Blog of an aspiring foodie

Behold the power of pork trimmings

Posted by beer_chris on 2-October-2005

The first time I dealt with raw chorizo sausage, I found it pretty disgusting stuff. It is basically the leftover parts of a pig after processing the prime cuts, mixed with some paprika, red pepper and cumin (among other spices) and then extruded into casing. Usually, it is quite creamy in consistency and requires squeezing to get out of the casing. When cooked, it releases a LOT of fat, and takes on a crumbled texture, like ground beef. It must be cooked, as it is a raw-processed sausage.

That said, I have had much firmer chorizo – some Spanish chorizos are firmer, and I have seen some cured varieties. However, I have not seen a Mexican chorizo that was not raw processed.

Creamy pork leftovers? Disgusting – until you taste it. It tastes like spicy bacon, and it compliments other foods like bacon as well. In other words, it is good in just about everything

Lots of places down here have it or make it, and it is becoming more and more popular in many dishes. Since I have gained a recent fascination over the past few years with the defining qualities of a cuisine d'Houston, I have been putting it into more and more of my own dishes as well. It adds all the great qualities of bacon and paprika to a dish – smoky, heady fatty flavor of bacon with the subdued earthy spiciness of paprika. It really kicks up a simple ground beef dish, and makes Mexican dishes taste, well, more Mexican and less 'from an envelope'.

Chorizo is available in every grocery store in town, and has become a staple in my kitchen. I like to mix a link up with scrambled eggs instead of bacon to make a spicy breakfast dish. It is really good in enchiladas, I discovered last night (recipe to follow), and it is a good add to just about any normally straightforward ground meat dish that can take a little spicing up (hamburgers, chili, etc)

Ytee's Beef Enchiladas

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Brown 1/2 lb of ground beef along with an equivalent amount of chorizo (~4 links, removed from casings).
  • Drain the fat in a strainer (there will be a lot of it – probably on the order of 1/4 cup).
  • Put the meat to the side and allow to cool for a few minutes – now is a good time to grate the cheese
  • Fill corn tortillas with the beef mixture and a tbsp or two of each of the cheeses
  • Roll the enchilada up and put seam side down in a 12×9 casserole dish
  • Pour your favorite enchilada sauce over the dish, and sprinkle with equivalent amounts of the cheeses (about 1 cup total)
  • Bake for 15 minutes
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