How to Make Your Own Chorizo Sausage©
Chorizo is a chili (pepper) and garlic flavored sausage. Chorizo originally arrived with the Spanish Conquistadors but has evolved into a distinctly Mexican sausage during the last several hundred years. Spanish chorizo is made from coarsely chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with smoked pimentón (paprika) and salt. It is generally classed as either picante (spicy) or dulce (sweet), depending upon the type of smoked paprika used. Hundreds of regional varieties of Spanish chorizo, both smoked and un-smoked, may contain garlic, herbs and other ingredients. At Home Farm Herbery we make our own Chorizo from a blend of organically grown and chemical-free herbs we grow here at Home Farm.
Chorizo comes in short, long, hard and soft varieties; the fattier versions are generally used for cooking, whereas the leaner varieties are suited to being eaten at room temperature as an appetizer or tapas. Although this is not always the case a general rule of thumb is that long, thin chorizos are sweet, and short chorizos are spicy,
Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. Whenever I am in Spain I stop into a bar to enjoy the different varieties as they may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or warm (such as chopitos), which are battered, fried baby squid). According to The Joy of Cooking, the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat which sherry drinkers in Andalusian taverns used to cover their glasses between sips. This was a practical measure meant to prevent fruit flies from hovering over the sweet sherry (see below for more explanations). The meat used to cover the sherry was normally ham or chorizo, which are both very salty and activate thirst. Because of this, bartenders and restaurant owners began creating a variety of snacks to serve with sherry, thus increasing their alcohol sales. The tapas eventually became as important as the sherry.
Portuguese chouriço is made with pork, fat, wine, paprika and salt. It is then stuffed into natural or artificial casings and slowly dried over smoke. There are many different varieties, differing in color, shape, seasoning and taste.
There is even a Mexican version of chorizo which is based on the uncooked Spanish chorizo fresco; the Mexican versions of chorizo are made from fatty pork (however, beef, venison, kosher, and even vegan versions are known). Rather than chopped, the meat is usually ground (minced), and different seasonings are used. This type is better known in Mexico and other parts of the Americas, and is not frequently found in Europe. In Mexico, Chorizo and longaniza are not considered the same thing.
In the Dominican Republic, Panama and Puerto Rico, chorizo and longaniza are considered two separate meats. Puerto Rican chorizo is a smoked, well-seasoned sausage nearly identical to the smoked versions in Spain. Puerto Rican and Dominican longanizas have a very different taste and appearance. Seasoned meat is stuffed into pork intestine and is formed very long by hand. It is then hung to air-dry. Longaniza can then be fried in oil or cooked with rice or beans. It is eaten with many different dishes. Chorizo is a popular pizza topping in Puerto Rico.
Chorizo is great for breakfast or any other meal. Fry it up, scramble in some eggs ... and you have chorizo con huevos!
At Home Farm Herbery we have created 3 different blends of Chorizo Sausage Seasoning and they range from mild to medium to hot. You can go to localharvest.org and do a search for Home Farm Herbery and then do a search of Chorizo and you will find all 3 of them.
To Make Home Farm Herbery Gourmet Chorizo Sausage you will need the following ingredients: The contents of a package of Home Farm Herbery Gourmet Chorizo Sausage Seasoning, 5-lb coarse ground pork butt, 1-cup cold white wine, and 3-medium onions, finely chopped. For those who want their chorizo hot just add the separate package of cayenne pepper. You can get the Home Farm Herbery Gourmet Chorizo Sausage Seasoning at this link http://www.localharvest.org/hot-chorizo-sausage-seasoning-C23359
To make easily make your own healthy, chemical free Chorizo you can just follow these simple directions and all you will need is an old fashioned meat grinder or just mince the meat finely. Start by hand-trimming the fat from the outside of the meat to your desired fat preference. Grind the meat with a fine grinding plate. After grinding, add the sausage seasonings to the meat and blend by hand or use a meat mixer. Be sure to mix thoroughly to ensure the ingredients are spread evenly throughout the meat. Stuff by hand or by using a sausage stuffer or sausage stuffing attachment for an electric meat-grinder. (Note: do NOT use the blade in meat-grinder when stuffing and it is best to use a stuffing (bean) plate). If you wish, you can also form patties without casings.
I do hope you will experiment with our seasonings because you do not have to stuff casing as you can easily fry it up in patties or minced or even roll it up in cheese cloth as a log and let it dry out or smoke it.