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Old 06-02-2006, 09:35 PM   #11
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Short-Cut Gringo Chorizo
Makes 12 ounces raw sausage

For lighter eating, I actually prefer this turkey-pork blend to traditional Mexican chorizo, a flavorful sausage that unfortunately oozes in fat. But this mix is so lean there's not even a need to drain it. Use it to flavor scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, rice, or spoon it into tortillas slathered with beans and salsa. Yum!
Ingredients and steps:

1 (12-ounce) chub 'light' breakfast sausage
(such as the turkey/pork mix made by Jimmy Dean)
1 teaspoon powdered red chiles, preferably ground ancho chiles
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Mix together all ingredients well. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes prior to use, or cover and let the flavors blend overnight or up to 3 days. Fry until crumbly, breaking up the sausage as you go. Note that the sausage will initially give off liquid from the added vinegar, but this will evaporate as you cook it. The sausage, deep-red in color, never really browns but is done when cooked through and crumbly.

(Recipe: The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Macmillan 1997)
At the big Ju
árez market in Oaxaca City I passed the Carnicería Teresita and had to stop. Behind the counter were Hermenegildo Berinstaín Camacho and his wife and son, all sitting on wooden stools eating a lunch of rice, refried beans, and a mole amarillo with green beans freshly made and fetched from home by his wife in an enamelware portavianas (the standard Mexican three-tiered lunch box) with each dish in its own compartment. Above their heads were round links of chorizo like necklace beads hanging from butcher hooks fastened to the ceiling, and strips of chile-slathered cecina (air-dried seasoned pork, draped like clothes over a wire stretching from side to side of the busy little stand. It was the enticing aroma of the chorizo that stopped me in my tracks. We struck up a conversation and Hermenegildo was kind enough to share his recipe with me.
I have made this wonderful sausage in the form of links, and also as a bulk mixture to be frozen in small portions in plastic bags. If you choose the first option, buy hog casings (available most of the time from many ethnic butchers or by special order from other butchers) and prepare them by letting cold water run through them to rinse off as much as possible of the salt in which they are usually packed, then soaking in a large bowl of cold water for half an hour. For this amount of the chorizo mixture you will need 5 feet of 1/2-inch-diameter hog casings. Check them for leaks while rinsing them.
Do not buy packaged pre-ground pork, which will be too fine. If you have a meat grinder, buy about 1 1/2 pounds of fairly lean pork meat (shoulder, rib end of loin) and grind it with the coarse disk; otherwise ask the butcher to give you 2 pounds of pork in a 3:1 ratio of lean to fat, coarsely ground for sausage.
The uses of chorizo are limitless. It can go into fillings like the one for Molotes or soups like Cocina de Coles . It is wonderful with fried potatoes or scrambled eggs. Having a few links or portions in the freezer is like money in the bank.
Yield: About 2 pounds sausage mixture.

10 ancho chiles, tops and seeds removed, or 3 ounces powdered ancho chile

1 Oaxacan pasilla chile , tops and seeds removed, or 1 canned chipotle chile en adobo

4 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

One 1-inch piece canela (soft-stick cinnamon)

1 teaspoon dried Oaxacan oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled

3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup dry red wine

2 pounds coarsely ground pork (3 parts lean to 1 part fat)

5 feet of 1/2-inch diameter pork casings (optional)

If using whole ancho and Oaxacan pasilla chiles, rinse the chiles under cold running water and shake off the excess moisture, but do not dry them. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. A few at a time, place the chiles on the griddle and let them heat, turning occasionally with tongs, just until any clinging moisture is evaporated and the aroma is released. Allow between 30 to 45 seconds in all. The chiles should just become dry, hot, and fragrant; do not allow them to start really roasting or they will have a terrible scorched flavor. Remove from the griddle as they are done. Place in a deep bowl as they are done; cover generously with boiling water and let soak for 20 minutes. If using ancho chile powder, combine it in a bowl with 1 cup water and mix to a paste.
Working in batches if necessary, grind the cloves, bay leaves, peppercorns, and canela together with the oregano, thyme, and marjoram in a electric coffee or spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Drain the soaked chiles. Place them (or the chile powder mixture) in a blender with the ground spice mixture, garlic, salt, vinegar, wine, and the canned chipotle chile (if using). Process until thoroughly pur
éed (about 3 minutes) on high.
Place the ground meat in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the chile mixture and mix thoroughly with your hands. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days, to let the flavors mingle and develop.
If using sausage casings, prepare them as described above. If you have a grinder with a sausage-stuffing attachment, follow the manufacturer's directions for attaching and filling the casings. You can also fill the casings with the aid of a helper: One person firmly pushes a few inches of casing over the spout of a large funnel and holds it in place (a rubber band may help) while the other uses a long wooden spoon to stuff the mixture into the casing. In either case, use kitchen twine to tie off the filled casing into short round links the size of Ping-Pong balls. Hang up the sausages to air-dry for about 4 hours, preferably in a cool airy room. (You can drape them over a pasta dryer or clothes dryer, or a string stretched between two corners, of the kitchen.)
If you are not working with sausage casings, simply scoop 1-cup portions of the chorizo mixture into small plastic freezer bags. Sealed tightly, they can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 4 months. Or do as my mother suggests and completely cook the chorizo mixture before freezing. For this you will need 2 large skillets, with 1 - 2 tablespoons lard melted in each over medium heat. Add the chorizo mixture and cook, stirring often, for 12 - 15 minutes. Drain off as much of the rendered fat as possible and let the mixture cool completely before packing 1-cup portions into small plastic bags.

