I used to have such “food envy” about Mexican Chorizo. See, I couldn’t buy it where I lived. So sad, huh? And when it started becoming available, it was super pricey and usually frozen. So I learned to whip up my own Homemade Chorizo. Homemade Chorizo is quick and easy to make at home and problem solved!
Mexican Chorizo is so delicious and has so many uses. Traditional Mexican? Yes of course. But you’ll find Homemade Chorizo can be used in so many recipes when you need a little earthy, spicy punch. Links to a few of my recipes using Chorizo are at the bottom of the page. Chorizo, not just for breakfast, anymore!
About Homemade Chorizo:
Did you know Mexican Chorizo is a personal thing? It has a long history going way back to Spain; when the Spaniards got to Mexico, they found the climate wasn’t conducive to the drying of Chorizo sausage, so Mexican Chorizo was/is made fresh. Chorizo can vary from region to region, town to town and many families have their own recipe, handed down for generations.
What that means is that in making your own Homemade Chorizo, you have a lot of options for customizing. My particular blend of Chorizo is on the milder side (to me), but maybe you’d like to vary the types of chile or heat level to suit your own taste? If so, feel free to add in spicier chiles with a little more heat.
What Chiles are best in Homemade Chorizo?:
A typical blend for homemade chorizo is a mixture of the milder Ancho and Guajillo chiles. Ancho is probably a pretty familiar, mild chile and is found in a lot of food and recipes in the US. The Guajillo gives a deeper, almost raisiny flavor. But you can add and experiment to your heart’s content. Personally, I love a hint of Chipotle chile in my chorizo.
My recipe is pretty traditional, but it’s fun to experiment with all kinds of different chile or chili powders. The pure chili powders used in Chorizo are each based on one type of chile. They’re not the American “Chili powder” we buy at the store, which is already a blend of chiles, spices herbs, and salt.
I like to toast my dried chiles (just lay them in a hot pan until they begin to expand, turning often) and then let them cool. Once cool, open them up, remove the stems and seeds (that’s messy, do it on a large sheet pan with sides to contain all the seeds) then grind the chiles (not the seeds or stems) in a coffee or spice grinder, or good blender to a powder.
If you think you’re coming to my house with your own bag of coffee beans, you’re going to be in for a big surprise if you want to use my coffee grinder! You’ll have Mexican coffee! Most dried chiles will give you around a tablespoon of dried chili powder, but this varies with the size of the chiles.
Optional Flavorings in Homemade Chorizo:
While some ingredients are essential and pretty much common to all Chorizo, the amounts can be played with and additions can be made. In my Chorizo, I use paprika to bring the red color forward, others use Annatto. Some don’t use anything. I’ve noticed the red color seems to intensify as the Chorizo rests overnight. Other common ingredients are ground coriander seed and/or cinnamon.
I’m sure many people have their list of very top secret ingredients in their Homemade Chorizo. Don’t in any way feel that I’ve covered everything! That’s the beauty, isn’t it, in making your own?
The Pork for Homemade Chorizo:
Chorizo is normally pretty oily, and you do need some fat to carry all the flavors. Chorizo is typically made with the fattier shoulder, but if you do want to go lean, you could use pork loin. I compensate for today’s leaner pork by adding just a touch of oil to the recipe. Some people use bacon and others save their pork fat and blend it into their chorizo. Again, it all comes down to your own personal taste and what you have available.
You’ll find that making your own Chorizo is not only a great way to have that customized taste, it will be a fraction of the cost of the Chorizo you buy at the store and so much fresher and more vibrant. Both Pork Shoulder and Pork Loin can hit a great sales price from 69 to 99 cents a pound, with the best pricing usually in the fall. I generally see both cuts of meat drop to a low at least once a quarter at my store, generally around 99 cents to $1.49 a pound. Pick them up at the low and freeze. Even with the additional cost of the chiles (they’re generally inexpensive) Homemade Chorizo is downright cheap to make. Bonus!
If you’d like to read more about buying and using the pork shoulder, see my post on a Large Pork Roast, Boston Butt/Shoulder. The pork shoulder is sometimes called a “Boston Butt” but it seems NOT in Boston. I thoroughly confused a Bostonian who had never heard of a Boston Butt!
Testing Your Homemade Chorizo:
Take a minute to fry up a small bit of your chorizo so you can get an idea of the taste, but remember that chorizo is best a day after mixing. You’ll know when you test right away at least if you’re on the right track with the heat level, even if the flavor’s a bit jagged. All the flavors in your homemade chorizo will smooth out and blend after a little time resting.Print
Homemade Chorizo is super simple and so customizable. Make a little taste test and cook it up to make sure you’re happy with the spices.
- Yield: about 2 cups 1x
- 1 pound pork shoulder
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon guajillo chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- a pinch of ground clove
- 1 clove crushed garlic
Cut well chilled pork into 1″ chunks. Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until pork is broken down and mixture is well blended.
Remove from processor bowl and knead several times to incorporate all the spices. Wrap well and chill overnight or around 8 hours before using.
Keeps well for five or six days, freezes well for three to four months.
- This is a mild tasting chorizo, made as is.
- 1 whole, dried chile makes approximately a tablespoon of chili powder.
- Recipe may be increased if you’d like a larger batch.