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:
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- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Makes 1½ pounds, divided into six 4 oz. servings.