When we speak about chorizo, we usually think about fresh (uncooked) chorizo sausage or fermented and dry-cured chorizo. Here is another kind of chorizo sausage for you - ready to eat Smoked Chorizo sausage. You may even call it Smoked Chorizo Kielbasa, as I used a process similar to that of making traditional Polish kielbasa. It turned out fabulous, and I will definitely be making it again.
I made this smoked chorizo flavor-wise close to the famous and IGP-protected chorizo of Cantimpalos, a small municipality located in Castilla y Leon in Spain. Chorizo de Cantimpalos is cured sausage made from fresh fatty pork, with salt and pimenton as the basic ingredients. You are also allowed to add garlic and oregano, which I did. How can you not add garlic to kielbasa, right?
Making Smoked Chorizo
While making this smoked chorizo sausage is pretty straightforward, there are a few things I'd like to elaborate on.
What gives this smoked chorizo its characteristic flavor is pimenton. Pimenton means 'paprika' in Spanish. However, Spanish paprika has its own traditions and classifications, so it's worth seeking out the real deal if you want to make excellent chorizo with the characteristic color and flavor. Typical grocery store paprika is usually machine-dried and lacks the smoky, sweet depth of flavor of quality pimenton.
I use Pimenton de la Vera, which is a good and readily available option. It is made by grinding oak-smoked optimally ripe peppers to obtain the characteristic aroma, flavor, and color.
I often enjoy chunky sausage, so I made my smoked chorizo the same way. Several people asked me why some sausages use chunks instead of just ground meat. I think there is something special about the texture of sausage that consists of a mix of finely ground meat and chunks of meat. I believe this is why Jacob's made their world-famous Andouille chunky, and I absolutely love that sausage.
So, for this sausage, I grind the fatty pieces through a 3/16″ (4.5 mm) plate, while lean meat is cut into 3/4" - 1" pieces. Don't worry; they will get through the stuffing tube just fine after being tenderized in a sand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. I discovered this trick while making Andouille, and it works very well.
I've noticed that I tend to smoke sausage using mostly oak wood lately. It consistently gives me that clean, 'thin and blue' smoke. This is the kind of smoke that Aaron Fanklin recommends for BBQ-ing in his famous Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto book.
Blue smoke indicates that your wood is burning properly, and it gives the meat an irresistible and very pleasant smoky flavor. White, billowing smoke, on the other hand, gives sausage an unpleasant chemical flavor.
I also like hickory and pecan wood, but I find them to be a little more challenging to get blue smoke consistently. Cherry wood, my old favorite, is the most challenging for me in my smokehouse. But I love the rich dark red color that cherry wood gives sausage.
I love the mixed chunky and ground meat texture of this sausage. It's as if you are eating ham and sausage at the same time. This sausage is a flavor bomb with strong, in a good way, pimento flavors, with a touch of garlic, very subtle, and mild heat. You can up the heat to your taste, but this is how I keep mine so that even those in my family who don't like spicy sausage can enjoy it.
Smoked Chorizo - Ready To Eat Smoked Chorizo SausagePrint Pin Rate
- 1000 g pork butt
- 13 g kosher salt
- 2.5 g Cure #1
- 12 g garlic fresh, pressed
- 15 g pimenton dulce sweet
- 5 g pimenton picante hot
- 2 g dried Italian oregano
- 60 ml ice water
- Weigh the meat in grams. Divide the total weight by 1000, then multiply each ingredient by that number, except the water (see notes). For example, if the combined weight of the meat and back fat is 3650 g, you need to multiply the ingredients specified above by 3.65.
- Cut the meat into 2" pieces, mix with salt and Cure #1. Place in a container, cover, and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
- Remove the meat from the fridge and separate the lean pieces from the fatty ones. You will need to do some trimming at this point - the fat will go into the fatier meat pile. Cut the lean meat into 3/4" - 1" pieces. You should have roughly 50% lean and 50% fatty pieces.
- Grind the fattier pieces through a 3/16″ (4.5 mm) plate.
- Place the meat, seasonings (pementon, garlic, and oregano), and water in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for 3-4 minutes. This will mix the meat and tenderize the meat chunks, which will help with stuffing. If you don't have a stand mixer, grind the lean pieces through a stuffing plate or 3/8" (10 mm) - 1/2" (12 mm) plate, or cut them about 1/2" big, then mix by hand or in a meat mixer.
- Stuff into 28-32 mm hog casings at 16" lengths and tie into rings.
- Dry for about 60 minutes in the smoker at about 110F - 130F without smoke.
- Smoke at around 130F - 140F for 2-4 hours, with blue smoke, until the casings develop the desired color.
- Gradually increase the temperature in the smoker to about 195F, until the internal temperature of the sausage reaches 154F - 158F.
- Alternatively, and more reliably, poach the sausages in 167F - 176F water for 25 - 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is at least 154F. Poaching is a much quicker and more effective method.
- Place in icy water for about 5 minutes, then let cool down further at room temperature.
- Store in a refrigerator for up to a month. Freeze for more extended storage.