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Spanish Sausage - Chorizo
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your chorizos!

I'd recommend that you post your photos in this thread so they remain related to the messages. Look for the link that says "Add image to post".

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¡Enhorabuena por los chorizos!

Recomendaría que fijas tus fotos en este hilo así que siguen siendo relacionadas a los mensajes. Hay un eslabón que dice "Añadir Imagen al Mensaje".
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Eric Smith Fernandez



Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Posts: 117
Location: Granite City Illinois

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are my photos:
































I already want to make more. I thought I was burned out, but Bob is right.
Making Chorizos Caseros is addicting.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice photos, Eric. If I couldn't swallow I would drown in my own drool.

Bob
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Barbara Alonso Novellino



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 324
Location: Long Island, New York

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Eric,

All we need is two eggs...and some fresh baked crusty bread and butter...

Boy those chozios look GOOD... Razz

Barbara
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Eric Smith Fernandez



Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Posts: 117
Location: Granite City Illinois

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you guys so very much. My brother-in-law asked to help next time. He is not Asturian, but we're teaching him. Next time i might try a different wood. Oak seems hard to come by, I might try cherry. Everybody around here uses hickory, I like it, but it's overrated.

I left out a few pictures. I had some fresh links, unsmoked, and took them to a friends BBQ. They grilled them up and loved them.

I only have one question: Does the finished product look right? They didn't look that red until I smoked them. Then when I fried some up they tasted familiar and oh so good.

When I went to the Chorizo Bowl in Fairmont City last January, they served them like hotdogs on a bun. I never found out who made them. I'm so glad you guys helped me do this.

Thanks again,

Eric
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Mafalda



Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Posts: 257
Location: España

PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

¡Geniales Eric!, he podido "oler" los chorizos en las brasas, seguro que con ellos puedes hacer unos buenos "bollos preñaos", solo tienes que aprender a hacer pan Laughing Laughing Laughing ¡felicidades!.
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Mi amiguita Libertad ________
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The color of chorizos, in my experience, will vary by the amount of paprika used and the variety and quality of paprika. The thickness of the casings also makes a difference. Thicker ones tend to make the chorizos look a bit more pale until after they have been smoked. Your chorizos look less orange-red than mine, based on the photos you have posted (but on-line colors depend on your computer too). If you like what you have made, keep doing it that way, but don't be afraid to experiment a little either.

I'm happy that you are passing on your new skill to others - that will keep at least one aspect of our culture alive.
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is
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 837
Location: Yaoundé

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob wrote:
The color of chorizos, in my experience, will vary by the amount of paprika used and the variety and quality of paprika. The thickness of the casings also makes a difference. Thicker ones tend to make the chorizos look a bit more pale until after they have been smoked.


Bob is obviously an authority on the issue, I've never made chourizos myself. But you may already know, Eric, that there are chourizos made specifically to eat with fabes or to put in pote asturianu (Asturian stew), and there is a dry variety that people use as cold cuts or in sandwiches. The difference is that the meat is not that cured in the former and is in the latter, at least as far as I can tell. Please correct me, Bob.

The chourizo used for sliced cold cuts is usually shriveled and less chunky than the ones you have smoked. It looks like you made chourizo pa fabas, like we say in West Asturias: chunky, bright-red and spicy. They sure as hell look authentic and I'm going to pass the link to my brother in Istanbul, who grew up on chourizos from County Tineu (Tineo).

There used to be a small butcher shop in Tineu, down the street from where the ALSA stops, where my parents used to be all the morciel.la, chourizo and butiel.lu. But I've been back often to Tineu and not found the place again. Does any one know where that butcher moved to?

Anyway, congrats, Eric. Your sausages are epic. And I like your t-shirt too...
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chorizos can be dry cured, as can many other types of sausages. I've never done it with chorizos, but I have with some other sausages of smaller diameter (Polish kabanos). There is always a risk of butloulism if you don't do it right, so I haven't been willing to try it with my chorizos, and I haven't wanted to add any of the chemicals that are commonly used in dry cured sausages to avoid the risk.

I preserve my chorizos by freezing, tightly wrapped in plastic to prevent freezer burn and then placed in heavy freezer bags, but I remember other methods.

My parents once shipped chorizos to me from Niagara Falls to California and they arrived in good condition. During WW II my grandparents shipped chorizos to their sons in military service, including one located in the Philippines. Transportation was by boat - long and slow - but the chorizos were fine at the end of the journey. In both cases, after smoking the chorizos, they put them in a metal container (cookie tin) and covered them with melted lard. I don't remember how hot the melted lard was. They didn't need refrigeration afterward. You just pulled out as many as you wanted and left the rest in the lard for later. For safety reasons, I do not recommend experimenting with this method. I would like to know how common it was in Asturias in the pre-refrigeration days of yore.

