobou uzenin (párků, klobás, salámů, šunky a podobných produktů). Již od 15 let sbírám kuchařské knihy a hlavně recepty na výrobu uzenin. Proto se na vás obracím s prosbou o zaslání originálních mexických a případně i španělských receptů na výrobu chorizo klobás a salámů, případně dalších řeznických a uzenářských produktů. Současně se omlouvám, že odesílám mail ve svém rodném jazyce – anglicky ani španělsky neumím. S pozdravem VeŠ.

        • The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Hello, VeS, and greetings to Prague! I understand that you are a sausage maker and that you also collect recipes for sausages and other meats. You mentioned something about requesting recipes for Mexican and Spanish sausage products. I am not entirely sure what you are requesting or what you have in mind. Can you please clarify? Thank you, Kimberly

  2. Anonymous

    wrote on

    I’m going to try making chorizo for the first time and I like the looks of your spice combo but we like our chorizo spicy. Like really spicy. Would you recommend additional dried spices or minced fresh?

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      If by spicy you mean “flavor”, I think you’ll be happy with the degree of flavor – it’s pretty strong. You can always make it as outlined and then take just a little bit of it, fry it up, and try it to determine if you want to add more of the spices. That’s what I did when I was experimenting with the flavor ratios for this recipe. As for adding any other spices or herbs not listed, the ones in this recipe are the ones that are traditionally used in authentic Mexican chorizo. If the authentic flavor is what you’re after, stick with the ingredients listed but absolutely feel free to increase their quantity if you prefer. If you mean spicy as in “hot”, adding red chile flakes will do the trick. Thanks for making this and I look forward to hearing how it turned out!

  3. John Donahue

    wrote on

    I have been eating store bought chorizo all of my life. I was an adult when I found out about the glandular/organ meat component as the meat source in this wonderful Mexican sausage. I decided, which I think you should consider as well, that the texture was never displeasing and I have enjoyed it prepared many, many different ways. If it didn’t gross you out when you were eating it, then it shouldn’t necessarily bother you to find out what it was made of. I doubt I would ever be able to eat these organ meats by themselves, like so many people do just about any organ meat and consider it a delicacy. I have never been able to stomach the texture of liver, gizzards, heart, etc. I have had some preparations of liverwurst that were quite enjoyable and I love guacamole, even though I cannot stand the texture of sliced avocados. I think you should reconsider the store bought chorizo and just not think about what it is made of. You had no idea it was organ meats you were eating and you never really will, just from eating the finished sausage product.

    • jesusan

      wrote on

      I’ve eaten the store-bought, too, and been okay with it. However, when I make this recipe, I know what it will turn out like every time, and I can control the spiciness of it. I appreciate being able to buy ready-made if needed, but this is so good and so easy that it’s worth making, and I can get all the ingredients closer to home than I can the good store stuff. Personally, I prefer eating sausage with just regular meat and not all the weird stuff. I may not taste what you are calling ‘organ meat’ in chorizo, but I can tell you that I don’t like it straight: texture, taste, anything about it. There are cultures that consider grubs a delicacy, and are a staple in their diet, but at least for me, that’s not going to persuade me to eat them. Many of us are happier eating things we know we like. :-)

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi John! While I can see your logic, logic in this case doesn’t negate or trump the impact of the emotional reaction to finding out that what you’ve really been eating is something that you would otherwise find thoroughly repulsive. And besides, I really don’t have the need or incentive to try and psyche myself into eating it since it’s not like store-bought is the only option I have if I want to enjoy Mexican chorizo. As jesusan kindly noted, this recipe for homemade chorizo really is fantastic and so easy to make! So why buy it at all? I make it in bulk and freeze it to keep on hand. And the best part of all…I can eat and enjoy it knowing it’s 100% lymph node and salivary gland FREE!!

  4. wrote on

    I am going to try it.I have tried a lot of recipes .I hope this is the one

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Georgina! The flavor profile of this one is very authentic and it’s gotten a lot of positive feedback. Let me know what you think!

  5. Mike L.

    wrote on

    I, fortunately, read the ingredient list prior to purchase! :)

    I have made my own for about a year – I gotta say though, your recipe interests me and I have ‘book marked’ the page and I’ll let ya know what I think.

    Laters.
    Mike L.

    • The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      I made the same mistake, Mike – ONCE – which is why I’ve been making it myself ever since! :) I’m happy you’ll be giving this a try and yes, please do let us know what you think!

    • Etoin

      wrote on

      Mike, would be interested in hearing how you like this version. And would be interested in seeing yours if our hostess here does not object.

