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Non-pork chorizo and bacon?

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I've been wanting to make some North Mexican recipes that I remember eating as a kid, but I don't eat pork or pork products anymore. Is it possible?

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  1. yes, but it will not taste the same.

    you can usually find "beef" chorizo, beef or turkey "bacon"... look around

    1. Trader Joe's soy chorizo is pretty tasty. I went there to buy some regular chorizo, but they didn't have any. The clerk swore up and down that the soy stuff was just as good, and I'd have to say, it's pretty close. Since chorizo is such a heavily flavored sausage, it's more about the seasoning than the meat anyway (and yes, somehow they manage to make the soy chorizo greasier, like chorizo).

      2 Replies
      1. re: pamiam

        There's a brand of soy chorizo that's widely available at chain supermarkets, as well. The seasoning is great and I don't mind subbing it for the real thing at all.

        1. re: pamiam

          Yes, I love the soy chorizo, too. Of course, I've never eaten the real deal because I've been a vegetarian since 1984 and I'd never heard of chorizo before then. But, it is delicious and the bonus is that is much lower fat than any meat chorizo.

        2. The chorizo will not taste the same, but you can make it with lamb/goat, chicken, turkey, or some mix of that. Just follow a recipe that looks good and remember to make it spicey and salty.

          I have also made many Northern Mexican bean dishes with no lard or pork. They taste great still. Smoked turkey sausage and spices work wonders.

          1. I make my own with ground Bison. There's no oil but it's surprisingly tastey.

            2 lbs. ground Bison
            2 tbsp. paprika
            2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (I use Tellycherry peppercorns)
            1 tsp. each: ground oregano, cumin ( or more, to your taste)
            1/2 tsp. ground coriander seeds
            2/3 c. red wine vinegar
            1 tsp. garlic powder
            2 tbsp. salt
            2 tbsp. ground red chile powder (mild, med. or hot)

            All the spices can be adjusted to your taste. We like it Hot!

            Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.. Store in air-tight container in the refrigerator . Let cure at least 2 days. Freeze in portion sizes or use as desired.

            1. Someone once recommended that I season my beans with smoked sea salt for the smoky flavor that would be in a smoked pork meat Mexican bean dish, but I didn't find that it worked. I wonder if liquid smoke would work.

              2 Replies
              1. re: luckyfatima

                Liquid smoke I have! Access to the wonders of Trader Joe's I do not. I'm in Florida - Tampa to be exact.

                1. re: luckyfatima

                  Liquid smoke won't do much more than the smoked salt, since they both derive their flavor from smoke solids alone. What's missing is that porkiness, darn it. I'm thinking about nutritional yeast right now - been ages since I've tasted any, but I remember something a little bacon-y about it. Same with soy ice cream, which I enjoyed until I discovered it gave me bad cramps...

                2. Last night I saw duck bacon at Savenors in Boston

                  1. Sonoran Beef Chorizo

                    1 lb ground beef 80/20 (don't go lean with this, drain it off after cooking)
                    2 tsp garlic powder
                    1 Tbs hot chili powder (pure red chili powder, no blends)
                    1/4 cup vinegar (red, white) no flavors
                    1 tsp salt
                    2 tsp ground cumin
                    1tsp ground black pepper
                    1/4 tsp allspice
                    1 tsp mexican oregano
                    mix it up 24hrs before use. enjoy

                    1. I don't eat pork, either. When I want the flavor that smoked pork brings, I use liquid smoke and a bit of molasses. In the right recipe, veggie bacon bits such as Bacos or Bac-Uns can work. Do you eat turkey? Smoked turkey necks are good for throwing in stews, too, to get a smoked meat flavor.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MsRetro

                        Turkey is my friend in the kitchen. I always have some turkey sausage in the freezer and have some smoked turkey sausage in the meat drawer right now.

                      2. Trader Joe's Chicken Chorizo is awesome! It's actually better than most Mexican-style pork chorizos in my opinion. Soyrizo's also worth trying.