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Old 06-02-2006, 09:36 PM   #12
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Most of the chorizo that is sold in the United States is pretty awful by Mexican standards. Fortunately good chorizo is quite easy to make.
The town of Toluca, which lies about 40 miles the west of Mexico City is justly famous for its chorizo, and it is from there that most of the best recipes come. However, fine chorizo is made all over Mexico, and I am particularly partial to the variety made in Oaxaca, of which the following recipe is typical. Chorizo is sold both in bulk and stuffed into casings, and you can make it both ways. However, for the home cook, I think it is a waste of time and effort to put the sausage into casings because the vast majority of recipes call for the chorizo to be removed from the casing before cooking, in any case. Please note that no matter how fatty the pork you buy in a stateside super market, it will probably have less fat than most authentic chorizos. Because of this you may wish to add some additional pork fat, cut into small pieces, to the recipe. If not, always put a little oil in the pan before you fry the less fatty version.
Note: If you wish you can substitute 1/4 cup pure chile powder (or to taste) for the whole chiles.
1 pound, fatty, boneless pork shoulder cut into ½ inch cubes
5 ancho chiles
1 pasilla chile
2 cloves
3/4 inch piece of cinnamon stick
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon oregano
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf, broken into small pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Put the cut up meat in the freezer until it just begins to freeze, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Simmer the chiles in water to cover until they are very soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the chiles under cold water, drain, then remove the stems and most of the seeds. One or two at a time put the chiles, meat side down, in a food mill fitted with the medium or fine blade, and crank the machine until the chile pulp is separated from the skins. Process the remaining chiles in the same manner and reserve the pulp. In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the cloves, cinnamon, oregano, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf and salt to a powder. Mix the partially frozen pork with 1/4 cup of the chile puree (reserve any remaining puree for another use) rubbing it in by hand. Add the spices and garlic, and mix well. Put the meat in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, add the vinegars and process in bursts until the meat is coarsely ground. Alternatively you may put the meat through the medium or fine blade of a meat grinder, then mix in the chile paste, spices and vinegar. Allow the chorizo to absorb the flavors overnight before serving, then freeze the remainder in useable portion sizes.

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Old 06-02-2006, 09:39 PM   #13
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5-lb coarse ground pork butt
1-cup cold white wine
8-tsp paprika
5-tsp salt
5-tsp fresh minced garlic
2-tsp cayenne (We use 4 for hotter sausage)
2-tsp cumin
2-tsp dried oregano
1-tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all, mix well & stuff into hog casing
We like to use this for tacos and nachos with 1-lb of pork

For Tacos and Nachos

1-lb pork
3-tbsp white wine
1 1/2-tsp paprika
1-tsp salt
1-tsp fresh minced garlic
1/2-tsp cayenne (We use 1-tsp for hotter sausage)
1/2-tsp cumin
1/2-tsp oregano
1/4-tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all and fry

Mexican Chorizo
1/2 pound boned pork loin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, crushed
Trim fat from pork. Combine pork and remaining ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until well-blended. Place mixture in a zip-top bag; seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork mixture; cook 5 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble. Yield: 1 1/2 cups (serving size: 1/4 cup)

Anne's Homemade Chorizo

2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup chili powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup white vinegar

In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef, ground pork, chili powder, oregano, garlic, salt, red wine and vinegar. I find that using my hands works the best. Cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. Take out daily, and mix thoroughly.

If you are not going to cook with it immediately, divide it into 1 to 2 pound portions, and store in freezer bags in the freezer.
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:40 PM   #14
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To Begin Chorizo: In a large bowl place:
2 Lb. ground pork.
3 1/2 tsp. salt
6 Tbl. pure ground red chile
6-20 small hot dried red chiles; tepine, Thai dragon, pico de gallo or the like, crushed
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl. dry leaf oregano
2 tsp. whole cumin seed, crushed
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
4 Tbl. good cider or wine vinegar
2 1/2 Tbl. water
Have everything cool. Break up the meat, sprinkle evenly with the rest of the ingredients, cut in with two forks until evenly mixed, then knead a bit with your hands until well mixed. At this point the chorizo will keep for at least a couple weeks in your refrigerator, or let it season for a couple days in your refrigerator, then wrap it in small packages, (3-4 oz. is about right for two people), and it will freeze fine for months. It can also be stuffed into casings and smoked like any other pork sausage.

