Spicy Chorizo Blend. A few months back I taught a Mexican cooking class at the local kitchen store. The star and focus of the evening was my version of a Mexican style chorizo. After several trial runs and many bowls and breakfast tacos filled with homemade chorizo, this dry chile and spice blend was my favorite. The first two versions I tried called for straining sauce and pork and it simply put too much strain on my bad arm and wrist. My approach to this recipe was to simply create a spice blend that was similar to all of the flavors you would find in chili, but with the added flavors of Mexican chorizo. What makes this recipe stand out? For one, using dried peppers and whole spices is so different than already ground spices from the store. The second thing is the toasting of the dried chiles and whole spices. You could never find spices that are this fragant and fresh from a jar. So, my goal was to be able to prepare a chorizo spice blend that I could prepare ahead of time from scratch and have on hand to add to my favorite ground meat for a Mexican chorizo I could feel good about eating.
4 chile ancho
4 chile New Mexico or guajillo
6 to 10 chile de arbol
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
11/2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1/2 piece of cinnamon stick
Pinch of anise seeds
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons annatto powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 pounds ground pork
* I added another 1/2 tablespoon of crushed oregano once it was all mixed
1. In a pan, on low/medium heat, toast the chile ancho, new mexico or guajiilo and chile de arbol for a few minutes. Don’t let them burn, just until they become aromatic and dry out a little more. Remove from heat and let them cool.
2. In that same pan on low/medium heat, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, oregano, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and anise until they become aromatic. Toast for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then.Remove from heat.
3. Remove the stems and seeds from peppers. Tear the peppers into smaller pieces. In batches, grind all the toasted peppers and toasted spices to a fine powder, mix all together.
4. In a large bowl, combine the ground spice mix with remaining spices, ground pork and vinegar. Mix well until spices are distributed evenly. Cook a small portion of the chorizo to check for seasoning. Add seasoning to taste. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The flavors will improve imensely the longer the chorizo marinates in the spices. If not using right away, freeze in 1/2 portions using quart size freezer bags. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
Tips~ Not only for preparing chorizo, but this blend would make a great dry rub for beef or pork roast, a whole chicken. It kind of reminds me of a Mexican version of jerk spices. Can’t wait to try it on some shrimp!