Updated: Sep 6, 2022
Venison chorizo is one of the easiest and more rewarding sausages out there. It's packed full of flavor and can be enjoyed stuffed or loosely, which further expands its virtually never ending preparation possibilities. It's great in nachos, burgers, tacos, gravy and on top of runny eggs. Here I serve is stuffed inside little masa "boats", called sopes.
Sopes are made out of masa in the way the traditional corn tortillas are made with only a couple differences. They are a little smaller (about 3" in diameter), about twice the thickness and they have a rim around the edges which make them perfect for filling. They can be eaten as a main course or passed around as appetizers.
The filling of choice for this recipe is the classic combination of chorizo and potatoes. The zesty chorizo and creamy potato filled masa boats are perfectly complemented topped off with shredded cheese, salsa and cilantro.
Servings: 16 sopes
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Times: 30 minutes
Special Equipment: Lem Meat Grinder, tortilla press or rolling pin
For the Chorizo (makes 2.5 pounds)
1 3/4 pounds venison, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
3/4 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (preferably canela)
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Filling
2 cups 1/2" diced red potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups chorizo (from above)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
fresh cilantro, for garnishing
For the Sopes (makes 16)
1 3/4 cups masa harina
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive oil, for cooking
Make the chorizo. Using chilled grinder attachments, grind the meats though a 1/8" grinder plate. In a large bowl or stand mixer, add the meat and the remainder of the chorizo ingredients. Mix thoroughly until well combined and tacky to the touch. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the sausage for this recipe. Refrigerate or freeze the rest.
Cook the filling. Bring a medium size pot of water to a simmer and add the diced potatoes. Simmer until they are for tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add the chorizo, onion and pepper to the pan and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Check the pan for excess oil and drain as needed if there appears to be more than 1 tablespoon. Add the garlic and potatoes and cook until the potatoes are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat an cover to keep warm.
Form the sopes. In a large bowl add the masa harina, water and salt. Knead the dough with your hands until thoroughly combined. You're wanted the texture to be like cookie dough. If its dry, add a little water at a time until you achieve the cookie dough consistency. Divide the dough into 16 equal sized portions and roll into balls. Place the masa balls on a cookie sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap so that they do not dry out while you're working. Using either a tortilla press or a rolling pin, flatten the masa balls to about 1/8" circles. Keep the masa discs covered during the upcoming cooking process.
Cook the sopes. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches cook the sopes for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Be sure not to over cook the sopes, so that they don't dry out too much for the next step. Let the sopes cool to the touch. Using for index finger and thumb, pinch the sides of the sopes creating a 1/2" lip all the way around. Press your fingers in the middle of the sopes to flatten the insides out uniformly.
Finish the Sopes. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches brush the bottoms of the sopes with olive oil. Place a few sopes in the pan and fill each one with the chorizo potato mixture and top off with a little shredded cheese. Cook until the bottoms of the sopes and browned and crisped. Remove from the heat and top off with salsa and cilantro.