['1/4 pound chiles guajillos (about 14), stems, seeds, and membranes removed', '3/4 cup mild vinegar such as vinagre de pina or diluted unseasoned rice vinegar, or more if needed', '2 pounds coarsely ground pork shoulder', '1/2 pound medium-ground pork fat', '4 large cloves garlic, minced', '1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican', '2 teaspoons sea salt', '1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper', '1/4 teaspoon dried thyme', '1/8 teaspoon ground allspice', '1/8 teaspoon ground cloves', 'Large splash of tequila blanco (optional)', '4 to 5 feet small hog casings', '1/4 cup mild vinegar such as vinagre de pina or diluted unseasoned rice vinegar']
Soak the chiles in a bowl in very hot water to cover until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain the chiles, tear into smaller pieces, and return to the bowl. Add the vinegar and marinate for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time. Transfer the chiles and vinegar to a blender and process until smooth, adding a bit more vinegar only if needed to release the blades.
Put the pork, pork fat, and garlic in a large bowl and toss until crumbled and well mixed. Add the pureed chiles, oregano, salt, pepper, thyme, allspice, cloves, and perhaps the tequila. Thoroughly squish together all of the ingredients with your hands. Fry a spoonful in a small skillet until thoroughly cooked, taste, and add more salt if needed. Cover the bowl tightly and cure in the refrigerator for at least 1 day and preferably for 3 days, occasionally turning the mixture so the flavors are well blended. At this point, the chorizo can be divided into smaller batches, some to be used immediately in various dishes and others that can be frozen for up to 3 months. If you want, this is also the time to stuff some or all of the meat mixture into casings.
If you are making links with only some of the chorizo, you will not need all of the casings. Rinse the casings in cool water to remove the salt, then soak them in water to cover mixed with the vinegar for 30 minutes. As you remove the casings from the water, cut in half. Squeeze closed one end of a length and fill the opposite end with water to make sure there are no leaks. If there is a puncture, cut the casing on both sides of the puncture, tie a double knot at one end of each length, and press any water out the other end.
Here now is the real challenge, and the fun: stuffing the filling into the casings. It can be done with just a funnel and any round, flat-ended piece of wood that fits into the opening. But, as always, fingers are the best.
Carefully smooth the open end of the casing over the funnel, pushing it as far up as it will easily go. Before adding the meat mixture, hold the funnel upright and press the casing to remove any excess air. Now, stuff some of the chorizo into the funnel, pushing as much of it as you can down into the casing and adding enough to make a firm package but leaving a little empty space at the end to make another double knot. Twist and tie every 3 1/2 to 4 inches with burlap-type string or narrow strips of dried corn husk. Diana Kennedy, from whom I have learned so much, always waits until she has filled the whole casing and then ties it off to make sure that all of the space is filled.
Hang the links to dry at room temperature for 3 days, then cover and refrigerate and continue to dry for several more days. The links will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator or they can be frozen for a few months.
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