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Coppa cutting advice

zwiller

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Did my first this past weekend and did OK but mine looks NOTHING like those I've seen here. I read and watched videos before trying it but still was basically flying blind. It appears there are some variations how to do this. I did mine like the 3rd one in the clip below. I would prefer to try and get one looking like Travis Sowsage Sowsage or Wayne thirdeye thirdeye did in their threads. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/sliced-coppa-roast.305338/
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/what-did-you-cook-for-labor-day.301337/

Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks in advance.
 

Sowsage

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That one i posted not to long ago I use method #2. And then just did a little triming to shape it up. I think that method keeps it simple. Just about everything ive ever butchered or primal cuts ive broke down is as simple as folowing the natural seems. If youbdont want to trim much you could tie it also to keep a nice uniform shape for even cooking. Besides that looks are just for looks! How did it taste?
 

thirdeye

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Maybe I can break it down a little. The first thing is locating the money muscle on a butt you find in the meat case. Not all butts have a nice MM, so on the end opposite the blade bone, look for the muscle with stripes of fat, this is the MM. They taper, so one end is wider than the other end.
twkE938.jpg

When the butt is on the hog, the MM is the uppermost shoulder muscle. Horizontally, the MM is directly ahead and in line with the backbone and loin, and is directly behind the ears. Vertically, the MM is in line with the front leg.
chartpork.jpg

Below the MM (toward the blade bone) are the tubes, much smaller muscles. Below the tubes is the 'loin' and below that is the blade bone. Below the blade bone is the picnic portion of the shoulder.

Here is a cross section of a pork butt. When I cut a Coppa, I basically start trimming some fat from the MM, and this gives me an idea of where the tubes are. I follow the natural seam below the tubes (between the tubes and the area marked 'loin'). Now, butts are all different, but I'm cutting about 1/3 of the butt off for the Coppa roast. Then trimming to shape.
VCND3PS.jpg
Here are several Coppa roasts after trimming. I try and shave off the fat in thin slices, and at the same time I round the edges (a square edge can dry out and burn). Tying with butchers string is an option.
rSzSzUM.jpg

u7j7yqG.jpg

TWANKrQ.jpg
 

sawhorseray

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I've done a few of them using UMAi dry bags Zwiller. I watched this guy a few times and ended up doing a really nice job of it.

(559) How to Make Capicola at Home! (Umai Dry Charcuterie) - YouTube


I'll do some again after the pandemic dies down and have more fridge space. I thought the UMAi bags did a really great job on a coppa, weren't worth the time, money, and fridge space dry aging a whole standing rib roast, too much waste, no big jump in flavor. Meat slicer comes in real handy with a coppa, you want to get it paper thin, Just my 2¢ worth. RAY
DSCN1020.JPG
 

zwiller

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THANKS I should have posted but I am curing and making ham with it. That said, UMAI capicola could work after I figure how to cut it! :emoji_laughing:

I love the look and texture of loin but flavor is falling short. Rich chopsaw chopsaw is convinced this will help and I trust him so giving it a shot. Anyone else have any thoughts on flavor between loin vs butt/coppa? I kinda assumed that they'd be about the same.

I think Wayne has nailed it and I think I need to be more selective shopping. There was not much MM in mine. Butts will be $.99/lb on Wed so...
 

thirdeye

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THANKS I should have posted but I am curing and making ham with it. That said, UMAI capicola could work after I figure how to cut it! :emoji_laughing:

I love the look and texture of loin but flavor is falling short. Rich chopsaw chopsaw is convinced this will help and I trust him so giving it a shot. Anyone else have any thoughts on flavor between loin vs butt/coppa? I kinda assumed that they'd be about the same.

I think Wayne has nailed it and I think I need to be more selective shopping. There was not much MM in mine. Butts will be $.99/lb on Wed so...
Ham from a shoulder butt has more fat than ham from a loin which equates to more flavor, but I cure more loins just because it's a healthier choice, and they are so easy to slice. However, since a loin is so long.... it changes from one end to the other which gives you some options to think about.

In this slice photo from a butt ham.... you can see the tubes at the top of the photo (surrounded by fat veins), and toward the bottom is the section I labeled as "loin" in the cross section photo above.
PxmJ9j8.jpg
Also slices from a butt ham showing the individual muscle groups.
MvkZvOW.jpg
Changing gears, this is a slice from the rib end (forward end) of a loin ham. The rib end has some additional muscles, which have more myoglobin and get darker when cured /smoked. The rib end is also higher in fat than a center cut or sirloin end (rear) of a loin. The rib end is my favorite for these reasons.
l9pVw0i.jpg
This is also a rib end of a loin, and since it's chilled you can really see the fat veins and different colors.
wMA7RSN.jpg
 

sawhorseray

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Anyone else have any thoughts on flavor between loin vs butt/coppa? I kinda assumed that they'd be about the same.
I'd think a coppa (butt) would have more flavor due to having more fat. A lomo, or lonzino, is cured pork tenderloin. A lomo has a coating of paprika as it cure, no so with a lonzino. It's all good stuff. RAY
 

indaswamp

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Following the video posted by Cajuneric Cajuneric (2Guys and a Cooler), if you use a store bought butt, the feather bones, rib bones and spine will have already been removed. just find that seam along the blade bone and you will see the coppa muscle group.
 

