Learn how to make authentic Mexican chorizo at home and have the perfect ingredient ready to go for delicious tacos, sopes, or frijoles.
Today I will be sharing one of my favorite Mexican recipes with you, Chorizo. When Europeans hear this word they think of a fermented cured red sausage (Spanish chorizo). But when North Americans hear chorizo they think of a spicy, crumbly meat, red sausage (Mexican chorizo). Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are very different from each other in looks, texture and taste. Since the Spanish chorizo is cured it can just be sliced and eaten. Mexican chorizo must first be removed from its casings then cooked before eating. No matter what you may find on the Internet the two are not interchangeable. I love both types of chorizo but for very different reasons and to eat or cook with in different ways. This recipe is my own trusted recipe, one I’ve been using for a long time, one I love so much that I included it in my cookbook.
The key ingredient that gives Mexican chorizo its red color and spiciness is the Ancho chile powder. But depending on where you live Ancho chile may or may not be available. Below I have listed a way of substituting the Ancho chile with other chile powders. Using the substitute will yield a slightly different tasting chorizo but it will still be very close in taste and can be used just the same. Another great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t use sausage casings, you only need to cook it before enjoying it.
Step by Step Guide to Making Homemade Mexican Chorizo
Gathering Your Ingredients:
Prepare all your ingredients. You will need ground pork, various spices including cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves, bay leaves, and ground cinnamon. Additionally, you’ll require some herbs, granulated garlic, sea salt, peppercorns, chile powder (with options for substitutes), and apple cider vinegar (with the option of using red wine vinegar).
Before you begin, it’s important to note that chili powders can cause a burning sensation to your hands. For this reason, consider wearing plastic gloves during the preparation, especially when handling the chili and the chorizo mixture.
- Using a mortar and pestle, begin by grinding the cumin seed, coriander seed, and cloves together.
- Crumble the bay leaves into the mortar with your hands and grind them until they blend into a fine powder.
- Incorporate the remaining spices, including ground cinnamon, oregano, thyme, granulated garlic, sea salt, and peppercorns (or ground black pepper). Grind or mix them until everything is uniformly combined.
Mixing with Pork:
- In a large glass bowl, break up the ground pork using your hands.
- Pour in the apple cider vinegar and sprinkle half of your ground spice mixture over the pork. It’s crucial to spread the spices evenly.
- Integrate the spices into the pork, ensuring even distribution. Keep adding more of the spice mixture bit by bit, until all of it has been worked into the meat.
- Continue mixing until the meat turns a reddish hue from the chile powder, and all the spices are entirely absorbed.
Rest and Store:
- Once the chorizo mix is prepared, it’s best to let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. This resting period allows the flavors to meld, leading to a richer taste.
- If you’re not ready to use the chorizo right away, consider freezing it. Without casings, you have the flexibility to shape your chorizo into sausages or patties. Maintaining their shape is easy – simply wrap each one in plastic kitchen wrap.
- Alternatively, you can portion out specific amounts of chorizo and store them in plastic bags, which lets you defrost only the amount you need later on, without using up the entire batch.
Cook and Enjoy:
Nancy Lopez-McHugh is a food blogger, photographer and published author. Most recently she has published "Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide To Better Photos".