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Made some chorizo at home, tasted awful.

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Bought some chorizo at the market - there are 2 options, one that has 8g fat per serving and one that has 30g fat per serving.

I opted for the lower fat. Threw it on a cast iron skillet and tried to fry it up a bit or w/e and get some texture but it just ended up tasting like mush. Did not taste ANYTHING like the chorizo tacos we get from the trucks.

1. Is it because I got the low fat chorizo!?!?
2. How do I make chorizo tacos like they do at the trucks? What is the secret to preparing the chorizo?

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  1. I'm not familiar with lowfat chorizo. I buy mexican chorizo at a large hispanic supermarket. No fat labeling (I think) and I don't want to know. I remove the casings and fry in a cast iron skillet, breaking it into chunks with a spatula. It tastes great in tacos so I'm going to venture that, yes, the low fat product had some wierd filler that affected the final taste and texture.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tcamp

      must've been that soy filler!

      1. re: tcamp

        I too like to use cast iron skillets for frying. I do just as you described. Some of my skillets were gifts from people who bought the skillets for themselves, and didn't know to use them and clean them or didn't like their weight or some other reasons. Lucky me!

      2. Like all food products, you can find varying degrees of quality in chorizo.

        1. I've made chorizo several times with boneless country ribs bought at BJs. I have an old fashioned hand meat grinder that must be bolted to a table that gives me 2 options of size of grind. I found a recipe that works for me with the ingredients for traditional uncured chorizo. Why do I bother doing this? Because I have control over which ingredients into the chorizo. I shape the final mixture into patties and freeze them.

          I most often use a chorizo patty when I make a frittata.

          If you are interested in making the chorizo yourself, google 'chorizo recipe', and see which one(s) tantalizes your palate. You may not be able to reproduce what you've enjoyed from the trucks, but then again you may find a recipe that works for you.

          BTW, hand crank meat grinders are still available. I googled 'hand crank meat grinder' and got lots of hits.

          In bocca al lupo (Italian for 'Good Luck')

          1. Every brand is different. Different cuts of meat, lymph nodes and salivary glands in some versions, none in others.

            Did the lowfat chorizo have TVP/soy in it? I buy soyrizo because it's less fattening, and it's good, but tastes different than meat chorizo. If I want meat chorizo, I buy freshly made chorizo made from ground pork or ground beef -- no glands or lymph nodes for me.

            1 Reply
            1. re: boogiebaby

              I'm almost certain it had a soy filler in it.

              Thanks all, I'll just have to suck it up and get full fat!

            2. Low fat is a scourge to all sausage, not just chorizo.

              1. You may have purchased a bad brand. The real key to chorizo is in the seasonings and the appropriate amount of vinegar. You don't need to have sausage meat drowning in fat to end up with a flavorful product.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/742025

                1. When you buy the fattier chorizo, don't forget that a good chunk of that will be rendered out when you brown it. I always drain after browning before using it.

                  1. Here's a recipe I've developed and use.

                    Homemade Chorizo

                    1-lb ground pork (sometimes I use ground turkey)
                    1/4 cup cider vinegar

                    Dry Ingredients:
                    2 Tbsp medium hot chili powder
                    1 Tbsp sweet paprika
                    1 tsp ground cumin
                    1 tsp salt
                    1 tsp garlic powder
                    1/2 tsp ground coriander
                    1/2 tsp crushed dried oregano
                    1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
                    1/8 tsp ground cloves
                    1/8 tsp ground black pepper

                    Combine dry ingredients in small bowl and stir until well combined.
                    In a large bowl, sprinkle vinegar over ground pork. Mix well.
                    Sprinkle all dry ingredients over ground pork. Mix well by kneading mixture until dry ingredients are well combined into the ground pork.
                    Place in an airtight container, overnight in fridge, to allow flavors to combine and develop.

                    I form these into small patties or just scramble and fry the meat in a cast iron skillet until done.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Antilope

                      this is basically casing-less chorizo?

