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How To Make Mexican Chorizo

Vinegar and chiles give Mexican chorizo its distinctive flavor. I choose to use apple-cider vinegar with a puree of ground guajillos, but I know some people who use red-wine vinegar with ancho chiles or white vinegar with paprika. And that’s the beauty of homemade chorizo—it can taste just they way you want.

But they best thing about homemade Mexican chorizo is that you don’t have to stuff the sausage into casing. I reckon some people do, but as you’re just going to remove it I really don’t see the point. And sure, the chorizo tastes better after it’s sat around for a while but if you don’t have time to wait, I find that it’s still delicious just after you’ve made it.

Mexican chorizo

1 pound of ground pork
3 dried guajillos
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika (not smoked paprika as Mexican chorizo is decidedly not a smoked sausage)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons salt

In a dry skillet heated on high, toast the chiles on each side for about 10 seconds or just until they start to puff. Fill the skillet with enough water to cover chiles. Leave the heat on until water begins to boil and then turn off the heat and let chiles soak until soft, about 30 minutes.

After chiles are moist, drain the water and place the chiles and vinegar in a blender, also adding the diced onion and chopped garlic. Puree until a smooth, bright red paste is formed (can add a splash of water or vinegar if it's too dry to blend). It will look like ketchup.

Add the chile puree to the ground pork, along with the rest of the spices. Mix well. To test the flavors, pinch off a small piece and fry it up in a skillet for a minute or so. Taste it and add more spices if needed.

You can let it sit for a few hours so the flavors will meld, but I find it’s delicious just after making as well. Will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, and it freezes nicely.


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