Dry-Cured Chorizo

Dried chorizo is a fermented sausage usually made from cured pork but cabrito (young goat) or venison is used on occasion. The pork in this version is coarse ground and seasoned with chili pepper, garlic and Spanish smoked paprika which gives the chorizo its smoky-sweet warmth and deep red color.

4 3/4 lbs pork butt (2.15 kg)
3/4 lb pork back fat (341 g)
2 tsp Bactoferm F-LC (6.25 g)*
3 1/4 tbsp pickling salt (63.4 g)
1 1/4 tsp Prague Powder #2 (7.0 g)
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (3.3 g)
2 tsp garlic powder (6.2 g)
2 1/2 tsp oregano powder (5.75 g)
1 tbsp chili powder (8.4 g)
2 tbsp corn syrup solids (27.6 g)
3 1/4 tbsp Spanish paprika (23.4 g)
35/38 mm prepared hog casings

1. Chill pork/fat to 31°F (-0.55°C), grind pork once through a 3/16” (5mm) plate, back fat one time through a 1/2” (13mm) plate.
2. Prepare slurry by mixing F-LC culture with enough chlorine-free water to equal to 0.5% of the batch weight, stir well, set aside.
3. Combine ground meat with remaining ingredients; mix well until it’s batter like, add culture slurry, mix additional 2-3 minutes.
4. Stuff the batter mixture into prepared hog casings, twist into 6” (16 cm) links.
5. Ferment chorizo at 70-75°F (21-24°C) at 85-90% relative humidity (RH) for 36 hours.
6. Dry chorizo at 60-70°F (16-21°C) at 68-72% RH for 2 weeks or until it has lost roughly 30-35% of its green weight.
7. Dry cured chorizo has a shelf life of 75 days at 50-59°F (10-15°C) at 68-70% RH if the original casing is left intact. .

*The manufacturer of Bactoferm F-LC meat starter culture suggests that you use at least one quarter of the 25-gram packet for small batch production under 50 pounds which breaks down to about 2 tsp or 6.25 grams per batch (see manufacturer's complete instructions which comes with each packet).

A smoker can be used to incubate (ferment) dry and semi-dry sausages. Simply hang product in smoker, close damper and regulate the heat and relative humidity, according to the formulation instructions––no smoke.

Cure #2 is crucial in the production of dry sausage. It inhibits the growth of unwanted bacteria while improving the color and flavor of the final product.

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