Coppa (Italian salt cured pork)

I have to admit it, I can become fascinated by certain aspects of food production. At present, because of my love for all things Italian, I have started to make cured meats or Charcuterie / Salumi. For those who don't recognise the word Salumi, it means cured joints of meat rather than the minced sausages (Salami). Coppa is just such a thing, taken from the centre of the pork shoulder it forms a solid piece of meat to cure and carve.

I started down the route of this Coppa purely by chance; I was cutting a pork shoulder up to mince ready for Salami making when I realised, I had a lovely piece of pork that was asking, no, begging me to do something different with it rather than just mince it (Fig 1), so here is what I did with it. I didn't weigh the meat so I will give you a more measured recipe later, but this is my random starting down the path of Salumi.

 

I salted the pork on all sides with Pink Salt mix which is something I will talk about later (Fig 2), I then placed the pork in a plastic container with a lid on and laid it to rest in the fridge. I turned the meat every day for one week, leaving it to rest in the saline liquid that had leached from the meat.

 

After one week, I drained the liquid out of the box, washed it out, dried it and reintroduced the pork after first salting it again on all sides (Fig 3).

 

At this point I noticed the meat had reduced in size and become quite firm.

 

After another week of turning every day in the fridge, I remove the meat, rinsed off the salt and dried with paper kitchen towel. The meat was firm to the touch and had lost at least a third of its bulk.

 

After drying the meat off with the paper towel, I wrapped it in a cheese cloth and hung it in a cool, dry, but not too dry, place, (65°F / 18.5°C) for a couple of weeks. (I sprinkled a little dried Paprika on the meat before I hung it)

 

Once the meat felt solid and had stopped dropping any liquid, I removed from the cheese cloth it had been hanging in and sliced it thinly (Fig 4). It's lovely on a cold meat platters along with Salamis etc. It will keep in the fridge wrapped in foil for some length of time.

 

References:

 

Pink Salt or Himalayan Salt – These are salt crystals from the Himalayan mountains, highly regarded for their purity, they are pink and are useful in Dry Cure which is simple to concoct, here is the basic recipe:

 

½ lb /225 grams of Kosher Salt
½ lb /225 grams of Granulated or caster Sugar
2 oz/ 50 grams of Pink salt (Mongolian Salt)
all mixed together

 

This can be rubbed into meat to cure it, we also use the same mix for our Pancetta and Bresaola.

  Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4