I like the t-shirt too.
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My grandmother also used the fat method to store meats after slaughtering a hog, including regular cuts like pork chops, I think. There was another method that used a lot of salt, too.

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Creo que mi abuela usó el método de grasa también para guardar la carne después de la matanza de un cerdo, incluso con carnes regulares como chuletas. Había otro método que usó mucha sal, también.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess is that the meat was salted first to draw out water and increase the concentration of various substances within the cells, which would inhibit bacterial growth, and that the melted fat used was hot enough to kill any surface bacteria on the meat.

In any event, curing chorizos by smoking (especially hot smoking) cuts down on bacterial growth, as does drying under proper conditions. The risk of botulism is real, and I don't intend to experiment with it. There's a Darwinian factor at work here. Our ancestors who were successful in preserving meat products passed on the knowledge of their techniques to their offspring. People who were unsuccessful left fewer offspring to pass their flawed knowledge on to, and the faulty techniques may have been selected out

The fat method should create an anoxic environment in which the botulism organism would do well. That our ancestors used it without harm speaks to the wisdom of transmitted folk knowledge.
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4471
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you're right. I now vaguely remember that the salt and fat were used in the same process. (It's a good that I don't have to do it!)

It occurs to me that this knowledge didn't get passed to us, so we're more vulnerable to the botulism than our grandparents were. I don't think this particullar variety Darwinian selection would have much relationship to genetics. It's a matter of trial and error. Of course, there is intelligence (and thus a possible genetic influence) involved in observing and remembering what did and didn't work.

I often wonder if these preserving methods caused my grandmother's stomach cancer.

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Pienso que tienes razón. Ahora recuerdo con imprecisión que la sal y la grasa fueron utilizadas en el mismo proceso. (¡Es muy bueno que no tengo que hacerlo!)

Me ocurre que este conocimiento no nos pasaron, así que somos más vulnerables al botulismo que eran nuestros abuelos. No pienso que esta variedad de la selección darvinista tendría mucha relación a la genética. Es una cuestión de ensayo y error. Por supuesto, hay inteligencia (y así posiblemente una influencia genética) implicada en observar y recordar de lo qué vale y no vale.

Me pregunto a menudo si estos métodos de preservación causaron el cáncer de estómago que mató a mi abuela.
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Such things as smoked foods and talc in rice have certainly been associated with stomach cancer (the Japanese put a little talc in their rice to keep the grains separate - it can be rinsed off but most people don't bother - asbestos is a common contaminant of talc).

I look at it as a good news and bad news kind of thing. The bad news is that were are going to die, every one of us. The good news is that we are going to die anyway, no matter what we do or what modifications to our diet we may make. Short of gross overindulgence in specific foods, I would choose a happy and enjoyable life (included my favorites foods) over a life of avoiding everything I enjoy. In the end, most of us will die of accidents, circulatory problems (including cardiac problems) or cancer. "You pays your money and you takes your chance," as the saying goes.
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Eric Smith Fernandez



Joined: 16 Sep 2004
Posts: 117
Location: Granite City Illinois

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to go off the subject at hand, but has anyone used pimentón picante in place of crushed red pepper when making chorizo?
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Bob
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Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1725
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2008 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never tried pimentón picante in chorizos, but I have used it in other dishes. I admit to being a food geek who keeps several pimentónes on hand.

My impression is that if you want a uniform sort of hotness, it may be a good choice. You will have to experiment to find the right amount, of course. The advantage of the crushed red pepper is that it provides little bursts of hotness. It's all a matter of taste. For example, I use more garlic than my grandparents' recipe calls for, but I think the strength of cultivated garlic has changed over the years. It still tastes like I remember it did during my childhood. Of course, my taste buds and olfactory epithelium are aging too, so my recipe may simply recreate for me what I recall from my childhood, yet be much stronger for others.

I am, by the way, extremely pleased that you have made and smoked your own chorizos. My own children (and grandchildren) and you are the only people I am aware of who continue the tradition. I would love to hear of others. The commercial varieties, although quite good, just aren't the same.

As someone who enjoys a bit of a reputation for good cooking, and who has cooked for chefs from high end restaurants and even taken over restaurant kitchens for an evening, my advice is to go with your own taste. It will never lead you wrong. If other like it, that's wonderful. If they don't, you have at least pleased yourself. If you don't like your own chorizos, what is the point of making them? The treasure is in the variation from one chorizeru to another.

On an unrelated issue, how are your final exams going? I just turned in my grades early yesterday evening after a marathon session of reading exams and term papers. Quite honestly, it's my least favorite part of the job. I love what I do - lecturing and interacting with my students - but I hate grading.
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