Chorizo is sausage. It's typically sold in a casing and is known also as ground pork with spices, although it is sometimes prepared with beef. The Spanish version typically incorporates smoked pork, which is milder, while packages labeled "Mexican" are hotter.
This wonderful sausage is included in many recipes, including egg dishes, soups, stews, and with beans or rice.
It's also easy to make your own, which also lets you control heat and salt content. You don't need casings; just make patties of any size and then cook before adding to other dishes.
Ingredients: 2 pounds ground pork 10 ancho chiles ¼ teaspoon ground cloves 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon dried marjoram ¼ cup vinegar ¼ cup dry red wine 1-2 teaspoons salt (optional)
Directions: Rehydrate the ancho chiles by simmering for 20 minutes. Drain thoroughly and place in a blender or food processor. Use a spice mill to create powder from the cloves and bay leaves. Add to food processor. Next, combine the remaining dry ingredients plus the vinegar and wine. Puree. In a large bowl combine pork and pureed mixture and blend thoroughly by hand.
At this point, you can place sausage in casings if desired. If not, cover in a glass or plastic bowl (non-reactive container) and let marinate for 48 hours. Remove and make small patties or balls and freeze. You can also cook thoroughly first and then freeze. Once thawed, it's ready to either brown or add directly to your favorite dishes for the deep, rich flavor of Mexican sausage.
Recipe courtesy of Hispanic Kitchen member Cindy Kennedy. Photo courtesy of Palacios Chorizo.