You say Chorizo, I say Chouriço

A bowlful of pork marinated in the style of Portuguese chouriço

A bowlful of pork marinated in the style of Portuguese chouriço

Actually, I say both! Today I made both Mexican Chorizo and Portuguese Chouriço, as well as a batch of forcemeat for tasty old-fashioned crepinettes de porc.  It was a big sausage day.  I made about five pounds of each, and most of it is now in the freezer.  The new freezer..

A few days ago when I went to retrieve some pork shoulder & fatback for this sausagepalooza, I found the freezer had just failed; I lost almost all the dear veggies I’d put up there, and around 50 or 60 pounds of lovely pork, beautiful little lamb kidneys, lovely plump lamb hearts, oh, it was awful!

However, I was able to salvage a good amount of still-frozen meat, and the upside is that I have more freezer space now, woo hoo!

I’d originally planned to visit a wonderful bisavo (great-grandma) near Fall River, Massachusetts to have a hands-on mano a mano Portuguese sausage schooling, but couldn’t arrange it in time for the May Charcutepalooza challenge, so instead I looked for guidance from Hank Shaw over at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook and from Messrs. Polcyn & Ruhlman, authors of Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing , as well as a phone call to a Portuguese pal. My chouriço seasoning is almost identical to Hank’s linguiça seasoning, only I used marjoram instead of oregano, and I didn’t smoke the sausage. My chorizo seasoning is, again, almost identical to Polcyn & Ruhlman’s recipe, with a few tweaks in deference to my larder. In neither case did I use pink salt, since these would be frozen.

Grinding marinated pork into forcemeat for chouriço

Grinding marinated pork into forcemeat for chouriço

I mixed the seasonings and spices (though not the wines, liquors, and vinegars) with the roughly chopped 1-inch to 2-inch chunks of meat and fatback in two large ziplock bags and let them ruminate in the ‘fridge overnight.

Thankfully today was overcast and cool; the temperature at my sausage-making station stayed between 64 and 66 degrees, and the cool temperatures made life a lot easier.  I did use a large bowl of ice to keep various bowls of meat extra cool, but if it had been warm and sunny, it would have complicated matters.

Once the meat was ground, I added in the required liquids to each batch and mixed it with the paddle attachment of my mixer until the texture was nice and sticky:

Nice sticky forcemeat

Nice sticky forcemeat

One of the reasons I’ve been looking so forward to this challenge is because I’d have the chance to use the hog casings which I harvested and prepared myself early last winter. That’s right folks: I had pulled the intestines out of the gut pile on a day we’d dispatched some local pigs, flushed them with a garden hose, taken them home and prepped them, and they’ve been waiting in a little plastic tub, buried in salt, just for this moment. You can read all about that, if you’re the stalwart type, in this post.

Look how beautiful they are:

Hog casings in a bowl

Hog casings in a bowl ready for stuffing

Once they had soaked for half an hour or so and were rinsed, I mounted the casings on the stuffer horn:

Home-made hog casings mounted on the sausage stuffer horn

Home-made hog casings mounted on the sausage stuffer horn

Making sausage, particularly when you’re making more than one type, involves a lot of stages, and lots of disassembling, washing, and reassembling of stuffer and mixer parts. If you haven’t made sausage before, and you want to have fun and not be overwhelmed, it might be a good idea to just make one type, and make a single batch. I was committed to three batches though, which is honestly a lot of work. I had meat that I needed to use, and I really wanted to have a good variety in the freezer for quick and tasty suppers this spring as gardening & farming & market life gets busy.

Bowls and a KitchenAid mixer with meat grinder attachment

The sausage making station

Mom & her sweetie came down around mid-day, and they puttered while I sausaged, and it was nice having company. Plus, Carl shuffled some of my media bits & cables around, a huge job, and now it all looks so neat. Thanks!

Soon I had the chouriço and chorizo finished, partly in links, and partly in neat little packages of uncased sausage to use in exciting future dinners.

A pile of beautiful shiny sausage links in my very own hog casings!

A pile of beautiful shiny sausage links in my very own hog casings!

Lastly I made the forcemeat for the crepinettes de porc –I looked at a few recipes (from Jane Grigson and the NYT), and decided to make ones with sage and peccorino and red wine, and the little morsel that I test-fried tasted delicious, and when I wrap them in caul fat  and fry them and eat them with roast potatoes and a salad and lots of parsley, well, that’ll be real fine, I expect.

I made a tangy and savory tomato sauce with a bit of savory, onion, and garlic:

Sauce made from tomatoes, onion, garlic, and savory

Sauce made from tomatoes, onion, garlic, and savory

I added a bit of fried chouriço, tossed it with some fancy fat rigatoni, and shaved lots of pecorino over it all, and it was a very yummy supper for mom & Carl & me, alongside a salad of fresh spring greens dressed with a dijon-maple vinaigrette (a happy accident when I couldn’t find the damned honey).

