Coppa is the topmost muscle in a pork shoulder. I’m curing one from the last butt that I bought for a pulled pork BBQ. Cured and dried it becomes a salumi. Salami? No, salumi. Salami is made from ground meat. Salumi is made from the whole muscle. Think of the difference between a hamburger and a pot roast.
The first step
is to salt cure the coppa. Once I had it removed from the butt, I rolled it in sea salt and put it in a zip-top bag. To the bag, I added a handful of peppercorns and half as many whole fennel seeds. Instacure #2 is added at a rate of 1 level teaspoon for every 5 pounds of meat. A mere 4 ounces will cure 100 pounds of meat. As this piece of pork weighed in at 890g, I added 4g of pink salt. I just sprinkled the pink salt into the bag onto the meat.
5 days in the refrigerator. Every day, take the coppa out and overhaul it. Overhauling is nothing more than making sure the salts and spices and well mixed and getting in contact with every little bit of the meat. Give the meat a good massage, moving everything around in the bag, and then shake it back down and replace it in the fridge.
wine bath. Take the coppa out of the bag and give it a good rinse in cold running water. I like to remove the seeds and the spice bits. Put the meat in a bowl or Lexan and cover it with white wine. I like to buy the big jug whites for my soak. Press the meat down under the surface of the liquid and put on the lid. Let it soak for about 4 hours, giving the container a good shake every so often.
Trussing is a learned skill. I figured it out after watching the chef while I was at french cooking school very closely every time he did it. It takes patience and practice, but it can be done. Drain the meat and give it a good pat down with some very clean towels or paper towels. At this point, cleanliness is next to godliness! The wine serves two purposes: remove some of the saltiness and to clean away any unwanted microbes that might colonize your salumi. The pink salt should keep most of these baddies in check, but good to keep everything very clean! You have been washing your hands, right?
Finally, the hard part, Air drying.
Why is it hard? The waiting is the hardest part. The meat needs to be held at 65F and 70% relative humidity for a couple of weeks. I use a custom meat drying refrigerator that I built, but you might have a better idea. I will check in with updates and pictures.
It’s been a couple of weeks and the coppa weighed in at 519g. Let’s eat! I cut off the string and sliced right into the middle.
(sorry about the yellow tint on the fat – stupid GIMP software!!)
Nice consistency throughout. No off aromas. Tastes great! –but still too salty. Dammit! OK. Next time, I’m going to just sprinkle with fine salt. The #2 cure should provide enough protection that I don’t need to kill these guys with salt. No more rolling in sea salt. I’m getting way too much salt in the mix and my salumis are still way too salty. I’ll save it for my Dad. He likes the salty stuff. I’ll just vacuum-seal it and keep it in the deep freeze until I go to visit next time!