Spanish Chorizo

Spanish Chorizo is a cured fermented dried sausage made from coarsely ground pork/fat and heavily spiced. The process of making Spanish chorizo takes between 1-2 months and the end result is like an edible work of art.

This salami gets it’s flavor from fermentation and the different types of Spanish paprika that are used. I personally like the flavor that the paprika from the La Vera region gives my chorizo but ant Spanish paprika will give this salami and excellent flavor.

Salami making is what I consider “next level” charcuterie. It’s challenging, rewarding, and will require the use of special equipment (especially if you want it to come out amazing). What I’m about to tell you may seem a little overwhelming but if you really want to take your charcuterie to it’s highest art form, I want you to know that you are not alone. There are many forums dedicated to the art of salami making and of course if you have any questions or need any help trouble shooting you can always count on me!! I have helped countless of aspiring salumist produce high quality charcuterie. With that being said here we go……

The first thing you’ll need in order to make salami is a way to test the pH of your meat. The process of making salami requires a fermentation. This is one of the safety hurdles that you have to achieve in salami making. During the fermentation step lactic acid producing bacteria are acidifying your meat and lowering the pH. This lowered pH provides an environment that bad bacteria do not like. Being able to know exactly what the pH of your meat is during the fermentation step will help you understand when it’s ready to start drying. For salami we are targeting anything under 5.2pH. The lower you go the “tangier” your salami will be, so monitoring the pH is not only about safety it’s also about flavor.. I use a pH meter from Apera Instruments called PH60S-Z. This meter is easy to use, reliable, and offers incredible peace of mind when making high end charcuterie.

The next thing you need in order to make salami is a place for it to dry. The absolute best option for most people is to have a drying chamber. This chamber provides a controlled environment so that your salami can dry evenly. Building a drying chamber is relatively easy but if you don’t want to build one and have some rainy day money laying around buying a drying/curing chamber is even easier.

The reason I like drying chambers so much is because I can produce excellent charcuterie all year long and I am able to maintain a 55F and 80% humidity environment with little to no effort. Alternatively if you have a basement or cellar and it’s 55F with 80% humidity you can hang your salami there as well.

If you decide to go the chamber route you will need 2 controllers. One will control the temperature and the other will control the humidity. Both of these controllers are very easy to use and absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining the proper conditions. Inkbird makes an affordable unit that’s reliable and easy to use

A small humidifier and dehumidifier in your chamber will keep the humidity in balance. These 2 units are plugged into the humidity controller and the controller turns them on and off based off of the parameters that you set. This elevated humidity will allow your salami to dry evenly. If your humidity is too low the outside of your sausage will dry faster than the inside causing a dry ring to form around your salami. If the ring gets too dry it will keep the inside from drying causing food spoilage.

The other thing I would recommend getting is a good sausage stuffer. The art of salami making requires that your meat and fat stay cold at all times. If your fat begins to smear during any of the steps it will effect the end result of your salami. Trying to stuff salami meat into a casing using a kitchen aid attachment or a grinder stuffing attachment will not yield the best results as these 2 methods tend to heat the salami mince meat too much.

I’ve got lots of blog posts and videos on making salami that go into a lot of detail. This Genoa Salami post is a great place to start. Just remember that the process of making salami is exactly the same regardless of the recipe. Here’s a quick overview.

Follow basic salami preparation practices when making this sausage.
  1. Clean and Sanitize all of your equipment.
  2. Keep your meat and grinder parts super cold (below 34F) during the grinding process
  3. Rehydrate your starter culture (in non-chlorinated water) for 30 minutes prior to use.
  4. Mix your very chilled mince meat, seasonings, and starter culture till the mince becomes very tacky
  5. Tightly stuff the mince into casings and prick out any air pockets
  6. Record the starting weight and the target of each salami link
  7. Brush with protective mold culture
  8. Hang the salami to ferment for 24-72 hours (depending on the starter culture)
  9. After the pH target has been hit, hang the salami in a drying chamber till the weight loss target has been achieved.
  10. Remove from the drying chamber, slice thinly, and enjoy

Here are a few things you might find useful when making sausage

Enjoy the video and the recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask away. If you make this at home I’d love to hear about how it came out!!

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5 from 3 votes

Spanish Chorizo

Fully dried and cured salami from Spain
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 d

If you are making sausage adjust the servings to reflect the total weight of your meat and fat

Servings: 1000 grams

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Clean your meat of any silver skin, sinew, arteries and cut into small strips or cubes. Place meat and fat in the freezer for an hour or until the temp reaches 32f – 34F.
  • Grind your very chilled meat on a 10mm plate.
  • add all of the spices (except the non fat milk powder or the starter culture). Toss to combine then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • The following day rechill your meat. Once it's chilled add the starter culture and the nonfat dry powder milk then mix till it becomes very tacky. If you grab a small handful it will stick to your hand if you hold your hand upside down.
  • Stuff your mince meat into the casings, link, and prick out any air pockets. Weigh your chorizo and record the weight.

Fermenting and drying instructions

  • To ferment your sausage hang at room temperature (75F-85F) for 24 hours (if you have a way to test the pH you are aiming for anything between 4.9 and 5.2)
  • after fermentation place the meat in a drying chamber where the temperature is 55F and the humidity is 80%. Here it will stay till it looses 40% of its weight.
  • After you hit your weight loss target your chorizo is ready to enjoy.

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