Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chorizo. AKA: probably my favorite meat.

Scrambled egg and chorizo breakfast burritos are easily one of my favorite homemade breakfast items.  They can be as fancy and dressed up or as plain and simple as you like depending on whatever ingredients you have on hand. (And in general, [imho] any food wrapped in a tortilla is instantly improved.) That being said, making chorizo was immediately placed on the top of my to-do list after obtaining my meat grinder.

Chorizo is a Mexican pork sausage that gets most of its flavor from several peppers, in this case pasilla(ancho), chipotle, and paprika.  Ancho, and chipotle powders can by hard to find so Charcuterie recommends drying fresh peppers and then grinding them, so I just bought pre-dried ones in the ethnic food section at Fred Meyers and ground them.  Spices in that section are so much cheaper than in the baking section.

After the long, involved process of de-stemming/seeding my peppers, I ended up with this:

At which point I was ready for the even longer process of cutting this thing:

Into little tiny pieces small enough to fit in my grinder.
It's really important when trimming meat for sausage to get as much of the sinew as possible out of the meat.  I don't seem to be very good at this.  The reason is that, when you are actually grinding the meat, all that sinew will get wrapped around the blade and will slow down the process.  You can tell this has happened when you get what is known as "smearing" on the die. When grinding is going well, the appearance should be like a bunch of individual little worms coming out of the die, exactly like ground beef in the supermarket. Kind of like this:

kind of...
But with smearing, the meat all comes out in kind of an amorphous blob. Like this:

At which point you have to stop, take the thing apart, and clean out all the gunk. Pain in the ass.

But anyway, eventually you end up with wonderful sausage yay!

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