So here we are again, after that brief interlude of mass sausage production, let’s get back to the first lot of pigs.
Another thing we get through a lot of is chorizo.
To start with, 30 kg of lean pork. Mainly shoulder (or Boston butt as they call it in the former colonies, for reasons I have yet to fathom. Perhaps Brahmins can’t tell their arse from their elbow?). For salami and chorizo the meat needs to be as lean as possible. The fat is added separately.
Grindy grindy grindy. Medium-coarse plate – the chorizo needs to have some texture about it.
Here is a breakdown on a smaller quantity. This is 5kg of meat. To which we add:
1600g diced hard back fat
3g starter culture
10g black pepper
6Tbs hot paprika
3Tbs smoked paprika
And that’s basically it for our standard chorizo. In terms of heat, the chorizo gives it a bit of bite, but not excessive. Enough to register as spicey but not so much as too overwhelm the mouth if you eat a dozen slices or so. It needs to be kid-friendly, and whilst my kids will eat reasonably hot food now, they have their limits.
It is nice to have a few slightly pokier chorizos, though. So we are making a small batch – just 5 kilos – of chilli chorizo.
This is the same basic mix as before, with the addition of a large handful of assorted dried chillies from the chilli cupboard. Whizzed through the coffee grinder, seeds and all, and mixed through the mixture.
Stuffety stuffety stuffety.
We are using large hog casings here. Some people prefer to use beef runners to get really thick chorizo, but I find the thinner diameter easier to use and far easier for drying.
And the finished chorizos are hung out to mature. The time they take depends on a number of factors. You can do them entirely in a salami chamber, of course, and have control over temperature and humidity, but the weather we have had recently is perfect for drying them naturally.
Fast forward to the present day and the chorizos are about ready to taste. Seen here a little out of focus in the company of some 18 month old culatello.
Still a little on the soft side, and will be at optimum firmness in another couple of weeks, but certainly quite edible. Nice balance of meat to fat, good level of heat without being overpowering. A worthy addition to the KaC larder.
“Hmm, think I’ll just have a little more, to be on the safe side….”
The chilli chorizo. If you look really closely you can just see the chilli flakes in the meat. This one is absolutely spot-on. The heat is barely noticeable at first – on initial tasting I was sure I hadn’t put enough chilli in, but as you chew it begins to bite back, and then the afterglow kicks in. Two or three slices and you really know about the heat. Mmmm. Wish I’d made more of this now
The second use we have for chorizo is as a cooking ingredient. In paellas, in Mediterranean stews, with cod or squid, patatas bravas etc etc, it is a wonderfully versatile ingredient that adds a hit of spice and a Spanish twist. For ‘dry cooking’ uses such as pizza toppings, we just use the standard dried chorizo, but for recipes which call for its use as a moist ingredient, we have our cooking chorizo. This we make in more of an East European style, and without the cubed backfat of the dry chorizo.
By this stage of the day we are rapidly running out of mixing vessels, so the baby bath is sterilised and requisitioned. We start with 10kg of ground pork.
To which we add 60g black pepper
and one and a half heads of crushed garlic.
200g of sea salt
then in goes the paprika: 70g Hungarian hot paprika, 200g sweet paprika and 50g smoked paprika. This chorizo has a bit more pep about it than the dried version.
and last but not least, 50g ground caraway seeds.
time for a touch of le mixage extraordinaire…
And that’s it done. We stuff about half of it into casings to firm up overnight and be used sliced, and the rest we pack as loose sausagemeat for use as stuffings, casing for spicy Scotch eggs and so forth.
And while we have a batch of it made up, we may as well test it out.
Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Chorizo
There are a lot of variants on this basic dish. You can add caramelised apple and onion to the chorizo stuffing, or spinach and Manchego, but today we are not going to adulterate our meat with fruit and veg and dairy. We are going to have our pork Slovak-style: meat stuffed with more meat.
We take one of those lovely lengths of tenderloin we stripped out of the pigs while we were doing the inital cuts.
Buterfly it open and pound it flat. (apologies for the fuzziness of the pictures from hereonin – the lens had got a bit smeared with fat and I didn’t notice until after the event.)
Then take a sheet of beautiful gossamer caul fat. Rinse carefully and spread it out flat.
Place a thick tube of chorizo mix in the middle of the flattened tenderloin
… and roll it up in the caul, tucking up the ends neatly. If it is big enough to go round twice, so much the better. It needs to be as snug-fitting as possible,if not tight. The caul will hold the whole thing in shape during cooking and slowly melt away.
It’s kind of like a spicey super-faggot:
Cover with foil and put into a medium (190C) oven for about 50 minutes, depending on thickness. After half an hour, take the foil off so the outside crisps up.
Slice and serve. I like to drizzle the cooking juices over the sliced meat. All those spices in the juice… mmm…
A cross-section showing the chorizo stuffing.
The obligatory happy munching children shot:
… and that’s all I have to say about that.