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Homemade Mexican Style Chorizo

My home town of San Manuel is famous for chorizo, thanks to the Flores family. For three generations, they have been making classic Mexican style chorizo de San Manuel.

Although it is a cased, link sausage, our local Mexican/South Texas tradition is to remove the casing, and fry it like ground meat in a pan. Flavored with fresh garlic, chile puree and a hint of vinegar, it is a familiar aroma in home kitchens and restaurants every morning.  After the chorizo is fried, we usually scramble in eggs, and wrap the cooked mixture in a flour tortilla for a breakfast taco.

Even though the Spanish brought their recipe for chorizo to the New World, Mexican chorizo and Spanish chorizo are two distinct types of Latin American sausage. One cannot be substituted for the other.

Remember that making sausage is a way to preserve meats. Adding salt, vinegar, herbs and spices to ground meat helps kill bacteria, and prepare it for drying and fermentation. Consistent, dry climates such as those seen in Spain allow chorizo to be air dried and fermented safely in a regular home or butcher shop environment. In Mexico, however, the variable climate is not ideal for drying and aging sausages, so chorizo is sold moist, and fresh.  Mexican chorizo must be cooked before consuming, while Spanish chorizo is ready to slice and eat.

Also, in Mexico, most chorizo is flavored and colored with chile puree, while in Spain, chorizo is flavored with smoked paprika. Each country uses the ingredient that they have in greater abundance. Even though I adore good Spanish chorizo (especially the type from Bellota), my home town chorizo always brings back memories of my grandparents' kitchen. For me, as it is a flavor from my childhood, it is more than just a dish.

Thankfully, making your own chorizo is a snap. Even when I am far from home, it is comforting to know a good breakfast taco is just an easy recipe away.

 

Home Made Mexican Style Chorizo

  • 6 chile ancho (about 4 ounces)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 pounds ground pork

Get the full recipe.

 

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