Title: Fran'S Chorizo (Mexican Sausage)
Yield: 1 Serving


2 tb ancho or pasilla chile;
1 tb dried oregano
1 ts ground cumin
1/2 ts ground coriander
1/4 ts crushed red pepper
1/8 ts ground allspice
1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts black pepper
2 cloves garlic; minced
1 tb white or rice vinegar
2 tb tequila
1 lb ground pork


Chorizo is a Mexican sausage that can be used in many ways, chief among
them in breakfast tacos combined with skillet fried potatoes and/or
scrambled eggs. There are many variations - this is my favorite. You can
make it in bulk as it freezes well. Cook as you would ground beef but on
lower heat to avoid burning the spices.

Combine herbs and spices, tequila and vinegar. Add to pork and mix well.

Courtesy of Fran Rich - frich@tenet.edu

Recipe by: San Antonio Herb Society Cookbook

Posted to BBQ List by Garry Howard

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : Chorizo is a Mexican sausage that can be used in many ways, chief
among them in breakfast tacos combined with skillet fried potatoes and/or
scrambled eggs. There are many variations - this is my favorite. You can
make it in bulk as it freezes well. Cook as you would ground beef but onlower heat to avoid burning the spices.

Contributor: San Antonio Herb Society Cookbook

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Old 06-05-2006, 07:19 AM   #15
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i'm really glad i stumbled on this thread. chorizo isn't available here and a few years ago i tried "winging it", but but my results were rather mediocre. now i've got another little project to look forward to. thanks all
let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:40 AM   #16
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Just remember that the recipes I posted are for Mexican chorizo, not the Spanish cured kind.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:33 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jminion
I can respect the idea that you can control what goes into your sausage but the other side is it limits the style of sausages you can make and you how you can handle cooking it to get the best product.

Many sausages get smoke at low temp for long periods of time or are air dried and without TenderQuick or prague powder as example the texture of the finished product is just not right.

Curing agents used correctly kept you healthy and allows you to enjoy some great treats.
First of all, thanks to everybody who posted since I last checked in! You've given me so much great information and I'm just itching to get home and try these out!

Jim, I don't question the role of curing agents, it's mostly a matter of availability: I live in Greece and try to source all my ingredients locally. When that means translating from English, sometimes it's achievable, sometimes it just seems to be too much work for the results. Sticking to fresh sausages works for us now because our incentive to start was several fresh sausages we'd had abroad but couldn't purchase here (the Nurnberg from Germany and the "Italian" as we knew it in the States).

Sure, I'd love to get ahold of a decent pepperoni for pizza-making -- another one not available here -- but for now considering the hassle of getting into cured sausages, I've just decided to be okay about missing it. Does that make sense?!
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Old 06-06-2006, 11:37 AM   #18
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A trick I learned from a nutritionist to cut fat is to use lean meat and add one-third the total weight of the sausage in TVP. The TVP (textured vegetable protien (made from soy)) should be recostituted in a hot, flavored broth. If using pork, use pork broth. If chicken, then use chicken broth, etc. You can also reconstitute the TVP in hot water.

I have made many batches of pork breadfast sausage as fat free as I could get it, added the TVP and spices/herbs, and an egg as the binding agent. When cooked, the mouthfeel and moisture content were indistiguishable when compared with the original, fat-laden recipe.

The TVP absorbs the other flavors and has a texture quite similar to cooked fat. It can be used for most fresh sausages (not dried or curred varieties), and as a substitue for fat in any ground meat. In its chunk form, it can be used directly in chili, lasagna, and a host of other foods.

On the down side, I find its natural taste unpleasant, as do most people. So it has to be used correctly (no more than one third of the total meat/TVP mixture). When used correctly, it is a valuable product that is both highly nutritious, and low in fat, and in the proper amounts does not detract from the original recipe's flavor.

If you are serious about cutting the fat, and retaining the quality, try using TVP.

And as for dried or cured sausages, sodium nitrate/sodium nitrite are naturally occuring salts that inhibit the growth of botulism, one of the deadliest toxins on the planet. The little critters (microbes) thrive in low-oxygen environments such as in sausage casings, sealed cans, airless plastic bags, etc. They are destroyed by heat, but that must be done before they have a chance to grow and multiply, and exrete their poison into foods.

This is the reason that canning techniques use boiling temperatures to kill microbes. And the critter responsible for the toxin is commonly found in most soils around the world.

Botulism poisoning was quite common with cured sausages and was a real problem until it was found that salt peter (sodium nitrate) inhibited their growth. But then it was foound that the sodium nitrate was a powerful carcinogen (cancer causing agent). The problem was resolved when safe levels of sodium nitrates and sodium nitrites were determined. And the recommended levels have been shown over many years to be correct.

The anti-botulism salts are also used in deli meats for the same reason, to preserve and protect them against bactirial contamination. That's why deli meats, hams, and cured sausages taste similar in some ways, and why they are pink. The sodium nitrate is also a staining agent and keeps the meat pink when it is cooked.

Hope this sheds some more light in the preservation and processing of meats.

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“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 06-20-2006, 03:50 PM   #19
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it is made here in spain whe the pork is killed,but it is out of law,the conservation of it,it is very expensive kill a pork at home like ancient times,I think in north todya make it.it is made of TRIPA of prk and I think than use blood of pork,with red pepper.take care

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