In an ideal world, I would enter the workweek having spent a good amount of Sunday cooking. My refrigerator would be fully stocked with glass jars of delicious things to reheat or cook very quickly. I also often wish I was the kind of person who came home from the market and immediately cleaned and prepped things for better storage. I read these lovely advice columns suggesting that you wash, dry, and cut up vegetables for easier use later and portion our meat before putting them in the freezer. Do you know anyone who actually does that? Can I ask them how they are able to keep this up? Need a little motivation. Because I find that the last thing I want to do after lugging heavy groceries home in New York City is to spend more time with them.
This homemade chorizo recipe is a step in that direction. Super easy and requiring absolutely no special techniques, it is so much better than any store bought fresh chorizo I have ever had. A little toasting here and a little mixing there. The only thing it requires is some time in the fridge for the flavors to get happy together. It is even easy enough to put together during the workweek. Just do this before you go to bed and the next evening it will be ready to use. This recipe makes a pound of sausage, but it can easily be doubled.
Once you have your chorizo, make these tacos. I also pickled some purple cabbage and serranos for a spicy, tangy and crunchy topping.
H O M E M A D E C H O R I Z O T A C O S
4 whole dried chiles, mild & richly flavored varieties such as ancho and pasilla
3 whole dried arbol chiles
5 cloves garlic
3 dried bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
3 teaspoons Mexican oregano
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 generous pinch of cinnamon
Cut a slit down one side of each chile, destem and deseed. I like to leave the seeds in the arbol chiles because I like the heat. If you prefer a milder heat-level, feel free to deseed these as well. Over medium-high heat, toast the chiles until they have slightly darkened in color. Take care not to burn them. While this is happening, roast the garlic, cumin, coriander, bay leaves, and black peppercorns until they are fragrant. Grind the chiles, and spices in a spice/coffee grinder. Finely mince the garlic.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meats, chiles, toasted spices, garlic, oregano (rub between palms first), cider vinegar, salt and cinnamon. Mix just until everything is evenly dispersed. Don’t overmix. Allow to sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
When ready to make the tacos, simply brown what you plan on eating in a pan with some oil. This only takes 5-8 minutes. For the tortillas, I like to char them directly over the flame on the stove. Serve with the pickled cabbage, salsa, avocados, cilantro, and queso fresco.
Freeze whatever meat you don’t use.
P I C K L E D P U R P L E C A B B A G E + S E R R A N O C H I L E S
makes a 1 liter jar
1/2 head purple cabbage, 1/2 inch slice
10 serrano chiles, sliced on a diagonal
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns, cracked
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 cups tap water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
In a glass jar, combine the cabbage, chiles, cracked peppercorns, oregano, and bay leaves together. In a small pot, bring the vinegar and water to a rumbling boil, add the salt, stir to disolve. Immediately pour the hot liquid over the vegetables and spices. Mix well and allow to steep for at least an hour before serving. The cabbage and chiles should maintain a wonderful crunch.
This is a quick pickle that isn’t processed. Any leftovers must be kept in the fridge.