Mexican Chorizo

Mexican Chorizo is a Mexican staple. It's a fatty ground pork made with dried chilies and just a few of the most noteworthy southern spices. Ground coriander (ground cilantro seeds) gives a fragrant and fresh floral tone accented by lime, while the chilies only lend their awesome flavor without the heat of fresh chilies. Included in the star line-up: Oregano! Also inherent to Mexican food.

Mexican Chorizo

Mexican Chorizo is a Mexican staple. It's a fatty ground pork made with dried chilies and just a few of the most noteworthy southern spices. Ground coriander (ground cilantro seeds) gives a fragrant and fresh floral tone accented by lime, while the chilies only lend their awesome flavor without the heat of fresh chilies. Included in the star line-up: Oregano! Also inherent to Mexican food. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Barbar, Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Mom

Ingredients

TOAST 30 SECONDS ON EACH SIDE:

  • 2 Dried Guajillo Chili Peppers
  • 3 Dried Ancho Chili Peppers

TOAST 30-45 SECONDS:

  • 1 Tbsp Whole Cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp Whole Coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano

ADD TO SPICES AND GRIND IN SPICE GRINDER:

  • 2 tsp Salt

ADD TO FOOD PROCESSOR ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE ABOVE +2 Tbsp SOAKING WATER:

  • 1/2 Medium Loosely Chopped Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsps Lime Juice

MIX AND KNEAD PASTE INTO:

  • 2 lbs Ground Pork

Instructions

  1. Grab a heavy skillet. If you have a 12" cast-iron skillet, that would be perfect for this. The heavier the pan, the better the heat-distribution and even cooking. Heat it up to medium heat. While that's heating-up, grab a pie pan and set it aside. Grab and measure all of your dried spices (except for the salt) and set them aside.
  2. Toast the chilies for about 30 seconds on each side, then put them in the pie pan side-by-side. (Do not turn off the pan heat, you're going to use that in a sec.) Add just enough water to cover the chilies in the pie pan to let them sit and soak for about 15-20 minutes while you get other things ready.
  3. While the pan is hot, toast your coriander and cumin seeds for about 30-45 seconds on medium/medium-high heat. Don't let them burn. Remove them from heat then, grind them in a mortar or spice grinder. Add the oregano to the pan and toast for about 10 seconds. Oregano can burn very quickly. Remove from heat and add to a spice grinder or mortar (I use a little coffee grinder that I only use for herbs).
  4. Add the toasted coriander, cumin, and oregano, and the salt to the spice grinder and blend until well mixed and the seeds are ground finely.
  5. In a food processor or blender, blend the seasonings from the spice grinder, the chilies and 2 Tbsp of water from the pie pan, the onions, garlic, and lime juice until it forms a paste.
  6. Add the paste to the beef in a large bowl. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, you can use that. Or you can squish it all together with your fingers and then knead the mixture like bread right in the bowl until blended evenly through (that's what I usually do).
  7. From here, you can either saute it in a skillet or freeze it for later.

Quick background about where this recipe came from, and how it's used

Jordan, being from Texas, grew-up on authentic Mexican food. Not the Ohio version of Mexican food... no, no... REAL Mexican food. The kind that Mexicans actually eat, and for good reason.  I've come to learn that here in Ohio, where I've spent most of my U.S. life, that very few people have a clue what authentic Mexican food is like or should be like, despite our ever-growing Mexican community (here's hoping the American Dream meant opening-up an authentic Mexican restaurant in Columbus, please). Common ingredients like Mexican Chorizo are unheard of here, while "soft shelled taco" has replaced the actual term "flour tortilla," and "corn tortillas" are known only as "hard shelled tacos" here in the Heartland (courtesy of Taco Bell, the Ohio ultimate authority on Mexican food). Who knew? Even our "authentic" Mexican restaurants here are passing-off unseasoned ground beef as taco meat, and canned chicken slathered in some sort of white cheese sauce from a can-with-a-mega-pump as a chicken burrito. As horrifying as that sounds, layer on the positive reviews from patrons praising that awesome food. Shudder and shudder again. Suffice it to say, we've done it to ourselves. We do love our chains. We get what we drive-thru for.

So being married to this handsome Texan who doesn't wear a cowboy hat, does wear a gun, and flings a heaven-touched spatula like nothing I've ever seen, I've learned some authentic Mexican street cooking that has my eyes rolling back in my head at first and last bites. The day-trip back to Texas will be coming-up soon, and you can believe that Mexican stands and real Texas Barbecue will be on our glutton lists (do NOT get me started on what Ohioans think is real Texas Barbecue. Not here. That's another recipe).

So, Mexican Chorizo is a Mexican staple. It's a fatty ground pork made with dried chilies and just a few of the most noteworthy southern spices. Ground coriander (ground cilantro seeds) gives a fragrant and fresh floral tone, while the chilies only lend their awesome flavor without the heat of fresh chilies. Mexican oregano... who knew, right?... is also inherent to Mexican food. Start experimenting with oregano in your Mexican dishes and see how it lends a surprisingly wonderful flavor.

Since our family has some insane allergic-to-pork allergy in our genes, I've adapted this recipe to only include ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Sigh. I know. Since Chorizo is a fatty meat, we're using an 80/20 ground beef. The chicken and turkey is great for the lighter side, and isn't terribly close to an authentic Chorizo, but it's close enough and we take what we can get.

Food Pairing Suggestions

Drink Pairing Suggestions

  • water
  • tea
  • milk
  • soda
  • wine