Fried Chipotle Chorizo


Texas Home Cooking

Published by Harvard Common Press

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

German settlers in Texas flavored their sausage with smoke. Mexican settlers used chile and other seasonings instead. You get the best of both worlds in this chorizo, made with smoky chipotle chile.

NotesAs popular as jalapeños are in Texas cooking nowadays, they aren’t a traditional Tex-Mex ingredient. Red chiles, such as the anchos used in chili powder, were the original favorites in the state. Jalapeños didn’t catch on until recent decades. They reached craze status around 1976, when an Austinite set a world record by eating 108 in an hour. More recently, at the 1992 Jalapeño Festival in Laredo, Braulio Ramirez downed 141 of the fiery chiles in just 15 minutes.

Cooking Methodpan-frying



Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealbrunch, dinner

Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, meaty, smoky, spiced


  • 4 dried red chiles, preferably 2 ancho and 2 New Mexican
  • 1½ pounds ground pork
  • 1½ cup minced onion
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle chiles
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chile pequín or cayenne, or more, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • ½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground canela (Mexican cinnamon) or cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

  2. Break the stems off the chile pods, and discard most of the seeds.

  3. Place the pods in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast them in the oven for about 5 minutes. Watch the pods closely because they can scorch easily. Break each chile into several pieces. Transfer the chiles to a blender and blend until they are evenly ground.

  4. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground chile and all the other ingredients. Cover the bowl; and refrigerate it at least 8 hours and preferably 24. Use the chorizo as needed. Form it into patties, or fry it as is over medium heat until it is richly browned. It keeps, uncooked and refrigerated, at least a week.


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