Fresh Chorizo Sausage

05/20/2014

chorizo

Gary and I are fortunate to have adventurous friends who are up for doing fun-things-with-meat when the opportunity strikes. In this case, we made sausage from a local 150 lb. wild boar. Gary and I attempted this process before, as chronicled here, but that was with the supervision of a butcher, and with professional equipment. Having neither, we decided to go whole hog with the whole hog anyway on our own.

I learned two important lessons during this process:

1. It takes way longer than you might think to make 60lbs of sausage.
2. I completely retract my statement, which I made here, about thinking valiantly that if I’m going to eat something living, I “may as well look it in the face.” Heads of mammals, I’ve decided, are not super appetizing. I know all living things have them, and I still can give homage to the animal, but I’d just rather not have the face be present.

Moving on. We got our hog from Wild Man Foods, a local business who traps and sells wild pigs. They’re super affordable, charging $1.50 for the hanging weight.

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Next, we cut off all the meat from the bones, and separated the fat. The fat is later used for the recipes, but it needs to be measured.

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For the un-squeamish folks, here is the head. I will NOT be making head cheese any time soon.

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We mixed the meat with the spices (recipe below). With our sausage maker Kitchenaid attachment, we ground the meat and then put it back in the fridge to cool.

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(There were LOTS of inappropriate euphemisms present at our Sausage Fest that will not be repeated here.)

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After about hour 6, I think I’m the only one with the “Sausage Making is Fun!” grin.

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The recipe below is for chorizo, a spicy Mexican and Spanish flavored meat. We made four other recipes with our 60+lbs of sausage; all of those recipes will be posted here in due time. The recipe and instructions are from this great website: Hunter Angler Gardner Cook. I tweaked the recipe some, but I’m adding their instructions verbatim since these guys totally know what they’re doing.

Ingredients:

4 lbs wild boar (or pork. You can use ground pork and add the sausages and skip the grinding part if you don’t have the equipment, too.)
1 lb pork fat
3 T salt
1 T sugar
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 T Mexican oregano
2 t cumin
1 t chipolte powder
1 t cayenne pepper
3 T chile powder
1/4 c tequila
1/4 c red wine vinegar
hog casings

Instructions from Hunter Angler Gardner Cook:

Cut the meat and fat into chunks that will fit into your meat grinder. Combine the salt, sugar and all the dry spices with the meat and fat, mix well with your hands and chill it until it’s almost frozen by putting it in the freezer for an hour or so.

Take out some hog casings and set in a bowl of very warm water. Mix the tequila and vinegar with the achiote paste and chill it in the fridge.

Grind the meat mixture through your meat grinder (you can use a food processor in a pinch, but you will not get a fine texture), using the fine die. If your room is warm, set the bowl for the ground meat into another bowl of ice to keep it cold. Make sure the meat mixture is very cold before moving on to the next step: You want it between 27°F and 35°F.

Add the tequila-vinegar mixture and mix thoroughly either using a Kitchenaid on low for 60 to 90 seconds or with your (very clean) hands. This is important to get the sausage to bind properly. Once it is mixed well, put it back in the fridge and clean up.

Stuff the sausage into the casings all at once. Twist off links by pinching the sausage down and twisting it around several times; do every other link and you will only have to twist in one direction.

Hang the sausages in a cool place for up to 4 hours (the colder it is, the longer you can hang them). If it is warm out, hang for just one hour. Once they have dried a bit, put in the fridge until needed. They will keep for at least a week in the fridge. If you are freezing the sausages, wait a day before doing so. This will tighten up the sausages and help them keep their shape in the deep-freeze.

We grilled them and had them with polenta. They were lean, not gamey at all, and had great spice.

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