We show you how to make your own delicious homemade chorizo.
Chorizo is a versatile sausage that can be eaten at three different stages.
The first is fresh and cooked on a BBQ; the second is hung and cured for a couple of weeks, and then sliced and fried; the third is hung for four weeks until it is hard, like salami.
Making your own homemade chorizo is really exciting and satisfying but you must be aware that there are risks associated with it, especially to the young and the elderly.
Do your research and understand the process. Cooking cured meats before you eat them, however, reduces that risk to almost zero.
- 1 full-length natural hog casing
- 2kg free-range pork shoulder, skin off1
- 7 purple garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 300ml red wine
- 40g pure sea salt
- 20g freshly ground black pepper
- a pinch of starter culture
- a pinch of sodium nitrate (optional) used to prevent bacteria.
(Makes about seven to nine sausages.)
You’ll need a sausage stuffer and mincer with a coarse mince attachment. This may be a hand mincer or an attachment for an electric mixer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for sanitising and assembly.
Soak the sausage casing in cold water for one hour, and then rinse it well inside and out. Thread the casing onto the sausage nozzle, put it onto a plate and keep in the refrigerator.
Remove the sanitised mincer parts from the freezer and assemble the mincer.
Cut the meat into pieces small enough to grind through the mincer. Using a medium-sized disc, grind the meat into a non-reactive bowl that has been sanitised and kept in the freezer.
Wash and sanitise your hands (some people prefer to use gloves, but we think you can lose the feel of what you are doing, and with sausage making that is important).
Combine the ground meat with the garlic, spices, wine, salt, pepper, starter culture and sodium nitrate, if using, and mix very well. Place in the refrigerator and leave overnight.
The next day, fill the bowl of the sausage cannon with the mixture – be careful not to leave any air pockets as this will create air pockets in the homemade chorizo, which you want to avoid.
Attach the nozzle to the end of the sausage cannon. Tie a knot at the end of the casing, pumping the mixture out of the end of the nozzle before you tie the knot, as this will also stop air pockets from forming.
Slowly start to crank the cannon and fill the casing to make the chorizo. Make sure to pack the casing tight as you fill it. Guide the casing out of the cannon using your thumb and forefinger onto a clean work surface as it fills.
Once it has finished, massage the sausage to ensure that it is filled evenly. From the end that is tied, twist the filled casing at 23cm (9 inch) intervals to make individual sausages. When you come to the end, tie the final knot.
Hang the sausages in a cool well-ventilated place, about 12 degrees celsius.
It takes about two to three weeks for the sausages to start to dry out – the longer you leave them the drier they will get. We prefer to cook them when they are at the early stage of the drying process.
Recipe based on ‘The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book’ by Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow and Ross O’Meara (2012, Murdoch Books).