Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spanish Chorizo

I'm an equal opportunity cured meat eater. The product doesn't have to be Italian, it just has to taste GOOD. Case in point, Spanish Chorizo. Chorizo is a salame like cured product redolent of smoked paprika, garlic and oregano. This is the 1st time I've made it, and since it isn't ready yet, I won't know if this formula is any good until I try it. Try at your own risk!

Spanish Chorizo
IngredientQuantity(g)% of Meat+Fat
Pork ham meat
Pork belly (about 75/25 fat/lean)
Cure #2
Black pepper (ground)
Smoked paprika (sweet)
Oregano (dry)
F-LC starter culture
Cayenne pepper
Garlic (fresh)

I started with my usual ham steak. As I've said previously, I prefer the ham steak to the shoulder/boston butt because there is less sinew and intramuscular fat that has to be trimmed out.

The ham steak was cubed up into about 1" cubes

For the fat component I used pork belly. I tried to choose pieces that were particularly fatty. I'd say they were about 70-80:20 fat to lean.

The belly is cubed up and combined with the ham cubes.

The spice mixture is carefully mixed to get good distribution of everything, and the garlic cloves are mashed through a garlic pressed, in preparation to be put into the meat.

I mixed the spice mixture and the crushed garlic into the meat and fat cubes and massaged it for a while to make sure everything was nice and evenly mixed together.

The mixture then goes to the freezer to get really cold before grinding. I let the meat get to at least 33 or 34 deg. F, before grinding.

I ground the meat and fat through the large Kitchenaid plate, which if i remember correctly is 1/4". Since i kept everything cold, the fat and meat are nice and distinct.

The starter culture was mixed with a pinch of dextrose and a splash of distilled water, and let stand for 15 or so minutes to allow the bacteria to wake up, and then poured over the meat.

I mixed the meat with the Kitchenaid paddle attachment for about 1.5 minutes on low speed. This is done to make sure everything is mixed together, the starter culture is dispersed, and to allow the proteins to form a good bind.

Don't mix too much or you'll smear the fat...not good...not good at all. You want the fat to stay in distinct blobs.

I stuffed the chorizo into 1 43mm collagen round casing, and 2 60mm natural beef middle casings. As usual, I tried to avoid any air pockets in the meat mixture by massaging it meat once it was cased, and popping and pricking the casing where there were air pockets on the surface.

Earlier that afternoon i had mixed up about 1.5g of M-EK-4 mold with about 30g of distilled water.

This was left for about 3-4 hours to "bloom".

I then diluted that mold mixture with an additional 300g of distilled water in a spray bottle. Shook it up real well, and let it sit another 15-30 minutes. (Really i don't know if these sitting periods are necessary..but i guess they can't really hurt).

The salami were sprayed and put into the fermentation box at 70 deg F. for 48 hours.

They were sprayed again with the mold 12 hours after being put into the box. The lid on the box was closed for the whole 48 hours to keep it nice and humid. As you can see on the left, the mold after 48 hours was already developing very nicely.

Here are the chorizos and a few other salami i made that day (write up coming soon) in the curing chamber.
The chamber is set at 54 deg F. and 70% RH.

I expect the 43mm chorizo to be ready in about 2 weeks, and the larger ones in about a month. Looking forward to trying something new!


Andrew said...

I just found your blog the other day, very interesting. between this and the egullet thread I am ordering Charcuterie.

Why are you using distilled water for your microbe culture. I would assume tap water, previously boiled to sanitize, would subject the bacteria and mold to less osmotic stress.

Jasonmolinari said...

Mostly the use of distilled water is to make sure there is no clorine, which may kill the culture. I guess to that end, using spring water, or water that is filtered to remove chlorine would work equally well.

scott said...

I know I'm getting ridiculous.........I just noticed I don't have the f-rm culture(could swear I bought it) but, I do have the fl-c, which I noticed you used here. Are they interchangable?

Jasonmolinari said...

No problem scott.
F-RM-52 is another starter culture, containing different bacteria. It is in a way interchangeable with F-LC.

I prefer F-LC, it's less acidic in flavor.

scott said...

I figured after seeing you use it in other recipes and seeing it used similarly at egullet. I went ahead with it last night anyway, made something similar to your finochietta(my first salame.) Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Great blog! I am in the process of building my curing chamber, and was wondering if you could point me in the direction of the hygroscopic humidor paper... Ive got a close-to-ideal space but need a little more humidity. I think I saw a link on your site somewhere for the paper, but cant seem to find it. Thanks!

Jasonmolinari said...

Take a look here:

it was a post in my Equipment tag.

Are those the sheets you're referring to?

Anonymous said...

thats the one man. thanks!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rumela said...

Thanks a lot. This is an interesting recipe. At last I have found something interesting and unique to serve to my guests during the holidays. I am sure that they'll love this spanish chorizo.

Unknown said...

Hi Signor Molinari!
Gotcha! Lord, am I glad I found you via your 29 Jan 09 post on Spanish Chorizo. Love your blog, your format, your experiments w/ "unhealthy, cancer-causing" cured meats [who bloody fuckin' cares? they're absolutely scrumptious!] your blah-blahs, but don't love the fact that you'd be on a couple o' months hiatus. Is it anything 'bout love, career, money, fame or honour? Any which way it would go, I know it would have something to do with food [or so I'd hope]...and what else, cured meats! lol. All the best and... here's a promise I'd keep you on tab. Loved u'r profile too; did you become by any chance what you set out to be... an engineer? Which lovely part of Italy could you have come from? Here's loads of love and...luck.

Jasonmolinari said...

frikadellenet: thanks for the compliments. I did, in fact, graduate as an engineer in 2000.
My hiatus is so that i can sort out life with a newborn!

Iconoclasta said...

Hello, a couple of questions
1) Why do you use regular sugar instead of only dextrose?
2) If I want to do it in 35mm casing should I change the sugars concentration for the cultives or not? Thanks!

Jasonmolinari said...

Using sugar slows down the acidification because it's a complex sugar and it's fermented differently from dextrose. I've never done a side by side to truly taste dofferences.

Casing used has no effect on sugar concentration.