How to Cure Chorizo

Written by sarah davis
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How to Cure Chorizo
It is normal for the dried chorizo to grow a white mould on the outside. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Cured chorizo can be sliced and eaten without cooking. This is the typical chorizo used in Spain. It is flavoured with smoked paprika and garlic and can be kept at room temperature for years, because it is fermented and cured. Chorizo is fermented by adding good bacteria to the meat. The bacteria creates a fermented flavour as well as controls and protects the meat from spoiling.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 1 tablespoon meat starter culture
  • Distilled water
  • Small bowl
  • Pork casing
  • Plastic container
  • 170 Kilogram pork shoulder
  • 227gr pork back fat
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Meat grinder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • Blender with paddle attachment
  • Piping bag
  • Curing cabinet
  • Litmus paper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mix the meat starter culture and distilled water in the small bowl, until it dissolves.

  2. 2

    Place the pork casings in the plastic container and cover them with water to soak for at least 30 minutes.

  3. 3

    Chop the pork shoulder into rough cubes, about 1-to 2-inches, on the cutting board. Chop the pork back fat into 1/2-inch cubes.

  4. 4

    Place the meat in the meat grinder and grind it though a large plate, or large grind setting.

  5. 5

    Chop the garlic cloves on the cutting board and add them to the mixer with the paprika, salt, pepper, ground meat and dissolved meat starter culture. Blend it for about two minutes on low to medium speed so that it is combined, but not slimy. Slimy texture means that you have started protein extraction, which will cause the sausage to be chewy.

  6. 6

    Tie a piece of casing into a knot on one end. Fill the piping bag with the sausage mixture and place the tip of the piping bag in the opposite end of the casing. Squeeze the piping bag to fill it, making sausage links. Twist the casing every 6 inches to create a new link. Continue until all sausage has been piped into the casings. Tie off the end of the casing, when you are finished.

  7. 7

    Hang the sausage links in the curing cabinet and set it to 23.9 degrees Celsius at 90 per cent humidity. Allow the sausage to cure for 35 hours. Reduce the temperature to 12.8 degrees Celsius and 75 per cent humidity for an additional 72 hours.

  8. 8

    Check the pH by cutting a piece of the chorizo and putting a few drops of distilled water on it. Rub the water onto the sausage and rub the litmus paper on the wet sausage. Use the guide that comes with the litmus paper to determine the pH. It is ready when the pH is 5.3 or lower. If the pH is higher, allow it to cure, until it reaches an acceptable level.

Tips and warnings

  • You can make your own curing cabinet by modifying the thermostat on a mini refrigerator and putting a humidifier inside.

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