Coppa-ish?

Hello hello!

This week I’m working on a coppa-like product. The coppa or capicollo is a cured pork product made from a cut that runs from back of the head to the shoulder of the pig. The reason I call what I am making coppa-ish is because the exact cut used for that salumi in Italy is not a common cut of meat in North America, so I had to make do with a coppa like cut (specifically the blade roast). I tried to find more information about this “blade roast” but it is not really coming up on any diagrams. Regardless, it looks like a lean cut of meat with great fat dispersed throughout, so why not experiment? (perhaps one of you well read readers could educate me on the difference in the cuts?)

Again, I picked this cut up from my favourite butcher, Harkness and Co.

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What a gorgeous cut of meat!

For the cure, I decided to go for a bit of an unorthodox approach. I used spices that are “warm” in nature, adding cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and star anise. Black pepper is also added for more heat. In addition to the warm spices, I used garlic and bay leaves to bring the flavour profile back to a more Italian feel. I embrace the experimentation, and hey, its a dried pork product, there is literally nothing bad that can happen! (well, no, there are bad things that can happen, but not really if you screw around with the spice mix)

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This spice mix is very similar to the Chinese 5 spice powder (cloves, cinnamon, star anise, fennel, and Szechuan pepper), and I think if this batch turns out well, I might try for a Chinese/Italian fusion salumi. As always, I rub the crushed garlic on the meat first so that the rest of the spices would stick well…

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…then the salt + cure (2.5% of the weight of the meat + 10% weight of salt in Prague Powder #2 (Nitrate and Nitrite)…

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…then the spice mix, toasted and ground finely.

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Make sure to cover all the surfaces evenly!

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Now that I’m writing this, I think I should have put some orange peels in there as well for that little bit of citrusy goodness… next time!

The cure covered piece of meat goes inside a ziploc bag, into the fridge for the cure to work its way into the meat for 10 days, after which it goes into the chamber until a 30% weight loss. I might try for 35% this time, we’ll see how my patience fares!

Until next time,

-K

 

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