Granted, I’m originally from California and will complain to anyone who will listen about the dearth of Mexican groceries in Portland, but I honestly don’t understand what’s wrong with the Mexican chorizo here. Every time I buy it and try to use it, I end up with a skillet full of grease and a handful of meat crumbles of indeterminate origin. I’ve since given up and now either use linguiça or andouille in its place or make a rough approximation myself from ground pork. This happens to be my all-time favorite use for the approximated version—it mashes up smoothly with creamy Yukon Golds, and having it all cook together ensures a maximum surface area of crusty browned bits.
This makes at least 15 tacos (3 tacos is a good serving). They’re great as leftovers in their original taco form, but can also make a great breakfast with eggs, migas-style.
For the “chorizo”:
14 oz. ground pork: $1.68
3 T garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press or minced: 6 cents
1/2 T paprika: 5 cents
1 T (or more to taste) chopped chipotles in adobo*: 8 cents
1/2 tsp ground coriander (from whole seed): 5 cents
3/4 tsp dried oregano: 5 cents
1 T cider vinegar: 10 cents
1/2 T salt: 1 cent
*I usually buy a can of these on sale and freeze them, adobo and all, in a block in a Ziploc bag—when it comes time to use them, I simply carve an appropriate-sized chip off the block and chop it up. This way a $1 can can last you a year or more.
For the rest:
2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes: $1.50
1/3 of a 49-cent bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped: 16 cents
1 lime, cut into wedges: 33 cents
15 corn tortillas: 65 cents
4 T vegetable oil: 24 cents
GRAND TOTAL: $4.96/5 = 99 cents (or 33 cents a taco)
Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Cover with about 3 inches of cold water and a pinch of salt and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until soft.
Mash together all the ingredients for the chorizo, including the pork. (I just squish it together with my hands.)
When the potatoes are done, drain, return to pot, and mash until chunky with a potato masher. (I only have a ricer, so I use a pastry cutter for this. You definitely want chunks in there.)
Combine the chorizo with the potatoes until well combined. I use the pastry cutter again, and, when cool enough, my hands.
Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add as much potato mixture as will fit in a single layer. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may have to do this in two batches; if so, use half the oil. Mash it down with a spatula and cook until crusty and browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip it over in sections and repeat.
Heat the corn tortillas in a microwave under a wet dish towel until steamed and soft (don’t try to skip this step, because they’ll be tough and crumbly). Serve the tacos with cilantro and a lime wedge squeezed over the filling.