Even though we didn’t have our own pork this year, I decided to make some chorizo. That way I would know exactly what goes into it and how much fat it contains. The recipe basically calls for 80% meat and 20% fat but as the pork belly I bought was very lean, the fat percentage was considerably higher. It is possible to make chorizo completely from scratch, adding your own spices and flavourings to the meat and fat mixture. However, as the climate on the coast is warmer and more humid than in the mountains, and not ideal for drying and curing meats, I wanted to be completely sure that there wouldn’t be a problem and we wouldn’t all be poisoned so used a ready-made chorizo mix call “Chorizol”. I then added more oregano, chilli pepper and chopped garlic.
4kg shoulder of pork
1kg belly pork, derinded
1 sachet chorizol
2 1/2 teaspoons chilli pepper
8 cloves garlic
Mince the meat and fat together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Leave to mature in the fridge or a cool place for 24 hours.
Put the mixture into the casings. Shape into individual sausages.
Making chorizo sausage
Hang up to dry in a cool, airy place. The ideal temperature is between 10ºC and 13ºC. Leave to dry for 7 days. If the temperature is cool enough, you can store the chorizo outside the fridge but I decided to freeze it and take out use as needed. I also saved some of the fresh chorizo back and froze it without drying.
Fried Chicken Blood
It was only last Sunday that I learnt how to fry chicken blood to serve as a tapa. Before then, I had always given it to the neighbour’s dog – but not any more. Sorry dog.
When you kill the chicken and cut the neck, drain the blood onto a plate with a sprinkling of salt. Once the blood has congealed, sprinkle a bit more salt on top and cut into squares.
Fried Chicken Blood
Get 5 or so large cloves of garlic and cut into thick slices, skin and all. Fry gently in a frying pan until golden.
- Fried Chicken Blood
Gently add the blood squared and fry until they have puffed up. It is important not to fry them for too long or they will taste like rubber.
The blood has completely different taste to what you might expect and tastes more like egg yolk.
Pour the contents of the pan into a shallow bowl and serve with small chunks of bread.
We needed to kill a couple of the male, incubated chickens and so we decided to make a soup with the giblets (heart, lung, kidneys), necks, chicken bones, gizzard, feet, etc.
We boiled the chicken bits and one of our pork bones in plenty of water and with some salt.
The stock was simmered for about 45 minutes and then left until we needed it in the evening.
In the evening, we reheated it, adding fine pasta. I added the finely chopped yolks of 4 hard-boiled eggs. Shortly before serving, I added the chopped white and made some croutons.
Chickens at 12 weeks
The chickens are now 12 weeks’ old and are growing well.
One of the male chickens: he’s developing white-coloured ears like his father
The males have started to adopt male posturing and one of them has even tried to crow – although the noise that came out was more like a warble.
Female Chicken at 12 weeks
None of the females has laid an egg yet.
About 10 days after the photo was taken we killed two of the males. We are going to have to kill them at some point so thought that now was as good a time as ever. They did not have much meat on them and there is massive difference between these and the chickens we kill for eating at about the same time. Still, we ate one (chicken casserole and chicken soup) and put the other in the freezer for later.