Chorizo

We love chorizo sausage, at least the Mexican variant. We might also love the Spanish original, but we have never tried it. Mexican chorizo is very mushy, and as far as I know is meant to be fried like ground meat, resulting in little bits of sausage swimming in a sea of red grease. Drain as much of the grease as you like, then use the rest as an addition to taco meat or—our chosen means of ingesting it—scrambled with eggs which are then eaten with flour tortillas.

The local Wal-Mart carries a couple of brands of chorizo, but neither of them has the flavor or spicy kick of Peyton’s brand chorizo, which can be hard to find even in the southwest. My sister in San Antonio has to buy hers on trips home to El Paso. When Chris and I were in El Paso for my dad’s eightieth birthday, he remembered our love of chorizo and bought a bunch of it for us to take home with us.

Debbie is just now frying up the first pack since then—our egg eating has been severely curtailed by our hungry but currently unproductive laying hens—and it smells wonderful. But I heard some noises of dismay, and when I went in to see what was wrong she pointed at the ingredient list, which reads as follows, and I do not joke: beef salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat (cheek/tongue), beef tripe, beef, flavoring, cereal (wheat, rice, oat, rye flour), water, salt, dextrose, sodium nitrite, FD & C red no. 40. Wow, talking about using the whole cow!

She also pointed out something that is at least good for a laugh, although I don’t think it actually helps us here in chorizo-sparse Kentucky: Peyton’s is distributed by John Morrell & Co. out of Cincinnati, a few hours up the road.

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9 thoughts on “Chorizo

  1. i grew up in in Cochise county in Arizona, near the town of Tombstone. i have mexican relatives, I remember things like chorizo, like most basically peasant food, it’s best not to read the ingredients. those ingredients are of course what makes it taste so good. What i miss are the homemade tortillas. The difference between store bought and handmade tortillas is like night and day. Also, a lot of people don’t realize there are two styles of flour tortillas. What most people see in the store are Chihuahuan style tortillas, which are smaller and thicker. Arizona is next to the province of Sonora, and that style of tortillas was very wide and thin. rub with melted butter, oh boy!.Also miss my uncle Hernandez’s carnisada steak, YUM! I’ll have to look for the brand of chorizo you are talking about, sounds good.

  2. I like the generic “beef” right in the middle of that list. I’m imagining the butchers looking at some mysterious piece of flesh and saying to themselves, “It wasn’t here when we started so it must be part of the cow. Let’s just call it beef and get cleaned up!”

  3. Rick-

    We butchered two home grown pigs recently and made homemade chorizo sausage from a recipe in the book “Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing” by Rytek Kutas. 12 of my children are hispanic, adopted from south Texas, and they love it, they say it tastes just like they remember. We make it in chub form and use it pretty much the same way you do.

  4. I grew up with the tantalizing smell of chorizo on sunday mornings when the entire familia would come over for that and of course menudo which — to squeamish folks don’t ask about the ingredients.. we would laugh, argue about politics, drink cafe con leche, and eat the beautiful spread my mom so proudly prepared… since those times, i have found a really great chorizo that doesn’t have all those ingredients but i kid you not, tastes as good (and i never thought THAT would happen) i know you are prob far from any trader joe’s but they have soy chorizo and it’s great.. and no.. i don’t eat “real” chorizo anymore .. but still can’t resist a steaming plate of menudo with all garnishes…

  5. My brother is coming down to Phoenix in 2 weeks…I asked him to bring a pack of Peytons Chorizo since I cant get it out here. No one seems to carry out here. I have it everytime I go back to El Paso, nothing beats it! Better yet, I also asked for a quarter pound of asadero cheese to make queso fundido. MMMM I cant wait to mix the two into a savory appetizer!

  6. Hi all,
    My family also got its chorizo from a place in El Paso. I can’t find a replacement for it – every store here seems to sell only the sausage variety, and there are no relatives there anymore. So, I am trying to find out the name of the store with hopes they will ship to me. Do you remember the name of the store?

  7. Smith’s grocery store in Las Vegas sells the Peytons beef chorizo which is pretty good & spicy but we all need to move on to healthier alternatives like the soy chorizo. The reynaldos soy is ok but their regular chorizo tastes horrible, as it has clumpy balls of grease in every bite.

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