so, this is a little bit out of order, perhaps, but after posting chorizo and sweet potato tacos last week, i realized that not everyone has access to mexican chorizo, which is sad. luckily, mexican chorizo is suuuuper simple to make (if you can open jars of spices, you’re more than halfway there). well, super simple provided you find a recipe you like.
hopefully i’m about to help with that. now, obviously, i have absolutely no credentials, ethnic backgrounds, or even friends with a mexican grandmother who taught me her recipe. nope. i just looked at a bunch of recipes, read the label on a chorizo that i’ve bought before and liked, and got down to experimenting (luckily for me, chorizo + eggs + sautéed greens + avocado is a breakfast favorite so nary a chorizo crumble was wasted).
unsurprisingly, any time recipes call for about ten spices and any two recipes only agree on about six of those spices, figuring out a favorite spice blend takes some tinkering. with the memory of the flavors of chorizo that i’ve had in the past and liked in my mind, i picked spices that seemed to be common among multiple recipes and that i could imagine being part of tasty chorizo.
for some reason, several of the recipes that i found called for what turned out to be large amounts of vinegar, which i don’t care for (or notice in restaurant/store bought chorizo that i like). so after trying to scale that back to a good level, i finally decided that none was my favorite amount.
the opposite thing happened with the chili powder and cloves, both of which i was afraid would overpower all of the other spices. after tasting my first draft, i added more of each in subsequent rounds of testing. of course, if anything in the recipe below looks like it wouldn’t align with your palate, or if you’re here to add this to the roster of homemade mexican chorizo recipes that you looked at online before making your own, by all means, alter and adapt away! i certainly did…
ps – at the risk of complicating the whole cured spanish vs. raw mexican chorizo thing, from a flavor perspective, you could substitute this mexican chorizo in for the spanish chorizo called for in the following recipes, just be sure to cook the mexican chorizo thoroughly, since the recipes are assuming you’re using cooked/cured spanish chorizo:
chorizo, broccoli, and rice skillet meal (maybe leave out the sun-dried tomatoes? i’m not sure i’d love that combination…)
mexican quinoa with black beans and chorizo
acorn squash burrito bowls (pin this for fall/winter)
did you make this recipe? i’d love to know what you think of it! leave a comment below and share a picture on instagram with the hashtag #tastyseasons.
homemade mexican chorizo is easy to make and tastes best after a rest so it’s perfect for make-ahead dinners. dried spices, garlic, tomato paste, and ground pork are all you need to make this delicious filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas. use this easy recipe to upgrade your next taco tuesday!
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder, see notes
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch ground allspice
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (can substitute olive oil)
- 1 large clove of garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 8 oz. (227 g.) ground pork
- in a small mixing bowl, combine all of the spices and stir to mix together thoroughly.
- heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. once hot, add the spice mixture and stir constantly for about 30 seconds, until spices are fragrant and a shade darker. remove the pan from heat and immediately add the garlic and tomato paste (watch out for splatters). stir to mix thoroughly, then set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- put the pork in a medium mixing bowl (if you happen to have one with an airtight lid, use that one!). once the spice mixture has cooled, add it to the pork. using a sturdy fork or spatula, mash the spices into the pork thoroughly until evenly combined. cover the bowl with an airtight lid or transfer to an airtight storage container and let rest in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight (or longer, but don’t let the meat go bad, obviously). the 4-hour rest is important so that the cooked chorizo won’t have a sandy texture from all of the dried spices. (if you want make a big batch to freeze the chorizo to have at the ready later, be sure to let it rest in the fridge for 4 – 24 hours before packing into useful-to-you size portions and freezing in an airtight container.)
- when you’re ready to cook the chorizo, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. add the chorizo and cook thoroughly, breaking the chorizo into small crumbles. all of the spices make it difficult to tell if the chorizo has browned and cooked all the way through but luckily the crispy parts that develop as you keep cooking it, wondering if it’s done yet, are delicious, so don’t fret about them. don’t turn the entire pan into a crisp, but once about 25% of the meat is crispy, i decide that all of it must be cooked by now. (honestly, the chorizo in the photos above was probably overcooked and definitely still delicious and tender.) serve hot. cooked leftovers are amazing with scrambled eggs, sautéed greens, and avocado.
one of the recipes i consulted had a strong opinion about ancho chili powder contributing authentic flavor to homemade mexican chorizo. since my local grocery store carries morton & bassett’s ancho chili powder, i bought it. i wouldn’t have gone on a serious hunt for it though; i would have just used my generic chili powder and crossed my fingers.
as i alluded to above, i consulted several recipes, plus the label on my favorite store bought chorizo:
cook’s illustrated’s chorizo and potato tacos (paywall warning)
honest cooking’s authentic homemade mexican chorizo
serious eats’ easy fresh mexican chorizo recipe
the spruce eats’ mexican-style chorizo recipe
sausage kitchen chorizo