It’s true, if you don’t want to know what’s in the sausage, don’t go to a sausage factory. Ignorance is bliss if you buy it off the refrigerated shelf at the grocer. If you make it yourself, you know what’s in it and there won’t be any question about mystery meat.

One of the most delicious chorizos I have ever tasted was elk chorizo made by a local game processor from an elk a friend of our had shot earlier that year. If someone ever gifts you with venison or elk, don’t turn it down. If you’re not sure how much you will like the wild taste, make a chorizo out of it and that wild taste will rise up to the spices in the recipe and impart a special flavor that tastes like goodness through and through

1 pound ground lean beef, pork, venison, elk, even ground turkey can be used
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons red chile powder
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine chile powder, paprika, cumin, salt, garlic powder, coriander, oregano, red chile flakes, ground cloves and black pepper in mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the cider vinegar and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Add ground meat and knead the spices into the meat, evenly. You can use it after it’s set for 30 minutes or so, but it’s best to put the chorizo mixture in an airtight container and store overnight in the fridge.

Form the meat into small patties and fry or just scramble and brown the meat in a skillet until done. You can also fry up the meat and store the fried meat to use like a condiment in other dishes. You can drain off the fat at that time or use the fat to help preserve the cooked condiment and then choose the browned meat from the solidified grease later.

Makes 4 servings