Chorizo is a chile and garlic flavored sausage, much beloved by Mexicans and we of the American Southwest. Chorizo was originally derived from the Spanish sausage of the same name, but has evolved over the last few centuries to be distinctly Mexican.
In Mexico, Chorizo is commonly made of pork, but also of young goat, javalina, venison, occasionally beef, or where meat is scarce, just about anything available.
Many of us think the finest chorizo is made in the Mexican state of Sonora, and this recipe hails from there. It is a fresh sausage, so if you make it with pork, cook it thoroughly. It is highly flavored, so a little goes a long way. It is convenient if it is wrapped and frozen in small packages.
Chorizo is great for breakfast. Thaw out a package, fry it up lightly while breaking it up, and when fried, scramble in a few eggs. This is wonderful by itself, or with tortillas.
Instead of the eggs, you can add a cup or so of Mexican beans to the fried Chorizo. Mash them well while they fry, and you have "Frijoles Refritos con Chorizo", excellent when eaten like grits or potatoes, and also excellent as a taco, burrito or sandwich filling. Chorizo is also good to flavor up a red chile sauce, a stew, or anything else that could use a bit of good Mexican bite.
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.
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