Rigatoni with a fresh tomato & chouriço sauce and a nice bouncy spring salad

Rigatoni with a fresh tomato & chouriço sauce and a nice bouncy spring salad

I love sausage. And I love mom & Carl for coming down and keeping me company while I sausaged!

Mom & Carl diggin' dinner!

Mom & Carl diggin' dinner!


About mosaica

Ugly & fabulous, warm & obsessive, brilliant & dorkmeisterish: striving to be a warrior in her little context.
This entry was posted in charcuterie, hog casing, pork, sausage and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to You say Chorizo, I say Chouriço

  1. Janis says:

    What a great post. Pictures are awesome. Can I just say that Mom and Carl rock.

  2. Absolutely spectacular! I cannot wait until the challenge is sausage making. I had a hard enough time with the grinding so didn’t think I had better tackle anything too complex. Oh yeah, until I found the blade to my meat grinder. In the box. Ahem. After that, I guess the sky’s the limit, right? 😉 Mom and Carl are two lucky punters, I have to say!

    • mosaica says:

      Thanks Mardi, and belated happiest birthday ever! I think I kinda missed that the challenge wasn’t putting sausage in casings, but in either case (HA), I made both sorts. Oh, that blade issue must have been a serious d’oh-head-slap moment! I get those 🙂

  3. uke mochi says:

    You’re my charcuterie hero.

  4. MrBelm says:

    Nicely done, especially the rigatoni recipe, which I plan on stealing.

    • mosaica says:

      Thanks Mr. Belm 🙂 It was really tasty. What I’m really looking forward to, now that I have ten pounds of chorizo/chouriço in the freezer, is reading all the other charcutepaloozian recipe ideas for using it.

  5. Lord have mercy. Love your positive attitude!

    Hard to say who’s luckier – you to have Mom & Carl, or Mom & Carl to have you….

    • mosaica says:

      Well, what’s a girl gonna do, right? I felt pretty grim when I discovered the freezer thing, but I have been fretting about not having enough freezer space, so.. I’ll roll with it and practice letting go.

      With regard to mom & Carl & me: it’s like Christmas: I love getting excellent perfect lust-worthy gifts, and I love giving them just as much. Even moderately well-functioning human relationships are so much greater than the sum of their parts. Kind of like sausage 🙂

  6. Oh no @ the freezer!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is awful!

    Great tomato sauce pictures, and nice to see mom and carl in front of your big window!


    • mosaica says:

      Thanks sis ^^ This sauce was from super ripe tomatoes which Needed To Be Used Right Then, and those tomatoes make such a nice sweet-funky sauce, and I think savory is now my established favorite herb to pair with Italianate tomato-y things.

      Just think: I have FIVE of those enormous windows! An embarrassment of riches.

  7. I forgot to mention how amazing I think your casings (and the photo of the casings) are!

  8. Darlene says:

    I think it’s awesome you made all that sausage. Makes it easy to throw a meal together.

    BTW, what do you think of the KitchenAid stuffer? I hate mine and end up stuffing all my sausages by hand, which totally sucks big toes. But I see you have a wooden thingy to force the sausage down. I only have the plastic wrench and it always ends up pulling the meat back up! Grrrl.

    • mosaica says:

      Hello Darlene, and tak!

      Actually, I don’t hate my KA grinder & stuffer. If I could afford a fancy version of both (and had room for them) I’d get ’em, but in the meantime, this one is easier for me than hand-stuffing, which I agree sucks big time. I find that some meat does get pulled back up each time, but more gets stuffed down, and when I get a rhythm going, it goes pretty well.

      I work from a seated position, so it’s really important that I get the KA down low enough, otherwise I really mess up my shoulders & arms. This time it was too high!

      Check out my medisterpølse photo set over at flickr sometime. Super lækkert!

      • Darlene says:

        Oh, I love me some medisterpølse! With pickled beets or pickled red cabbage and creamed kale on the side, please! Maybe that should be my next sausage project, but it will have to wait. We have enough sausage to last at least a couple of months yet.

      • mosaica says:

        I’m right there with ya, sister 🙂 Mom made frikkedeller to go with the stegte sild I made on Wednesday (I caught the sild with a throw-net!) and so this morning I had a few of the frikker’ she sent home on rugbrød with my nice home-made syltede rødbeder –a fine breakfast. If you and your sweetie ever make it to VT, you must come for dinner, and I’ll make you the best grønlangkål ever!

  9. Darlene says:

    Now you’re just teasing! 🙂 That does sound like a very fine breakfast.

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