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Friday 11 February 2011

Chorizo (choreetho)

This post was requested by my blogging friend Sommer J of Germany, remember to come back and click through to view her food blog recipe that inspired this post.


A semi air-dried sausage that is, in my opinion, hugely under-estimated and not used enough in our everyday cooking repertoire. It can be used in many places, on pizza is probably a favourite, sliced chunks in a cassoulet or a hot soup really work well, as they do in pasta dishes and rice dishes such as paella. Recently I have seen it sold hot in Borough Market in London, where one of the stallholders offers a toasted bread roll filled with a grilled chorizo split lengthways along with roasted red peppers and a dressed salad. The queue for this feast was more than 20 deep! Does that tell you something?

Chorizo can be put in 36mm boar casings.

Tip: Replacing some of the water in the mix with olive oil plus a few shakes of Tabasco sauce works very well.

Another, and probably my favourite chorizo recipe is this semi air-dried sausage that, unlike salami, is not left to develop a white powdery mould on the surface.

7.5kg pork

1.5kg beef

240g salt

24g saltpetre (WARNING..please check the legal useage and amounts of saltpetre in your country before following this recipe)

20g ground black pepper

10g nutmeg

10g hot chilli powder

40g paprika

280g mild chilli powder

100ml olive oil


1. Trim the meat thoroughly, discarding any sinews.
2. Mince using a 5–6mm plate.
3. Add and blend the seasoning to the meat mix.
4. Fill 34–36mm boar casings and make to length, approximately 50cm.
5. Tie the two ends together using a fine butchers twine.
6. Pre air-dry at 25oC (77oF) for 6hrs, then air-dry for about 2 weeks at a constant 15c (60 oF) and 80% humidity.
7. The shelf life will be several weeks from the end of the drying stage.
8. Wiping with olive oil before sale or serving will enhance the appearance and colour of the sausages.
A large chorizo can be made using 54mm ox casings and with added back fat cut into thumbnail-sized pieces, add just enough to offer an alternative texture to the main mix. Of course the pre-drying and drying times need to be extended for the larger version. Once mature this chorizo can be served as thin slices.

Tip: When making air-dried or salami sausage it is best to remove all visible silver skin and sinews. Silver skin is the fine bluish film of skin you find in between the joint of two muscles, the outer skin on a tenderloin demonstrates this well. Use only trimmed lean meat then add back the fat to the mix before seasoning. Experiment with any recipe that takes your fancy, you will be surprised and maybe delighted with your efforts.


  1. You might want to check the saltpetre level. 24g in a 9724g mix is over 10 times the EU limit.

  2. Hi Info, That's a good point you've raised, thank you for bringing it to the table. I'll edit my post to include a warning.

  3. Mmm ... bet my husband would like this on his pizza. I *will* make my own sausage one day, but probably not the kind in casings. When I get ready to tackle it I will, of course, refer to your posts.

  4. Jean the day you make sausage I only hope I'm there to witness it. Lol. Bit like me saying I will make some cup cakes one day..lol.

  5. You're sooo amazing!! Thank you for posting this! I can not wait to give this a try! I'm scared, though! I've made American style country sausage (easy peasy)....but nothing to this degree. I love a challenge!

  6. Hi Sommer, you can substitute the salts from this recipe with your bacon cure you bought a while back as it will already have the right amount of nitrites/nitrates included. It is no more difficult to your country sausage, trust me!

    p.s. I'll post a Pancetta recipe next week for you.

  7. Thanks for this. I've been using the reciepe from the Saturday Kitchen site. It's quite good, but this sounds amazing.

    Do you need a vacuum packer to stop it drying out anymore if you want to make a big batch?

    I would be interested in the pancetta post too. Tried it once from what I remembered on your course but it didn't work very well.

  8. Hi George, yes if you are making large batches a vacuum packer would be beneficial or wrap tightly in clingfilm or even freeze.

    The Pancetta recipe might have to wait, I've broken my camera and it's gone for repair. I'll check my libary of photo's to see if I can use something.

    Give me a call if you wish George, I'll fix your Pancetta problem, need to know exactly what you did first.

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