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)