Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Finally a new post! Well, I had told you guys that this is a slow going hobby, and posts would come slowly. Hopefully I haven't lost everyone :)

This is one of the coppe which just came out of the curing chamber, the one on which I used my traditional dry salting method. The other, the wet cured one is still an unknown at this point.

Let me walk you through the process and the formula I used for this one. This assumes you've procured yourself a nice coppa from a shoulder, or by some other means. If you don't know what I'm talking about, use this link, to see my previous post on the subject.

IngredientQuantity(g)% of Meat
Pork Coppa
Salt ( Kosher)
White Pepper
Cure #22

The curing procedure is really quite simple. Crush/grind the pepper and cloves, and massage this whole mixture onto the pork collar (the coppa). Really work it into the meat. Then put the whole thing, and any of the salt and spices which fell off during the massage into a zip lock bag, get as much of the air out as possible, and put it in the fridge.

Leave it in the fridge, massaging the meat every 3 or so days, for about 10-15 days. The length of the stay in the fridge will depend on the thickness and weight of the meat. It is better to leave it too long, than not long enough, so I would go with 15 days. This one cured for 9 days.

Once cured, remove from the fridge, rinse quickly under cold water, and then dry well.

Put it in a casing of the appropriate size. I used 100mm collagen casings. Tie the coppa up, if you want using butchers knots, and then prick profusely with a toothpick while squeezing the coppa in the casing to get as much of the air out as possible. Do this especially at the 2 ends, and anywhere you see pockets of air.

Hang the coppa in your curing chamber. I hung it at 55 def. F and about 75% RH, for 57 days. Until it lost about 36% of its weight.

Once cured I like to put the item (i do with with most of them, coppa, bresaola, salame) in a ziplock bag with a damp paper towel, seal it up and put it in the fridge for a few days. This softens the really hard and dry casing and makes it much easier to peel.

Slice thinly and enjoy.
You can see what makes this piece of meat, and this salume, one of my favorites. The heavy marbling really gives the meat a lot of flavor and unctuousness. The meat really absorbs the flavors of the cure very well and every slice bursts with porky goodness.

So how does it taste? Well, this one in particular is very strong on the clove. I think I used about twice as much as I should have. The saltyness is good. It is dried just about enough to not be too hard to too soft. It is nice and meaty, and tastes pretty delicious. I think next time I'll use 1/2 the amount of clove, increase the white pepper a bit, and maybe add some additional spices like juniper or bay leaf.


Renieri said...

Very interesting post and wonderful blog! I hope something similar soon or later will be spread also in Italy...

Jerome Martucci said...

Over the past 17 years I have learned to make coppa 2 ways from two Italian Immigrant friends of our family. One person is from Sicily the other is from Calabria. I live in central New Jersey therefor I have only made it during the winter, from December to February using my garage (and my refrigerator) as a curing chamber. I plan on following your instructions and making a curing chamber so I cam make it whenever I want. In each way I have learned it seems the only curing ingredient is sea salt. The only down side to each method (as far as I know and have experienced) is the amount of sea salt used in each method. Some coppa seem to have to much salt. I make about 8 to 16 coppa each year (I also make fresh susage with the trimmings). To better understand my question I will give you the recipe for each way I have learned from each person. The first way (from my Sicilian friend)is to cut out the coppa (just as your link for harvesting coppa shows). Each coppa is processed by itself. Cover it all around with sea salt. Place the coppa on a slanted (non reactive) surface allowing the liquid to drain from the meat. After 3 days place the coppa in a container and wash it in about 2 cups of red wine (a garlic clove is crushed in the wine). Place the coppa on a drying rack for about 1-2 hours. Lay out some butchers paper, place the coppa on the paper and cover it with crushed white or black pepper and or crushed red pepper flakes. Roll the paper around the coppa and tie it with string using a butchers knot. Hang the coppa in the garage for about 90 days.
The second method (which I like the best) from my friend from Calabria is to cut out the coppa, cover it on all sides with sea salt and place all coppas in a plastic container for four days. The containers I have hold about 6 coppa each. Turn each coppa after two days. After the four days wash the coppa in the red wine and garlic wash. Air dry the coppa for 1-2 hours. cover the coppa with black or white crushed pepper and or crushed red pepper and stuff the coppa in beef bungs (poke any air pockets with a pin). Place the coppa in butchers netting and hang for 90 days. I have used each method and I have never had any issues other than some coppa being to salty. I like the second method the best, therefor In an attempt to gain an exact recipe for the second method I have invested in 12 stainless steel containers (11" x 6" x 4" deep)with lids. My question is this. If I weigh each coppa is there an exact % of salt I can use? Is there an exact % of Cure I can use? I dont have any experence at all with Cure products.

Jasonmolinari said...

Jerome, look at the recipe i used. I always use between 3.5% and 4% of the meat weight in salt, and ALWAYS 0.25% cure #2.
This gives me a proper cure, and it won't oversalt the meat.

Jerome Martucci said...


Angela said...

Reading the recipe you have from the Calabrese is pretty much how my nonna makes it :)I'll have to talk to her more about the exact process to see if it is the same or if there are similarities. Also, she makes it in Winter also ( we live in Australia) as apparently the meat has less chance of spoiling should something go wrong... When my grandfather was alive, he would also make it and all other cured meat in the wintertime.... (love Coppa too).

Unknown said...

Hello Jason,

Thanks again for sharing your passion! I have a few questions about the coppa I have made following this recipe:

My coppa has been hanging for 48 hrs @ 55 F and 83% humidity

1. I stuffed my coppa in a 100mm Beef Bung. I only noticed air pockets at the ends and I poked those ends. Should I "profusely"poke the rest of the casing just to be sure?

2.My coppa went straight from stuffing to the curing chamber without a fermentation stage and without the addition of manufactured mold. I am recieving Bactoferm mold in the mail within the next few days. I would like to inoculate the coppa with the mold if its not too late. (3-5 days of drying) How would you go about inoculating the coppa? Does the coppa need to be put into a fermentation environment for the mold to take? ( I have read your method for using the M-EK-4 mold)

3. This brings me to a larger question: Do whole muscle dry cured products need and/or benefit from a fermentation stage? It seems that some methods include a fermentation stage for whole muscle cures. It makes sense that, although you have not added a starter culture, the naturally occurring bacteria would be encouraged to grow and reduce ph by this warm stage. Thoughts?

THanks for your time,

Jasonmolinari said...

1) you should poke the casing all over to allow excess liquid to drain more efficiently.
2) it'll be fine without mold. You can try spraying it with a mold solution when you get it, but it may or may not take depending on how humid the suface still is.
3) I think it's not required, but it helps the casing adhere to the meat better, gives the sprayed mold a head start and also allow some drying of the casings before they go into the chamber.

Unknown said...

Hi Jason,
I live in sunny South Africa, I am a chef of 25 years and have made my own Pancetta many times(Always consumed by Eager Family members!) I am about to have my first try at the Coppa, We are starting our summer now and as you can imagine the SA sun has no mercy, If I dont have a curing chamber then where would be the best place to hang? I use my garage for the Flat and rolled pancetta, it can get up to 35 Celsius(90 F) in there! Will this be too hot, if so what do I do!!?? Please help!!!
Chef Stef
P.S. I have a cooler room in the house that gets to 28C(82F) would that do the trick?

Jasonmolinari said...

stefan, your garage is WAY too hot. I'm surprised pancetta works in that ambient. You really need to be in the 12-15deg. C range.

Unknown said...

Jason, Thx for that, I have always made the pancetta in the winter months, I guess I'll just have to wait out the season, thx for your prompt reply...