How to make Mexican Chorizo

Mexican Chorizo

What’s shockingly red and makes your nose tingle before you even smell it? Mexican Chorizo, the legendary spicy sausage that uses a foundation of various chili powders. Add ancho, guajillo and pasilla chilies for a smoky, earthy heat, then mix in paprika, garlic, herbs, vinegar, and a shot of your finest Tequila (one for the meat and one for you). 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 just makes storage and transportation easier, and it’s usually removed before cooking. Since we’re not going far, we prefer to keep it loose.

Project Time

3 hours


10 pounds


Food Processor
Kitchen Scale
Meat Grinder
Spice Grinder


• 8 lb. whole pork shoulder
• 2 lb. 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.

If you're buying the meat pre-ground from the butcher, ask them to coarsely grind the meat.

Recipe Using This Mexican Chorizo


Let's Roll

1. Let's Roll

Place 3 large mixing bowls and the meat grinder attachment in the freezer for 15 minutes before use. Keeping the equipment cold will help the grinding happen quickly. Measure out all the ingredients from your shopping list, then get ready to prep them as outlined below.

Dice the Pork

2. Dice the Pork

Dice the pork shoulder and pork belly into ½-inch pieces and place them in 2 of the chilled mixing bowls. Place the diced pork in the freezer for at about 10 minutes before grinding.

Roast the Chilies

3. Roast the Chilies

Pre-heat the oven to 300°F / 149°C.

Cut the stems off the chilies. Slice the chilies open and remove the seeds.

Spread out the chilies on a baking sheet. Bake for about 6 minutes, until a light char appears on the chilies, then remove from the oven. Wait for them to cool, which will take 5 to 10 minutes.

Make a Batch of Chili Powder

4. Make a Batch of Chili Powder

Using a food processor, pulverize each type of roasted pepper in separate batches until they are a fine powder.

Pulverize and Mince

5. Pulverize and Mince

Using a spice grinder, pulverize the black peppercorns and cumin seeds.

Peel and mince the garlic.

Get Spicy

6. Get Spicy

Place the garlic, spices, cider vinegar and Tequila in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together until the spices are thoroughly mixed into the liquid, resulting in a thick, soupy consistency.

One shot for you, one shot for the spice mixture.

Grind el Puerco

7. Grind el Puerco

Assemble the meat grinder with the large die.

Grind both the diced pork shoulder and pork belly, allowing the ground meat to drop into a chilled mixing bowl.

Meat Sundae

8. Meat Sundae

Pour the spice mixture on top of the ground meat. Put on some food preparation gloves and mix the spices with your hands into the ground meat until it is uniformly coated with the spice mixture.

Taste the Magic

9. Taste the Magic

Grab a handful of the sausage, form it into a burger-sized 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...

How much does delicioso weigh?

10. How much does delicioso weigh?

Weigh out the sausage mixture into ½-pound portions. Wrap each portion in wax paper.


11. ¡Vámonos!

Wrap the sausage a second time in butcher paper, or seal in small freezer bags. Using a Sharpie, label each package: Mexican Chorizo: made May 6, 2015.

Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before consuming, to allow the flavors to mingle. Place in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 1 month.

Cook the Chorizo to an internal temperature of 150°F / 65°C before serving. Mexican Chorizo is great in tacos, Migas, chilaquiles, on top of nachos or even in scrambled eggs.