We love chorizo at our house but there are some distinct differences between Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo. Spanish chorizo is cured so it doesn’t need to be heated and it can just be sliced and eaten. Before you can eat Mexican chorizo it must first be removed from its casings and then cooked. These should not be substituted for each other as their flavor profiles are quite different.
Mexican chorizo is known for its spiciness and deep red color which both come from the key ingredient of Ancho chile powder.
While most Mexican chorizos have the signature rich reddish color not all Mexican chorizo is red. Toluca, Mexico is known as the capital of Mexican chorizo and they prefer a "green" chorizo, which is typically made with poblano chile peppers, cilantro, garlic and tomatillo.
Throughout Mexico, local food stands and restaurants used cooked chorizo in burritos, chorizo con huevos, choriqueso, pizza, tacos and tortas. Corizo con huevos is a popular Mexican breakfast of scrambled eggs and chorizo stuffed into breakfast burritos, tacos and taquitos. Chorizo is also used in tortas where it is combined with refried beans. Choriqueso is also known as chorizo con queso which has fried chorizo added to melted cheese which is eaten with corn tortillas (similar to chips and salsa).
While Spanish chorizo is always found in a sausage casing Mexican chorizo doesn’t have to be as it is most often removed from a casing prior to eating.
The instantly recognizable flavor of Mexican chorizo is due to the selction of chiles and vinegar. Like many regional dishes there can be subtle flavor preferences where some home cooksprefer to use various types of chiles such as anchos, guajillos or paprika and also different vinegars such as apple cider, red or white.
We found that for the most flavorful homemade Mexican chorizo it is best to season the chorizo and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to allow the seasonings to marry with the meat. While you can certainly use a sausage casing like you would for any homemade sausage you don’t have to. We’ve stored ours in shrink wrap and plastic bags. For a more authentic Mexican chorizo you would use ground pork but we’ve also mixed the ground pork with lean ground beef and even ground turkey (depending on what we had at the house).
Our Mexican Chorizo seasoning is hand blended from Ancho chiles, cumin, garlic, coriander, salt, black pepper, Mexican oregano, thyme, Ceylon cinnamon, cloves and bay leafs.
You’ll need to experiment with how much seasoning you like to use as some like it spicier than others. For a rule of thumb we like to recommend using 1 tablespoon of Mexican chorizo seasoning to one pound of meat.
If you’re a fan of authentic Mexican seasonings then you’ll love our Yucatan Recado Rojo, Mexican Mole Seasoning and Manzanillo Seasoning. We also carry a popular Breakfast Sausage Seasoning.
Two of our favorite Mexican Chorizo recipes are Black Beans and Mexican Chorizo and Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash.
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