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Chorizo first timer

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I used the river Cottage recipe for chorizo at 2% salt. All smells great, and it's now drying in my chamber. However... I did a bit more reading around and notice everyone uses cure number 1 and a starter culture... now I am really concerned that I've wasted all this time and money. Anyone able to put my mind at rest??? Lol
post #2 of 5

1.....  If that's the recipe you used.....  It's NOT a safe recipe....   For drying at 2 weeks in "normal air" you should be using cure #2....

2.....  Did you check the pH to make sure it was 4.5 or lower ????

3.....  Did you cold smoke it.???



Makes about 20 medium chorizo

  • 3-4 lengths of beef runner casings
  • 5kg boneless shoulder or hand of free-range pork, with about 20% fat (measured roughly by eye)
  • 1kg cured pork loin
  • 100g PDV salt (i.e. 2% of the weight of the pork shoulder or hand)
  • 125g smoked hot paprika
  • 70g sweet paprika (unsmoked)
  • 15g cayenne pepper
  • 50g fennel seeds, lightly toasted
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 12 glasses red wine


  • Meat mincer
  • Sausage stuffer
  • Butchers hooks and string
  • Meat slicer (optional)



There are probably hundreds of recipes for chorizo. Throughout Spain, and indeed Mexico, families have been handing down their own recipes for generations. The meat is flavoured with a spice mix, usually largely informed by paprika, but which can also include fiery cayenne or naga chilli, which will send it off the Scoville scale (the scale that chilli heat is measured in). This recipe is for a salami-style chorizo, made with a fairly eclectic blend of spices that can be altered to suit your own heat threshold. It also includes pieces of cured loin of pork, which provide a nice contrast, both texturally and visually. Steve has added smoked paprika to the mix, to give it a more subtle smokiness. Alternatively, you could use ordinary paprika and cold-smoke the salami yourself, after it has had 2 weeks or so of normal air-drying.




Soak the casings for at least 2 hours in cold water.

Mince the pork shoulder or hand using the coarse (8–10mm) plate of your mincer and place in a bowl.

Cut the pork loin into small cubes and add to the minced meat with all the other ingredients except the wine.

Mix thoroughly, using your hands, so that the flavourings are well distributed throughout the mixture.

Now add enough wine to bind the mixture (but not too much or it will leach out of the skins later, carrying flavour with it, and also some of the crucial salt).

Pack the mixture into the sausage stuffer and fit a medium nozzle on the end.

Load the casing on to the sausage stuffer, tie the end with string and fill the casing, to form sausages about 30cm long, packing tightly and ensuring there are no air pockets.

Secure the other end of the casing with string.

To begin with, you will need to hang the chorizo in a warm place, ideally 25–27°C, to enable incubation of the bacteria and facilitate fermentation.

After 12 hours in this environment, move the chorizo to your dry-curing spot, which should be between 12 and 18°C with a humidity level of approximately 70% and a constant circulation of air.

Make sure the chorizo are not touching a wall, or each other, and they are not in direct sunlight.

Over the coming weeks, test the pH to ensure it is below 4.5.

Allow 6–10 weeks for the chorizo to cure if you want to eat it raw.

Serve cut into thin slices.

Note: Should you want to, you can cook with the chorizo soon after mixing rather than leave it to cure.

Try crumbling it over fish before baking or putting it into casings and cooking like a sausage to serve with scrambled eggs.

There will be an extra saltiness to it, but not to its detriment.

Just hold back on additional seasonings in the dish you are preparing.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
This is the recipe. Think I may just dump the lot. Sad really. Smells so lovely...
post #4 of 5

That recipe should also have a fermenting culture to insure some other safeguards...    read up on this particular culture......




It is a very new culture that adds safety to other pathogens...   works at a reasonable temperature...   room temp basically...   lowers the pH...  




As an additional safety precaution, mold 600 should be added to the casing by spray, dipping or soaking to prevent unwanted harmful molds from growing during the fermenting process.....  It is a white edible mold....


The Butcher's Pantry is owned by a member here....   Evan Brady......

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
So... 2nd time round... I have cure number 2... pork... culture... skins... I've seen people say they spray their sausages. Is this necessary and would any type of penicillin based culture such as acidophilus do for the skin? I have an LS 25 starter culture for the fermentation.
How does one test the ph levels of the meat accurately? Litmus paper isn't the most accurate and meat ph monitors are ridiculously expensive. I have seen soil ph meters but this sounds too good to be true... any thoughts?

I should point out that I am UK based so the butchers pantry website is not available unfortunately.
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