Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Homemade Chorizo Enfrijoladas and Black Bean Sauce


I had no idea how easy it was to make homemade chorizo.

The stuff at the store is fine and all, but making it yourself is so quick, easy, and delivers great texture and flavor.

While tacos would be a great application for this chorizo, I ended up making enfrijoladas, which are just tortillas dipped in sauce (or in this case just topped with sauce and filled with chorizo).

I did a version of this as burritos that turned out really well, so I wanted to try it with homemade chorizo.

Homemade Chorizo Enfrijoladas and Black Bean Sauce
(yet another from Serious Eats, here)

Chorizo:
1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground achiote
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexicano oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/16-1/8 tsp ground cinnamon (to taste)
3 tablespoons red wine or distilled white vinegar

To Cook Chorizo:
1 tablespoon bacon fat (or lard or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 large white onion, diced (use the other half below for the Cilantro Onions)
1 poblano pepper, diced

Black Bean Sauce:
8 oz dried black beans
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 whole star anise

Quick Cilantro Onions:
1/2 large onion, diced (use the other half above to cook the chorizo)
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste

To Serve Enfrijoladas:
Black Bean Sauce (above)
Quick Cilantro Onions (above)
Tortillas (flour or corn)
Queso fresco
Mexican crema

==

A note on the achiote, if you can't find it, it is optional, but give a nice deep color to the chorizo. You may also find it labelled "annatto". 

I used this kind in the Mexican section of my grocery store. 


==

Simply combine all the spices in a medium sized bowl.


Stir well to combine.


Add 3 tablespoons red wine or white vinegar (I used red wine vinegar).


Stir well to form a kind of paste.


Add your 1 inch pork cubes.


Stir well to coat.


Stash in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days before cooking.

I let mine go overnight.


==

Before grinding, you may want to freeze the meat a bit so it doesn't clump too badly on you.

If you have a meat grinder, grind this as you would any other ground meat product.

I used a food processor, so freezing the meat helps a lot.

Just let it freeze for about 30 minutes.


In batches, buzz it up.


I let it get pretty fine, as chorizo tends to be in really small chunks when cooked.

It's never going to be perfect in a food processor, so do your best. It'll still taste great.


Set aside until you're ready for dinner.


In the meantime, we can make the black bean sauce.

This takes about 2.5 hours, so plan accordingly.

Like I said, I've detailed this before in another post, so I just copied the photos from that one below. 

==

Weigh out 8 oz of beans.


Grab 4 cups of stock or water or whatever you have on hand. I had some leftover homemade vegetable stock. Very nice.


Add the stock to the beans in a medium sauce pan.


Add 2 bay leaves and a star anise pod. If you have avocado leaves, use a small handful of them instead.



Cover and bring to a boil over medium/high heat.


Once you are at a boil, give it a stir and drop the heat to a simmer.

You'll notice the aroma of the bay leaves and star anise at this point. I thought it smelled amazing. It reminded me of sausage simmering on the stove.


Lid it up and cook for 2 hours or until they are soft.


When your beans are ready, strain them and save the liquid.

Discard the bay leaves and star anise pod. 


Throw the beans back in the pot. We'll eat these separately or most likely just let the kids eat them.


I had about 2 cups of liquid left.


Add ¾ cup of the cooked beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid to a blender.



Blend for 2 full minutes.


Pour the blended beans into a sauce pan and put over medium/high heat for a boil.


Once the sauce comes to a boil, drop the heat to a simmer until it thickens up (uncovered). It'll take 30 minutes at the least. 


Your sauce is done when it's nice and thick.

Season with salt. I started with about 1/4 teaspoon but taste as you go.

If it gets too thick on you, dilute with some water. I had to. It'll still taste great.

You can cook the chorizo at the same time as you do the sauce or do it ahead and reheat it. 


==

To cook the chorizo, add a tablespoon of bacon fat or lard (or whatever) to a large skillet over medium/high heat. 


Dice up a poblano pepper.

These things are really under-rated in my opinion.

They add such a great almost smoky flavor to any Mexican dish you may make. Much better than a green bell pepper for example - deeper and much more complex.


Anyway, toss it in.


Dice up a big onion.


Toss HALF OF IT in the pan.

We'll use the other half in a second.

Cook for 7-10 minutes.


==

Grab a handful of cilantro.


Roughly chop it.


Add a tablespoon or so of lime juice.


Add some salt and stir well to combine.

This is a surprisingly awesome sort of pico condiment that goes really well on tacos. I make it all the time.


==

When your veggies are soft, add the chorizo.


Break it up and cook like you'd cook ground beef or whatever.


Cook until no longer pink.


==

To serve, just fill the tortillas with chorizo and fold over quesadilla-style. (Sorry, no pics!)

I poured the black bean sauce over top and sprinkled the cilantro onions, queso fresco, and some Mexican crema then hot sauce over that. Be generous with the black bean sauce!

Overall, the chorizo was very satisfying. The earthy spiciness of it was a spot-on flavor match to store bought chorizo, but the texture was better (there can be some odd bits in processed chorizo) and the flavor was just more "fresh" for lack of a better word. I also had WAY less fat rendered from this than from store bought stuff. That tends to swim in fat after it's cooked. This seemed much leaner.

I love the combination of chorizo and this black bean sauce, too. It's rich and almost soup-like. I also really like this way of serving. It's like the best parts of tacos and enchiladas. You get the textures of a taco but the sauce of the enchiladas. Really good.

If you're a fan of Mexican food, give it a whirl if you're sick of making the same things over and over!


Enjoy!

p.s.

You can also serve these with just the tortillas dipped in the black bean sauce and the chorizo spooned over top.

Both ways are excellent!

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