Chorizo de Cantimpalos

This is a classic, dry chorizo which originates in the municipality of Cantipalos in the province of Segovia in the south of Spain. The sausage was already mentioned in 1900 and by 1928 was exported to Mexico and other countries. ‘Chorizo de Cantimpalos’ is a cured sausage product made from fresh fatty pork, with salt and pepper as basic ingredients, to which garlic and oregano may also be added, and subjected to a drying and maturing process, over 40% of which takes place in natural curing houses. The various formats in which the chorizo may be offered are:

Sarta-chorizo-style sausage of 25-35 mm in diameter.
Achorizado-chorizo-style sausage of 30-50 mm in diameter, tied or wired together to form a string of several chorizo sausages.
Cular-chorizo-style sausage in pig-gut casing of more than 35 mm in diameter, of an irregular cylindrical shape which varies according to the casing.

The sausage is made from pork meat and adding extra fat or any chemical preservatives is not allowed. Like all quality Spanish sausages, this one is made with pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika), however, at leat 50% of the pimentón must be the pimentón de la Vera which is recognized as the best of all. The curing process has a minimum duration of 21 days for Sarta chorizo, 24 days for Achorizado chorizo and 40 days for Cular chorizo. This should produce a shrinkage of at least 25 % from the initial mixture and the finished chorizo. The curing process must comprise two sections: maturing and drying.The chorizo is cured in curing houses at a temperature between 6-16° C (42-60° F) and a relative humidity of between 60 and 85 %. The drying process must take place in natural curing houses for over 40 % of the total curing time.

Chorizo de Cantipalos carries PGI, 2011 classification

Pork butt800 g1.76 lb
Pork back fat200 g0.44 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt28 g5 tsp
Cure #22.5 g1/2 tsp
Pepper4.0 g2 tsp
Dextrose (glucose)3.0 g1/2 tsp
Sugar2.0 g1/3 tsp
Pepper3.0 g1-½ tsp
Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)15 g5 tsp
Garlic powder3.0 g1 tsp
Oregano, rubbed2.0 g2 tsp
T-SPX culture0.12 guse scale
  1. Grind pork and back fat through 3/8” plate (10 mm).
  2. 30 minutes before mixing add culture to 1 tablespoon de-chlorinated water.
  3. Add the culture to ground meat and mix with all other ingredients..
  4. Stuff firmly into 38-50 mm hog, beef middles or protein lined fibrous casings.
  5. Ferment at 20º C (68º F) for 72 hours, 90-85% humidity.
  6. Dry at 16-12º C (60-54º F), 85-80% humidity for 30-45 days, depending on the diameter of the casing. The sausage is dried until around 30% in weight is lost.
  7. Store sausages at 10-15º C (50-59º F), <75% humidity.
The original traditional sausage recipe for making Chorizo de Cantipalos (Segovia):

Lean pork 700 g/1.55 lb, Back fat 300 g/0.66 lb
Salt 20 g/3.5 tsp, Pimentón 20 g/10 tsp, Garlic 7.0 g/2 cloves, Oregano 2.0 g/2 tsp

Grind all meats through 10 mm (3/8”) plate.
Mix ground meats with all ingredients. Hold in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Stuff into 40 mm pork casings making 12 cm (5”) long links.
Hold at 25° C (77° F), 90→80% humidity for 30 hours.
Dry at 14-15° C (57-59° F), 70% humidity for 20 days.

Consume cold or fried.

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