I’m a big fan of tacos. I think I inherited that from my dad. He emphatically believes that you can put anything in a taco shell. Eggs, chicken fingers, even goulash (nervous laugh). He regularly, and enthusiastically, offers me new “taco” ideas and it usually ends with me horrifyingly saying, “Dad, nooooooo!”. Ha. It’s the thought that counts.
If you haven’t tried traditional Mexican chorizo yet, you’re missing out. No worries, I’m here to help. Mexican chorizo is traditionally made with ground pork, however I like to use ground chicken or turkey. Much healthier alternatives and you really can’t tell the difference. No, honestly.
You don’t believe me. I get it.
Here’s my proof: I make aforementioned turkey chorizo for a family party. A Mexican fiesta! My family loves food; its all we talk about. We’re all blessed with great palettes and are also very vocal, and expressive, about how we think something tastes. Opinions range from, “This is the best thing I ever put in my f*cking mouth” to “This f*cking sucks”. So, back to the party. I make the turkey chorizo and keep it a secret that the pork is, in fact, counterfeit. Mostly because my Uncle Al, who is a very harsh food critic that I’m always trying to impress (very nervous laugh), probably wouldn’t touch it if he knew it was poultry. Why? Because I’m betraying pork and that just ain’t cool.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, he tried it. He loved it. He said, “This is f*cking great.” And, he had no idea that he was bamboozled.
Mexican chorizo is perfect for tacos, but can also be used for so many other dishes: Serve with eggs and plantanos for breakfast. Add roasted potatoes to the pan you cook it in and make a hash. Top your guacamole with it. Mix it with melted queso. Put it in a quesadilla. No boundaries. No ceilings.
Full Disclosure: you can totally use ground pork if you want to
Mexican Chorizo Tacos
- 1 lb ground turkey (or chicken, or pork)
- 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp coriander, ground
- 2 tsp smoked paprika, ground
- 2 cloves, ground
- 1 bay leaf, ground
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, ground
- 1 tbsp Guajillo or Ancho chili, ground
- 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano (you can substitute Italian)
- 1 tbsp Adobo
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
- salt, Kosher, to taste (after cooking)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 5 black peppercorns, whole
- 1 bay leaf, whole
- 1 tbsp sugar, granulated
- 1 tsp salt, Kosher
- In a large bowl, add the vinegar, garlic & ground spices, minus the salt, and mix. Most of the spices can be found already ground but if you find some that aren’t, simply grind them up with a mortar & pestle, pulse a few times in your blender, or toss into your coffee grinder.
- Add your ground meat and mix until the spice mix is well incorporated. I like to use a big roasting fork for this. Be careful not to over mix. Respect the meat.
- Cover the bowl with plastic and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Don’t shortcut the time; the meat needs time to soak up all the goodness. Side Note: I like to split my chorizo up between two ziplock freezer bags. One goes in the fridge and the other gets tucked away in the freezer for a later date.
- Add 1 tbsp oil to a sauté pan and cook the meat over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and cooked through.
- Peel and half the onion, cutting through the root. Thinly slice the onion, pointing your knife towards the root when cutting. Place the onions in an airtight container. I like to use mason jars, but a tupperware container works, too.
- In a pot, add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium high heat. Stir occasionally & remove from heat once it reaches a boil.
- Pour the hot liquid over the onions and let sit until slightly cooled, about 10 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but I recommend about 2 days. The onions last 3 months in an airtight container, refrigerated.
In the above picture, I served my chorizo in corn tortilla shells topped with pickled onions, sliced radish, shredded tuscan kale, tomatillo-avocado sauce & pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
Here are some other taco condiment ideas:
- shredded cabbage
- cotija cheese
- fresh cilantro
- queso fresco
- greek yogurt (have you tried this in place of sour cream yet? Do it!)
- freshly squeezed lime juice