                        1. re: ns1

                          we like this very easy recipe for our Nachos or scrambled with eggs:
                          Homemade Fresh Chorizo

                          • 6 dried New Mexico chiles
                          • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
                          • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
                          • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
                          • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
                          • 2 pounds ground pork
                          • Ingredient Info:
 Dried New Mexico chiles are sold at specialty foods stores, Latin markets, and some supermarkets. Smoked paprika is available at most supermarkets.
                          Preparation
                          • Heat a large dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles; toast, turning often, until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from pan and let cool.
                          • Using kitchen scissors and working over a medium bowl, cut chiles into 1" rings, reserving seeds and discarding stems. Cover with 1/2 cup hot water; let soak, stirring occasionally, until chiles are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.
                          • Transfer chiles with seeds and soaking liquid to a blender. Add garlic, paprika, 1 Tbsp. salt, and pepper; pulse until a paste forms.
                          • Combine pork and chile paste in a large bowl. Gently mix until just blended (do not overwork the meat).
                          • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook chorizo until cooked through, 7–8 minutes. (Be sure to let meat brown before turning and breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula.) Season with salt. DO AHEAD: Chorizo can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
                          Hungry for More? If you have a question about this recipe, contact our Test Kitchen at askba@bonappetit.com. To see more recipes like this one, check out our Mexican Favorites Slideshow.

                          Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

                      1. There is only Spanish chorizo, Mexicans may call their product chorizo but God knows what you are eating, it could have road kill in it.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: redfish62

                          One man's roadkill is another man's meat.

                          I like both spanish and mexican chorizo, though they're totally different products.

                            1. re: ns1

                              The Spanish chorizo that I have had is a smoked or dried type of sausage. The Mexican style is more of a fresh sausage.

                          1. re: redfish62

                            When I do not make my own, I only buy Spanish which is far superior IMHO.

                            1. re: chefathome

                              Huh? That's like apples to oranges. They're not comparable in any way.

                              1. re: sandylc

                                Oh, dear. I'm not explaining myself very well. I like to make my own chorizo but when I do not have the time and am faced with the choice between Spanish and Mexican (which are quite different from one another) I choose Spanish. Did that clarify?

                                1. re: chefathome

                                  Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo are as different as bratwurst and andouille. One is a paprika-flavored cured sausage. The other is a highly seasoned fresh sausage. They are not comparable or interchangeable products.

                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    Yes, I know. That is what I meant when I said I prefer Spanish because the two are so very, very different and practically unrelated.

                                    1. re: chefathome

                                      But it's like saying, "I only buy short-grain rice which is far superior to long grain IMHO" without mentioning that you only cook sushi.

                                      Spanish chorizo would be quite *inferior* for huevos revueltos, frijoles a la charra, or any of the the myriad other dishes which use *Mexican* chorizo.

                            2. re: redfish62

                              Spain has hundreds of different versions of Chorizo. While most are dried (and those can be sweet or not and have different types of flavors), Mexican Chorizo is like the Spanish "chorizo fresco' -- it is just often spicier. Both need cooking before eating. Not all Mexican chorizo contains offal. Not all Spanish chorizo fresco is the same, either, BTW.

                              1. re: redfish62

                                And there's Portuguese chorizo as well.

                              2. I make my own Mexican Style Chorizo then bag it and freeze it. We scramble it into eggs or fry it into diced potatoes and onions. Here's my recipe, I hope you like it!

                                Special Equipment - Meat Grinder - I did the research and this one has the most bang for the buck, commercial quality and lots of power. I do close to 30 pounds of sausage (ground twice) and the grinder doesn't heat up and power never wavers. It comes directly from the manufacturer. Check out the Amazon.com reviews.
                                http://www.amazon.com/STX-INTERNATION...

                                Pork Shoulder
                                Salt - 10 grams per kilo
                                Aleppo Peppers, Chili Powder, Garlic, Cumin, Cloves, Coriander, Cinnamon - 2 grams each per kilo
                                Bay Leaves - 2 per kilo
                                Apple Cider Vinegar - 1/2 cup per kilo
                                Stubbs Liquid Smoke - 2 tablespoons per kilo
                                Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup per kilo if needed

                                cut pork shoulder into 1/4 - 1/2 inch strips
                                mix dry spices into cut up pork and set in the freezer for an hour or so
                                grind on course blade of meat grinder
                                grind again on medium blade of grinder
                                mix in vinegar and liquid smoke
                                cook a patty and taste.Adjust pepper and add brown sugar if needed.
                                Bag and freeze.