Total Project Time: 3 hours
It's shockingly red and gets your nose tingling before you even smell it - yeah, Mexican Chorizo is strong stuff. Chili powder is the foundation of this sausage, using ancho, guajillo and pasilla chilies for a smoky, earthy heat. Add garlic and herbs, some vinegar, and a shot of your finest Tequila. One bite and you'll start to smell the Sonoran desert, and feel the sting of a scorpion in your boot.
You can case this sausage if you want. However, the casing is used for storage and convenient transport, and usually removed before cooking. We prefer to keep it loose. Chorizo is great in tacos, migas, chilaquiles, on top of nachos, or even thrown in scrambled eggs.
Pro-tip: Do not eat raw! This is not Spanish chorizo, which is dry-cured and looks like an oversized Slim Jim. Mexican chorizo is cooked. You cook it. Before you eat it. Got it?
2. Equipment Checklist
The day or multiple days before the event, procure the following equipment:
• Chef's Knife
• Cutting board
• Mixing bowls
• Meat Grinder
• Food Processor
• Spice Grinder
• Kitchen Scale
• Food preparation gloves
• Wax paper
• Butcher Paper or small freezer bags
3. Shopping List
The day before the event, procure the following ingredients:
• 8 lb. whole pork shoulder
• 2 lb. pork back fat or pork belly
• 1 head garlic
• 12 dried ancho chilies
• 6 dried pasilla chilies
• 6 dried guajillo chilies
• ¼ cup hot paprika
• ¼ cup Kosher Salt
• 1 ½ tbsp. black peppercorns
• 1 tbsp. cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. dried oregano
• 2 tbsp. cayenne
• 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
• ½ cup añejo tequila
Dried ancho, pasilla, and gaujillo chilies can be found at your local Mexican market.
4. Let's Roll
Place 3 large mixing bowls and the Meat Grinder attachment in the freezer around 15 minutes before use. Keeping the equipment cold will help the grinding move quickly.
Measure out all of the ingredients from your shopping list, so that they are ready to work with in the subsequent steps.
5. Dice the Pork
Dice the pork shoulder, and pork back fat or pork belly, into ½ inch pieces and place in the chilled mixing bowls.
Place the diced pork in the freezer for at least 10 minutes before grinding.
6. Roast the Chilies
Pre-heat the oven to 300F.
Cut the stems off the chilies. Slice the chilies open, and remove the seeds.
Spread out the chilies on a baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes, then remove from the oven. Wait for them to cool, which will take 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Pulverize and Mince
Using a Food Processor, pulverize each type of roasted pepper in separate batches until they are a fine powder. Measure out:
• ½ cup ancho chili powder
• ¼ cup pasilla chili powder
• ¼ cup guajillo chili powder
Using a Spice Grinder, pulverize the black peppercorns and cumin seeds.
Mince the garlic.
8. Get Spicy
Place the spices and liquids in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until the spices are thoroughly mixed into the liquid, breaking up any lumps, resulting in a thick soupy consistency.
9. Grind el Puerco
Prepare the Meat Grinder with the small die.
Grind the diced pork shoulder, and pork back fat or pork belly, allowing the ground meat to drop into the chilled bowl. This exercise will build both biceps and your core. You might want to take turns.
10. Meat Sundae
Pour the spice mixture into the bowl of ground meat.
Put on some food preparation gloves and mix the spices into the ground meat until it is uniformly coated with the spice mixture.
11. Taste the Magic
Grab a handful of the sausage, form it into a small patty, and fry it up in a skillet. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Before you add more chili powder to turn up the heat, stop and think about who will be eating this. Family? Friends? Or enemies...
Weigh out the sausage mixture ½ pound at a time, and wrap it first in wax paper, then a second time in Butcher Paper, or seal in small freezer bags. Using a Sharpie, label each package Mexican Chorizo: made December 6, 2013.
Refrigerate at least 24 hours before consuming to allow the flavors to mingle. It will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Cook the Chorizo to an internal temperature of 150F before serving it. Try the chorizo in tasty dishes like Migas and Chilaquiles.