Fresh Spanish Chorizo

Big Man was lucky to have been given a mincer/sausage maker at Christmas.  Ideal for producing sausages for the family and we hoped that it would give us the chance to make fresh chorizo to eat while in England. Occasionally we come across a very authentic version (in Lidl of all places) otherwise those produced by our local butcher are good but  just not quite the same.

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When you buy fresh chorizo in Andalucía  (typically from the butcher) you’ll be offered freshly made ones which are designed for frying, cooking on the plancha or barbecue and are for immediate consumption. You will also be asked if you want some for drying.  These will have been made a few days previously and you take them home, hang them up somewhere cool and dry and leave them to dry out to the texture of what we know as salami. Depending on the weather and time of year this can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks.

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Asking our friends and family (including a pal who is a butcher) what spices we needed, everyone looked at us as if we were mad foreigners and said “you buy a packet of Chorizol and follow the instructions”! Hmph.

So, on our last trip this is what we did, but this packet mix contains preservatives which we’re not keen on using or consuming.  As an aside, this word in Spanish is “conservativo” as a “preservativo” is a condom….. definitely NOT what you will be using for your sausage making! I digress. I’ll give the instructions for making up an equivalent spice mix per kilo of meat but feel free to play around until you get your perfect flavour combination.

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Ingredients per kilo of meat

  • 1kg of pork which should be about 30% fat to meat. We used pork shoulder meat and pork belly strips.  The meat should be coarsely minced.
  • 60g of spice mix per kilo of meat. To make this you need about 35g sweet pimentón, 15g  smoked pimentón, 5g salt (add more salt to the meat mix at the end for taste if you prefer) 5g garlic powder.  You can also add a little grated nutmeg (a pinch) and a pinch of finely ground dried oregano.
  • A splash of wine (red or white)
  • Sausage casings

Add your spice mix to the ground/minced meat, together with a splash of wine. Mix thoroughly with your hands (I recommend wearing gloves or you will have very stained hands from the pimentón for a few days ). Add a splash more wine if necessary to make a slightly moist mix.

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The meat should already start to smell like the chorizo we know and love but to be sure, break off a small piece and dry fry it for a minute or two on each side. Taste and add any further seasoning. We added about a teaspoon of hot chili powder to ours which gave a little heat.

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Cook and taste a little again if necessary and then move on to the highly entertaining part of filling your sausage casings. This is most definitely a job for two people! Ours were not uniform in thickness or length and we found it easier to make long sausages then tie them into shorter lengths when  we were done.

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Hang your sausages up in a cool dry place (if this is practical for you) for 24 hours. This allows the skins to dry out a little and helps them not to burst when cooking. Now you can cook, freeze, dry, share enjoy your chorizo….happy chorizo making!

If you are looking good for something to make with your chorizo, why not try this simple but delicious tapa? !

Chorizo con Cebolla (5)

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57 thoughts on “Fresh Spanish Chorizo

  1. Sausage making is harder than it looks. Congratulations on success. I made vegan sausages with my mincer but the skins all burst. I guess I was doing something wrong.

    1. That looks like great fun! I’m still trying to find someone to take me to a matanza, so I can watch what all the old ladies put into the sausages. I think you are right about tracking down blood, it’s very hard in the UK, even my butcher has problems getting it, whereas in Spain pork butchers sell it by the liter. I think a lot of people in the UK use powdered blood for black pudding manufacture.

      1. Not so sure about it either but if it really is simply a freeze dried version of the fresh product (am thinking of something like dried milk) maybe it’s a practical way of conserving and using. Will have to investigate further!

      1. I used (shock horror) those synthetic skins. I still have some in the fridge door waiting for my next brave experiment. I think I need to add more “fat” to my mix and so I am going to experiment with nut butters and avocado to see if I can’t rectify my problems. There are a tonne of vegan sausage recipes out there but most of them don’t use skins (I now know why 😉 ).

      1. I remember in my youth my mother having a conversation along these lines in Italian with a priest (the translations are the same!) And her telling him how “preservatives” gave her a bad reaction and made her mouth swell up! Eventually someone stepped in and explained. I can’t remember who was more horrified – my mum or the priest, but all us younger folk were in hysterics!

  2. Ah! The much anticipated chorizo recipe. Thank you for sharing, Tanya, as well as your version of Chorizol. There is no way I’d find it here. Good tip, too, about frying up a bit before continuing with the process. You really don’t want to go through the trouble of making sausage only to find out it’s under-seasoned. I’ve mentioned that I’ve quit making links. Patties are so much easier to make and no casings to deal with. On the other hand, although one should be sure to ask for “conservativo” and not “preservativo”, should you run out of casings … 😀

    1. Ah those embarrassing language mistakes. It’s the same words in Italian so be warned! Making patties is a great idea, or even a big meatloaf which can then be sliced. Yum!

  3. If one has a machine and a wee bit of experience this looks rather a fun and productive activity: not so many ingredients at all! Have yet to find the opportunity to ask to use a friend’s equipment and try! That said I do agree with John that patties are easier to make tho’ Middle-Eastern style mine are always shaped like sausages 🙂 ! Have not made my own black pudding either but have absolutely loved pig’s blood pancakes since childhood and a friendly word to the local butcher will produce this here if ordered beforehand.

    1. It’s something we’d wanted to try for a long time and it was good fun. I can’t see us doing this every week but when the chorizo supply runs out we’ll be cranking up the machine again!

  4. My folks have just bought a sausage making machine so will set them to work making some chorizo. Naturally I will have to do some quality checks.
    Have a beautiful day Tania.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  5. Your sausages are so pretty! I thought chorizo always had hot pepper or cayenne in it, so was glad to see you added it. I also thought it had fennel in it, but not having ever made any chorizo, I can see that I was wrong. I’ve only made sausage once and it was left ground for a recipe I was cooking. This actually looks like a lot of fun when you have the proper equipment and I would also use my own spice mix for the same reasons. Hate that “conservativo” stuff!

  6. Wow! Chorizo casero!!! Qué lujo. Seguro que os quedaron buenísimos. Me parece curioso que el lidl venda aquí productos ingleses, franceses, holandeses, alemanes, etc y que en UK vendan los españoles, qué listos son!!!
    Os felicito por esta fantástica receta. A mí particularmente me gustan fritos y en bocata. Ah, y la aclaración entre conservantes y preservativos, brillante!! jeje Un abrazo

    1. Creo que las tiendas tienen promociones especiales y cuando estoy en España aprovecho de la “semana Inglesa/Francesa etc” y en Inglaterra de la semana Española! Lo hemos disfrutado mucho y ahora tenemos planes para hacer salchichones ☺

  7. Well, you definitely disproved the old saying that it’s best not to know how sausages are made. That’s a wonderful and fascinating post!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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