When I started making my latest batch of ASDA clone chorizo it was my intention to photograph everything and create a sort of mini-tutorial. Needless to say when I got involved with making them I forgot to take most of the photos!

I started off with a big chunk of pork collar, also known as shoulder spare rib, and cut it into strips. If you have a small mincer you will have to cut it smaller. I prefer strips to chunks as the screw in the mincer pulls them through with very little need to use the pusher.

The meat with plenty of fat attached was cooled right down and then minced through an 8mm mincer plate.

The rest of the ingredients were weighed out and the culture activated in a little blood heat non-chlorified water for about an hour.

Ingredients as a percentage of the meat’s weight:

0.133% ls-25 Starter culture
0.4% Dextrose
1% Fresh Garlic
2.533% Salt
0.4% Black Pepper
0.8% Smoked Hot Paprika
1.2% Smoked Sweet Paprika
0.133% Cayenne Pepper
0.2% Oregano
0.267% Cure 2

To aid calculation you can use this cure calculator:

Chorizo Calculator
Weight of Meat in grams gm
Lactic Culture gm
Dextrose gm
Garlic gm
Ground Black Pepper gm
Smoked Hot Paprika gm
Smoked Sweet Paprika gm
Chilli Powder gm
Dried Oregano gm
Salt gm
Cure #2 gm
Total Amount of Sausage gm

The sausage was stuffed into extra-large hogs (pigs) casings and tied into lengths. They were then hung at 21 – 24°C with a humidity of 85% – 90% for two days to allow the culture to do its work reducing the PH of the sausage to give safety against bacterial attack by making it more acid. Ideally, there should be an airflow during this period – I have yet to mount a fan in my makeshift fermenting box to achieve this.

They were then put to dry at 12 – 15°C with a relative humidity of around 75%. A small computer fan provides airflow when the fridge motor is running. For some stupid reason, I brushed them with an olive oil/pepper mix; all it’s done is make them sticky!

On Tuesday my new trickle smoker arrived and I couldn’t resist, so I cold ‘trickle’ smoked them for 10 hours – the photo is a split image showing the chorizo and the new smoke generator – ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ as far as I am concerned. I’ll no doubt write about it elsewhere.

I would normally smoke the sausage before drying, not halfway through! They’re now back in the drying fridge where they’ll stay until they’ve lost about 35% of their original weight. Today the average weight loss is 28% with individual sausages in a 25% to 30% range, so they should be ready in less than a week from now.

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