My chorizo

My chorizo

By
From
A Year of Practiculture
Makes
3 kg
Photographer
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

Look, it’s not really my chorizo, it’s practically a recipe someone gave me and I think I just added more heat and – surprise, surprise – more smoked pimentón (Spanish paprika). That’s pretty much how I roll. I simply add more heat and smoky flavour to everything – although this approach is not recommended for baking a cake. I’ve tried a few other chorizo recipes and found them not chorizo-y enough or too salty or too something else that made me less than excited, so I’ve been using this recipe over and over again. If you haven’t noticed by now, I have a bit of a thing for good chorizo. And I’m talking Spanish chorizo not Mexican. Although they both have their place, this recipe is for the cured Spanish version. And it’s the porky pearl of my chorizo dreams.

I’ve shared it with heaps of people – the finished product, not the recipe – and everyone’s said it tastes like Spanish chorizo. I guess that’s because it stays true to the formula of keeping it simple and honest.

One highlight for me recently was handing a chorizo to a pig-farming salami-making guru friend of mine, Tammi, and her saying I’ve nailed it. I guess now she might understand my lack of interest in her salami recipes.

The first time I made a batch of chorizo, the butcher made the mix too fatty. Tammi and I recommend 25 per cent pork fat to meat. If you buy a packet of natural sausage casings, prepare a small batch initially, then get more ready if you have left-over sausage mix.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 garlic bulbs, cloves separated and peeled
750ml red wine
3kg pork sausage mix, (25% fat, 75% meat)
1/2 cup smoked pimenton
1/3 cup sweet pimenton
1/4-1/3 cup cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/3 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup black peppercorns
100g salt
natural sausage casings
butcher’s twine

Method

  1. Steep the garlic in the wine in a saucepan over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain out the garlic and pour the wine into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients except the casings and twine (!) and mix well with clean hands until everything is evenly spread. Take your time with this and mix it well – it’s actually important.
  3. Rinse the salted casings in cold running water.
  4. Fill your sausage-stuffer with your mixture and load a casing on the nozzle. Don’t forget to tie a knot at the end!
  5. Basically, I recommend you follow the instructions for your sausage press, as they’re all different. The general idea, though, is to get an even stuffing – you don’t want big gaps in the meat, because it’s a place for nasties to grow and spoil your chorizo.
  6. When you’ve pressed out all the mix into the casings and sealed the end with a knot, use butcher’s twine to tie off each chorizo to your desired length. Pop in the fridge for a few hours.
  7. Use a sterilised pin to prick each sausage ten to twenty times, then hang them in a meat safe for 9 weeks.

Disclaimer:

  • I don’t use sodium nitrate in any of my cured meats, but it’s recommended that you do. Do your research and make up your own mind.

Tip:

  • If your chorizo forms white mould, don’t panic – it’s okay. If it bothers you, dip a cloth in a bowl of vinegar and wash the mould off before you eat the chorizo.
Tags:
rohan
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practiculture
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