I was warned against encasing- I paid this no heed. And then the fun began.
Chorizo, like bacon, might just be one of the most genial of all foods. My love affair with the spicy Mexican (yes, yes, there are different types, but here I am referring to the loose, red-spiced Mexican version) sausage began with a chorizo and egg breakfast taco when I was just a wee one. Since then, I have encountered its wonder in numerous and beautiful ways. Just like bacon, it’s the perfect doppelgänger for seafood, yielding a rich, savory, finely ground contrast to the more delicately flavored and firmer in texture shrimp or scallop. Also like bacon, it pairs equally well with both the savory and the sweet. (And just tonight I discovered how well it goes with kimchi fried rice!)
Kimchi fried rice with chorizo de casa!
With five pounds of ground shoulder and belly in my fridge, I knew it was time. Knowing basically what went into chorizo, (garlic, oregano, vinegar, salt, pepper, and some red pepper/chili powder combination) I did a bit of internet research. I did not like what I found and thus chose to ignore it. I have a pretty discriminating palate when it comes to chorizo and I decided to come up with my own recipe approximation.
I bought guajillo and ancho peppers. I soaked them in a hot water and then scooped out their tender insides. I threw in lots of fresh garlic. Added some apple cider vinegar, some oregano, some comino, some sautéed onions, some salt, and some white pepper. After much trial and error, I believe I eurekaed.
Chilies in their hot water bath.
All the internal goodness.
This was a mess. But out of the chili water will come a spicy chocolate sorbet!
My garlic bloomed.
The sauce I continuously adjusted to add to the ground pork.
Sadly, casing the mass was not without some teeth gnashing. Hog casings are not the most cooperative of animal products. I understand now why there are sausage makers. I understand now why there are sausage makers. I understand now why there are sausage makers. I understand now why there are sausage makers. I understand now why there are sausage makers.
Hog casings. A lot of hog casings.
And it looks like tape worm.
Ay, ay, ay.
After so many funnels, I finally discovered the brilliance of a pastry bag. My hands might smell forever like chorizo, but at least every last ounce of spiced piggy deliciousness is resting sounding in a relative’s intestine.
Would you like some chorizo?