Coppa is a cut of muscle off a pig’s shoulder. If you buy a whole butt roast, the coppa is the large group of muscles to the side of the bone. Remember, a butt roast isn’t from the butt, it is from the shoulder of the pig. It was called a butt from the fact it used to be shipped in containers called butts.
When the roast is unwrapped, you will see a bone showing with a large piece of meat to one side. Put the roast on the counter with the bone nearer the bottom of the roast. Above the bone is a line of fat that runs above the bone.
You can work your fingers into the fat line and it will easily start to separate. When it stops separating easily, take a sharp knife and continue cutting through the fat line.
When you have totally separated the meat piece from the bone piece, there will be a thin piece of meat and fat. Cut this off to form a nice oval roast shape.
More info on the cure below*
I made up a curing mix. For each kilogram of the coppa, I mixed:
- 15 ml kosher salt
- 15 ml sugar
- 3 grams (2.2 ml) Prague powder #1
- 15 ml coarsely ground black pepper
- 5 ml dried thyme
- 3 ml garlic powder
- 1.5 ml dried chili flakes
- 1 ml ground nutmeg
- 1/2 bay leaf, crumbled
If you are into US measures, for each pound of meat mix:
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 0.04 ounce (1/5 teaspoon) Prague powder #1
- 1 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon dried chili flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1//4 bay leaf, crumbled
Directions Once Meat Is Properly Cured:
Put the mixture in a mortar and grind with a pestle until you have a coarse mixture. Alternatively, put it in a spice mill or coffee grinder and process until there are coarse chunks.
Rub the mixture over the surface of the coppa. Put it in the fridge uncovered overnight.
Preheat your smoker to 200 F (93.3C). You can also cook it in a 200 F (93.3C) oven but I did like the smoke flavor in mine.
Put the coppa in the smoker and smoke it to an internal temperature of 150 F (65.6C).
Let the coppa cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
Slice the coppa as thin as reasonably can. Freeze any you will not eat in the next week.
This recipe is originally credited to David From OldFatGuy. Check out his blog for other full recipes and guides on food smoking!
Ingredient Quantity(g) % of Meat
Pork Coppa 800 100%
Salt ( Kosher) 30 3.75%
White Pepper 10 1.25%
Cloves 5 0.625%
Cinnamon 0.5 0.0625%
Cure #2 2 0.25%
More details on the curing procedure:
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. 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 100 mm collagen casings. Tie the coppa up, if you want to use butcher knots.
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 F (12.8C) and about 75% RH, for 57 days, until it lost about 36% of its weight.