All chorizo is not created equally. Here’s the lowdown:
Spanish chorizo is an air dried sausage that is intended to be eaten uncooked and sliced thinly, much like salame (salami) or pepperoni. The predominant flavorings of Spanish chorizo are pimenton (smoked paprika), garlic and salt.
Mexican chorizo, the version that we make at Farm Field Table, is a fresh sausage that is intended to be cooked and most often is a flavoring addition rather than a center of the plate protein. The predominant flavorings of mexican chorizo also includes dried chiles, garlic and salt but also includes many other herbs and spices such as cumin, coriander, bay leaf, marjoram, and cinnamon.
Chorizo is a team favorite here and is well loved by our guests as well. What really separates our chorizo from the pack, in my opinion, are two items: meat quality and freshly ground spices.
We use all heritage pork (local, of course) in our chorizo. If you don’t start with delicious meat, you can not make delicious sausage! Contrary to many sausage recipes you can find online, we use fresh hams. The reason for this is that the ham is more protein dense than the shoulder and has more natural water binding properties. From there we add in back fat to achieve the moisture/texture that we want.
When it comes to spices we are anything but light handed in this chorizo. The one simple trick that makes our chorizo so good is that all of our spices are toasted and ground each time we make a batch of sausage. Dried spices are never “fresh” per se, but the pre-ground spices available at the grocery store are simply not great and may have been ground many months ago or worse. Grinding to order ensures that all of the flavor and aroma available makes its way into our chorizo.
Lastly, we choose to use a coarser grind than that of the grocery store version. We want these beautiful bites of chorizo to be prominent in the dishes that we create rather than melting and disappearing.