Make Your Own Chorizo - Spanish Pork Sausage

Spanish chorizo
Miki Duisterhof / Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 20 pounds
Ratings (16)

If you have visited Spain or eaten in a Spanish bodega or restaurant, you have probably tried Spanish chorizo--pork sausage seasoned with paprika and garlic. It is made with coarsely chopped pork meat and pork fat and is traditionally encased in pig intestines. 

Families all over Spain make their own, and it is a staple of the Spanish diet and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. This chorizo recipe is a Spanish family favorite and is courtesy of Francie Vicondoa, author of Spanish Doors, Dishes and Dreams. 

This recipe calls for 20 pounds of meat, which makes a large quantity of chorizo, so feel free to use less and adjust seasonings as needed. If you can, have someone help you mix the ingredients as it is much easier with an extra set of hands. You will also need a meat grinder for not only grinding the meat but also filling the sausage casings. Finally, make sure to plan ahead since you will need to hang the chorizo to dry for close to two weeks.

What You'll Need

  • 20 lbs. pork butt (the weight of the meat with bone removed)
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • 8 oz. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cloves
  • 3 1/2 cups ground red pepper
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • 1 bundle of sausage casings, cleaned

How to Make It

  1. Grind the meat in a meat grinder. Peel and mash the garlic.
  2. Put the meat into a large tub. One person should be mixing the meat with their hands, while another person adds the ingredients. Add all other ingredients in order, a little at a time, starting with about 3 handfuls of salt (be careful not to add too much). Add cayenne in small amounts until it is as hot as you want it. Add just enough paprika to get the desired color.
  1. Knead the meat as if you were making bread. Fry a few tablespoons of the meat mixture and taste test it. If you think it needs more of a seasoning or two, add it now. Remember it is easy to add something, but it is not easy to remove once it is mixed in.
  2. Using the appropriate attachment on a meat grinder, fill the already cleaned casings with the meat. Leave about 1/2 inch of unfilled casing on each side to tie the openings (you can fold sausage in half and tie ends together), or tie bottom end of casing before filling. Use a strong string and double tie each end. With a straight pin, prick the sausage several times all over. (This will help them to dry faster.)
  3. Hang the chorizo to dry in a very cool, dry place for 10 to 14 days or until they harden. They should get some ventilation, but never a draft. If they get too much exposure to air, they may dry too quickly on the outside, which would prevent them from drying on the inside. If the casings begin to form a white coat, moisten a paper towel with vegetable oil and rub them to remove the white. After you have rubbed them with oil, dry them with a paper towel. They are ready to eat when they are solid all the way through and firm to the touch.