Homemade Chorizo

Some of my earliest childhood memories are of watching my grandmother work her magic in the kitchen.

She'd add a little of this.

A handful of that.

And just a pinch of this other thing para que le de sabor (to give it flavor).

Gramm cooked like most Mexican grandmothers.  She never measured anything and she almost never followed a recipe. 

I say "almost" because there was this one tiny, crumpled piece of paper that she'd pull out of an old briefcase on very special occasions.  Gramm and my Tia Jessie, Gramm's sister-in-law, were the only ones allowed to look at whatever was written on that special piece of paper.  I once caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye.  The only words I was able to make out were: Comino (cumin), Chile en Polvo (chili powder) and Vinagre (vinager).

Seeing as it was just an old recipe and not a deep, dark family secret or a map to a hidden treasure, I never tried to sneak another peek at that piece of paper.

Oh, if I could turn back time.

Years later, I realized that what was written on that old, stained, crumpled piece of paper was Gramm's "secret" recipe for her mouth-watering chorizo.

Gramm's Chorizo was spicy, without being hot, and slightly tangy.

It's the one family recipe I've spent years wishing I had.

And now, thanks to The Homesick Texan Cookbook, I've finally found it.

homemade chorizo 2

Mexican Red Chorizo
(from The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain)

  • 2 dried guajillo chilies
  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound ground pork (with at least 20% fat)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • !/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

In a small skillet over high heat, toast the dried chilies on each side for about 10 seconds.  Fill the skillet with enough water (about 2 cups) to cover the chilies.  Bring the water to a boil, then turn off heat.  Let the chilies soak for about 20 minutes or until really soft.

Roasting dried peppers

Place the chilies in a blender with the onion and garlic.  Add 2 tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar and puree until smooth, adding more apple cider vinegar or water if needed.  The chile puree should be the consistency of ketchup. 

Dried Chile Puree

Add the chili puree to the ground pork, along with all of the spices and salt.  Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, so the flavors will meld. (If you're impatient like me, you can go ahead and cook it as soon as you've mixed it all together.)

chorizo prep

To cook, fry in a greased skillet.  Enjoy!!!

homemade chorizo

*This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef*



  1. I absolutely love this post! I do make homemade chorizo from time to time...as in, when I'm not feeling lazy.  I'm glad to know this was a satisfying recipe.  I really want to try her green chorizo since it's something I've never even had, but always wanted to. I'm so happy that you chose this one (added it to the ann.post). :)

  2. This looks great - a nice hearty meal for a cold winter afternoon!  And I love the story about Gramm and Tia Jessie, I think that's what makes the recipe even more special.

  3. Lisa's got some great recipes! Glad you're playing around with it. I'd love to see her chili ones since I'm such a chili freak! 

  4. I never would dream of making homemade chorizo, but after seeing this -- and knowing what goes into the packaged ones -- I think I can!

  5. Woah! I never thought of making homemade chorizo. Very cool.

  6. Wow!  Homemade chorizo.  Thanks for the recipe.

  7. My 'Buelita was exactly the same way! We'd ask her how much of such-and-such went into a particular recipe and she'd shrug, laugh, and say, "Un poquito nada mas..."

    Drove us all crazy. To this day, no one in my family can cook the way she did. She was the best!

  8. I have been looking for this recipe for many years. I remember my mother preparing chorizo, something that I love (watching the preparation and then eating the finished dish.) I always ask for the recipe but I think that she forgot how she did it. Now, thanks to you, I will try it asap.

  9. this made my mouth water-- yum!!

  10. Yummy Leslie!! I love homemade chorizo nothing like it!!

  11. que rico! Thanks for sharing

  12. I made this 2 weeks ago and tripled the recipe in order to freeze some. It's wonderful. My son wanted biscuits and gravy yesterday. I didn't have any breakfast sausage in the house so I used the chorizo I had in the freezer. Best biscuits and gravy ever!Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  13. Absolutely delicious! I used it to make chorizo and potato empanadas and my family raved. Thanks for the recipe!