Lean Chorizo

"I like the heat that the heavy chipotle use brings, but please feel free to remove the seeds or use fewer peppers if you want. My recipe checks in at 61 calories an ounce, compared to 129 calories an ounce for professionally-made chorizo. And, it tastes amazing!"
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
Ready In:
1hr 45mins




  • Trim as much fat as possible from the tenderloin, and trim any silver skin. While most sausage recipes retain the fat, this isn't necessary because the fat will be provided by the bacon ends and pieces.
  • Cut tenderloin into 1 inch chunks. Chop bacon ends and pieces into 1 inch sections.
  • Blend cumin, salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, paprika, oregano, and white pepper together in a bowl. Toss tenderloin in the seasoning to completely coat. Add the bacon ends and pieces and blend thoroughly.
  • Put pork and bacon in a zip-loc bag or sealed plastic container and put in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Freeze the meat grinder components, too (everything but the part with the motor). Everything needs to be cold to get the best possible grind.
  • Finely chop chipotle peppers. Remove the seeds if you want a less spicy sausage. Add to food processor, and grate the garlic into the food processor. Add vinegar and tequila. Blend until everything is combined.
  • After at least 1 hour, remove meat from the freezer and assemble the meat grinder. If meat isn't nearing a hard-frozen state, continue freezing until it is. Unfrozen meat will smear in the meat grinder, creating an unpleasant texture.
  • Push the pork and bacon through together using the meat grinder pusher: don't separate the pork from the bacon, since it should be blended. Continue until all the meat is ground.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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