This is a vibrant and flavorful sausage, bright with ground spices and dried peppers. It can be made in the bulk style and shaped into patties, but it is particularly fine when stuffed into links. Chorizo can traditionally be found in both fresh and dry-cured forms; this fresh version uses no curing salts and is the classic Mexican variety, crumbly and mildly spicy, perfect with a breakfast of tortillas and eggs.
This recipe comes from Home Sausage Making, 4th Edition: From Fresh and Cooked to Smoked, Dried, and Cured: 100 Specialty Recipes. Makes 5 pounds.
Cut the pork into 2” cubes.
In a large bowl, combine the pork, salt, garlic, oregano, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Meanwhile, make the chile paste by soaking the chiles in water. As they soften, remove the stems and as many seeds as desired (the more seeds that remain, the spicier the sausage).
Purée the chiles in a blender, adding as much water as needed to make a smooth paste. Portion out a 1/4 cup of paste and set aside any extra for another use. (It’s great in marinades and enchilada sauces.)
Prepare the casing, if using. Snip off a manageable length of casing, about 4-6 feet long. Rinse under cool running water, and allow to soak in a bowl of cool water.
Hold one end of the casing open under the faucet, and turn on the cold water, so that the casing fills like a balloon with cool water. This will flush out the salt on the interior of the casing, as well as pinpoint any tears or breaks in the casings. Return the casing to the bowl of water, and add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar for each cup of cool water in the bowl. The vinegar softens the casing and makes it more transparent, resulting in a better-looking finished sausage. Leave the casing in the vinegar-water solution until you are ready to stuff it.
Grind the meat mixture through the medium disk of a meat grinder into a chilled bowl.
Mix in the chili paste and vinegar until well blended. Freeze the mixture for 30 minutes. If desired, fry a small amount of the bulk sausage to test the flavor; adjust seasoning if necessary.
If desired, the sausage can be formed into patties at this point and frozen; otherwise, proceed to the stuffing step.
Prepare the sausage stuffer. Gently gather the sausage casing over the stuffing tube, pushing it back into gentle accordion folds. Tie the end of the casing in a simple knot.
Feed the meat mixture into the stuffer, allowing the casing to fill completely, with no air pockets, before advancing the casing.
When all the sausage has been stuffed into the prepared casing, twist into 6’ links.
Place the sausage on a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 day.
Cut the links apart. Refrigerate, wrapped well in plastic, for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Cook as desired, to an internal temperature of 160°F.
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