Homemade Fresh Chorizo

Homemade Fresh Chorizo… can be used in sausage casings, formed in patties, or crumbled. I’ve been buying fresh chorizo sausages for some time now. There’s a particular brand we find out our local supermarket… made in Montana, that has minimal ingredients and made without preservatives. This brand of fresh chorizo has really great flavor… reminds my husband of the homemade Romanian sausages he used to eat growing up.  In any case, I normally keep a pack of these sausages in my freezer to use in all sorts of dishes…. though my husband prefers the links fried with eggs or next to some mashed potatoes:). But one day I ran out of these sausage links. Decided it was time to make my own… so the recipe came about on a whim one day. 
I had bought some country style boneless pork ribs…  on sale for a great price. My intention at the time was to bake them with some BBQ sauce. But that particular day just happened to be a really hot day, and I really didn’t feel like turning on the oven… so I changed my plans. I  decided to grind the meat and do away with the long oven braising. That’s when the opportunity to make some fresh chorizo came up….
Chorizo usually has a bit of heat to it, so  I decided to use some cayenne pepper. I like the smoky flavor of chipotle, so I added a bit of that as well. And to bring in even more smokiness, I included some smoked paprika as well. With a few other spices from the pantry, I quickly made a chorizo spice mix that was added to the ground meat. The chorizo meat is best left to sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours. Allowing the meat to rest in the fridge for longer than 24 hours will  bring maximum flavor. 
While you can stuff the meat in casings, you can just as well form patties or even form the meat into meatballs, which you can then use in a variety of  other dishes. I like to freeze the meat in smaller portions as it thaws much quicker and I can take out as much as I need. I’ll form the chorizo meat in small patties and then place some parchment paper in between each patty… this will ensure easy removal later on. 
There are lots of recipes that use ground chorizo so it’s nice to have some fresh chorizo on hand. I love to use it to add extra flavor to meatballs, taco meat, soups etc. Next time I’d like to substitute some ground chicken for the pork… just to make a different variation. Hope you enjoy…
Note: If you don’t care for the traditional pork, opt to use ground turkey, chicken or even beef. And it’s always best to have some fat with the leaner type meat… 

Tip: Try substituting the chipotle powder with ancho chile powder and increasing the amount  a tad bit. It’s fun to make the spice mix your own… with spices you like. And feel free to increase the garlic too… 

You will need:
1 1/2 lb ground pork( I used pork shoulder rib meat)
2 TBS red wine vinegar

Mix of spices: feel free to adjust quantities to taste
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 garlic clove, grated( if you like more garlic, you can use more)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste*
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
*if you don’t like the chorizo to have too much spice, opt to omit the cayenne

1. Grind pork meat… or use store bought.
2. Mix ground meat with vinegar.
3. Measure out salt, garlic and rest of spices. Mix together and add to ground meat.
4. Combine the spices with the ground meat thoroughly. Form into patties, stuff in casing, or divide in small portions.
5. Allow meat rest in the fridge at least overnight… to fully develop the flavors of the spice. Otherwise, just freeze the meat for another day. I like to make sure I make smaller portions of meat and layer with parchment paper in between… this way I can defrost one or two pieces as needed. 
2013 07 11homemadechorizo

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