One of the things I started doing before I went paleo was grinding my own meat. I’m not going to lie, handing over the dollars for a meat grinder was not easy and I did question whether or not I was a little crazy to buy such a specialized piece of equipment. And then I thought about “pink slime” and how little real information there was out there about what was in standard grocery store “meats” and decided it was worth it. It is a little time consuming to grind your own, but the knowledge that my meat is, well, actually meat more than makes up for it. What I tend to do is wait until larger pieces of meat go on sale and then grind out big batches to portion off and freeze. Usually it works out way cheaper than buying it ready ground as long as you’re prepared to put in a little time and shop around.
So, chorizo. It’s not something I ever used to eat or buy from a grocery store, but after visiting a local cafe that made their own and deciding it was awesome, I made the mistake of picking up a standard package of pre-made chorizo in a grocery store. And saw this:
Yep, because what I really want to put in my mouth is mechanically recovered salivary glands. At least they were honest. Other things I really don’t want to eat: anything soy-based. Not just from a paleo perspective, but because I have thyroid issues as it is. And someone please for the love of monkeys explain why any type of flour needs to go into what is basically a seasoned ground meat? /facepalm
So I set out to make a nicely seasoned chorizo without all the ick-factors listed above. I personally didn’t bother to shape it into links or patties because I wanted to add it to eggs anyway, but you could do that if you wanted. I ground my own pork (beef just didn’t seem very breakfast-y at the time and the pork was on sale) – the nice man I spoke to at my local whole-foods-esque place said that they used Country Pork Ribs to make their chorizo, but I found some pork “stew meat” on sale which worked out perfectly. I based the following on this recipe from Honest Cooking and tweaked it to my taste.
No fillers, no icky questionable ingredients and you have a yummy seasoned meat that works in a ton of dishes. Especially breakfast. My tummy is rumbling just thinking about it.
As an aside, I absolutely detest vinegar. I can’t even usually be IN the kitchen when it’s being used. So you can imagine I was a tad apprehensive about using this much apple cider vinegar. However, once the mixture has been left overnight, you really can’t smell it and you definitely can’t taste it once the chorizo is cooked. Trust me.
- 2.5 lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp ancho chile powder
- 6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of cloves or allspice
- This is the easiest thing to do ever: just put your ground meat in a big enough bowl and top with all the spices and apple cider vinegar. Feel free to add salt if you wish to taste, but I didn't bother.
- Wearing gloves, gently work the spices into the meat - don't over knead or squeeze, just evenly distribute the color throughout.
- Portion off into servings. Leave the chorizo at least overnight to give the flavors a chance to develop. I tend to make these up in half pound batches and freeze them straightaway: if you take it out of the freezer the night before you need it, you should be good to go by morning!
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