Chorizo is a many-defined thing. It can be splendorous, and it can be a weird plastic tube of salivary glands and seasoning that you’re supposed to smush out into a hot pan and hope for the best.
Traditionally, a sausage is a way to use up the random bits left over after you’ve secured the good cuts–the little trims, possibly organs (hello boudin!), cheek meat (before it became popular) and whatever else seemed like a good plan at the time. Chorizo seasoning is a peppery paprika blend of things that is, to me, the downright best part of a breakfast taco. It’s bullish enough to cover a multitude of sins, including organ meat that might otherwise be thought a slippery greasy mess, but only if that mess is balanced with actual meat that has texture.
I am here to tell you that it’s not always the case that the chorizo makers that make the products available in the store have followed my simple rule. Ever thrown out a pan of food? Go ahead and buy the cheapest chorizo at the market. Squish it into the pan, and tell me if you decided to crack eggs over that, or toss it and hit Taco Cabana. I’ve got an iron stomach, and even typing that brings back images that do not make Cheepie happy.
Which is why, for a change, I’m liking my Silly Thing this week. Cheap chorizo should obviously be soy–it’s hugely assertively seasoned, the cheap bits that used to make it are now much pricier, and all we’re doing is mixing it into tacos. This isn’t Spanish chorizo, for slicing on a pretty cheese plate–this is Mexican chorizo that is not even a sausage except for that people keep putting it in plastic tubes! Why do we do that? A grocery mystery.
I’m not giving up on meat chorizo, but at $1.99 for 12oz, you’re going to have enough to make extra tacos for the freezer, which will save you one morning from the Krispy Kreme. Pork chorizo costs twice that or more, and it’s good, too. It’s just not my funny thing this week.
Soy Chorizo, for when you’re all done with salivary glands and paprika!
Thank you TJ’s!