      • The Daring Gourmet

        wrote on

        Etoin, my facebook page is the perfect place for my readers to post pictures of the finished dishes – I more than welcome it! https://www.facebook.com/TheDaringGourmet

  6. Tammi

    wrote on

    Well, this is going to be dangerous. I see I have a project picked out for next weekend! I’ll have to check the black hole that is my spice collection for Mexican oregano. Found out the hard way that I was out of whole cloves yesterday when I was making the Rotkohl, had to substitute whole allspice!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Tammi! Unless you’re a purist and can’t live without it, don’t worry about getting Mexican oregano – regular will work just fine. Have fun with this chorizo. It tastes wonderful and will really enhance your Mexican dishes!

      • Tammi

        wrote on

        Kimberly, have you doubled or tripled this recipe? I like to make big batches of thing like this for the freezer. I try to be a purist when I can, but there are always those “screw it” moments!

        • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

          wrote on

          Ha! :) Yes you can double or triple it. On a different note, you can also adjust the pork fat amount according to your preferences. This definitely isn’t an “exact science” recipe.

  7. Sara

    wrote on

    Hi Kimberly, I was wondering, can you skip the straining portion and make it the night before you want to use it? I realize the flavor may not be as intense but was curious about your thoughts on this. Thank you!

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Hi Sara! Yes, you can and it will still taste excellent. Enjoy! :)

  8. Amahl Turczyn

    wrote on

    This is a great recipe, but it doesn’t have the flavor or consistency of the lymph node/salivary gland chorizo. They use those organ meats for a reason: it gives traditional chorizo a unique texture and flavor you can’t get from pork shoulder. I’m not saying the recipe is bad, it just isn’t the real thing. Try this: go to your local butcher, ask for pork lymph nodes and salivary glands, grind them with a good meat grinder, and then try this recipe; then compare the two versions. I’m guessing, if you can approach the two objectively, that you will prefer the organ-based version. And it’s a great use for an otherwise hard-to-use meat product.

    I really don’t understand the squeamishness–to me, it smacks of arrogance. If you choose to eat meat, to take the life of an animal, then have the decency to 1) butcher it yourself, and 2) eat the whole thing, from snout to trotter. There are great recipes for all of it, from pig’s ears to blood sausage. Otherwise you are no better than the fishermen who cut the fins off sharks for soup, and leave the rest of the animal to die.

    • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

      wrote on

      Amahl, I am sure that the taste and texture are different. And I can appreciate some of the sentiments you’ve expressed, but I need to comment on a couple of your points. 1) It is not arrogance to shy away from parts of an animal that are not common to the diet of ones culture, it’s simply a difference in upbringing and what one is familiar with. 2) The shark comparison is a very poor one for at least a couple of reasons. First, in your example only a tiny piece of the shark is used and the rest of it is discarded. I am certain the meat processing plants are using every bit of the pig for a wide variety of products, for both humans and animals. Secondly, what makes the example of the sharks especially alarming is the blatant cruelty involved. I am most confident that the swine in this country do not have their lymph nodes and salivary glands removed while still alive and then cast back into the pig sty to die. As for butchering animals ourselves, that simply isn’t practical for most people. Dragging a 1300 pound cow into a high-rise apartment? Besides being logistically impossible, that would be a sure way to get a notice to vacate from the landlord.

  9. wrote on

    Kimberly, you bring up a good point that shying away from certain edible parts of animals is a cultural bias. That was part of my point too. When I bring my kids to a Mexican or Asian market and they see a tray of chicken feet, for example, their typical response is “ewww,” simply because the concept of eating chicken feet is unfamiliar to them. We (let’s not say arrogant, but “privileged”) Americans are used to buying meat butchered, cleaned and packaged. But chicken breasts and ground meat tends to sanitize the whole experience–we are anesthetized to the murder that is inherent in eating meat, because we don’t have to face the animal when it’s alive. That’s somebody else’s job (the “meat processing plants”). Thus my point with butchering the animals themselves, and no, I don’t expect people to kill cows in their apartment. But drive to a nearby farm next time you need lamb chops, for example, and at least participate in the slaughter. Look that lamb in the eyes before it’s killed (by you, or the farm hand). I’ll warn you; it’s not for the squeamish. But if every American did this, it is my firm belief that not only would we all eat less meat, we’d also have a greater respect for what happens to the rest of the animal, because we’d feel some empathy, some moral responsibility for those feet, feathers, even salivary glands and lymph nodes that otherwise go to fertilizer, pet food…or, like the sharks, are simply discarded in favor of the “good parts” we’re used to eating. I am not a vegan. I eat meat, and so do my kids. But don’t you think, as a gourmet, that we all deserve to know what we’re eating and where it came from?

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