thirdeye

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Here is one more video that shows the relationship of the MM group (Coppa roast) to the rest of the whole shoulder. At about 1:30 Malcom has the shank end on the viewers left, you can see the blade bone in the butt, then he spins the shoulder showing the MM.

 

thirdeye

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Maybe this thread will become the Mother of all Coppa trim threads. :emoji_laughing:

Below is the whole shoulder video I was trying to find. At 2:50 right after they cut the hock off of the picnic..., you get a glimpse of the fat stripes of the MM, it's still mostly hidden. Much later at 9:20 (and going forward) they remove the back bone/neck bone and you can see the MM group of muscles. This butcher attacks the Coppa from the blade bone side like indaswamp indaswamp was explaining ↑↑↑, resulting in a very generous roast but evenly shaped roast. I like to come from the top, but that is all preference. The most important thing is that you have a point of reference, not just cutting blindly. Obviously a sharp knife makes sculpting a breeze.

 

zwiller

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THANKS ALL! I need to study more but am learning immensely. I think I need to look for larger butts than I am used to buying and focus on the MM. I think I am properly locating the area but may have been trimmed.

Dang Wayne. Some nice looking fare! You are really close to what I was thinking in that more myglobin means more flavor as well as more fat. I prefer those areas as well. Not sure if you have the stuff around you but I am, trying to get the flavor of black forest deli meat. I would prefer to use loin but will use any cut so long it tastes similar to BF deli meat.

20201108_131617_resized_1.jpg
 

thirdeye

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THANKS ALL! I need to study more but am learning immensely. I think I need to look for larger butts than I am used to buying and focus on the MM. I think I am properly locating the area but may have been trimmed.

Dang Wayne. Some nice looking fare! You are really close to what I was thinking in that more myglobin means more flavor as well as more fat. I prefer those areas as well. Not sure if you have the stuff around you but I am, trying to get the flavor of black forest deli meat. I would prefer to use loin but will use any cut so long it tastes similar to BF deli meat.

View attachment 486432
It's my understanding that Black Forest ham has a seasoned curing rub with the seasonings being black pepper, garlic, coriander, juniper and some proprietary seasonings. The kicker is, they use pine as the flavor wood. The blooming/aging period is a week or two in the fridge

I add black pepper and garlic powder to my injection cured hams and Buckboarded meats, but have not tried any other seasonings. It sounds like a little research is in order to locate a recipe from someone that has made it.
 

zwiller

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It's my understanding that Black Forest ham has a seasoned curing rub with the seasonings being black pepper, garlic, coriander, juniper and some proprietary seasonings. The kicker is, they use pine as the flavor wood. The blooming/aging period is a week or two in the fridge

I add black pepper and garlic powder to my injection cured hams and Buckboarded meats, but have not tried any other seasonings. It sounds like a little research is in order to locate a recipe from someone that has made it.
I have done a TON of research and about a dozen experiments now including various injection "teas" made from juniper and other spices. Also smoking with pinewood and I am not even in the ballpark. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/german-style-cured-loin.295767/
What you say is true and correct for traditional BF hams in Germany but I don't think the domestic producers do this. Can you buy BF deli meat in your area? There are a few types here including Kroger brand and they have a similar flavor. Reading ingredient lists did not yield much. As of late I think possibly double smoked. If you can find some, I would love an opinion. IMO the taste is much richer than typical hams or my homemade stuff. No joke, my wife hides it or will eat it all. To achieve something similar at home is bucket list for me. Rich chopsaw chopsaw pointed me in this direction of the coppa citing texture improvement and extra fat but I also think there is merit to more myglobin.
 

thirdeye

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I have done a TON of research and about a dozen experiments now including various injection "teas" made from juniper and other spices. Also smoking with pinewood and I am not even in the ballpark. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/german-style-cured-loin.295767/
What you say is true and correct for traditional BF hams in Germany but I don't think the domestic producers do this. Can you buy BF deli meat in your area? There are a few types here including Kroger brand and they have a similar flavor. Reading ingredient lists did not yield much. As of late I think possibly double smoked. If you can find some, I would love an opinion. IMO the taste is much richer than typical hams or my homemade stuff. No joke, my wife hides it or will eat it all. To achieve something similar at home is bucket list for me. Rich chopsaw chopsaw pointed me in this direction of the coppa citing texture improvement and extra fat but I also think there is merit to more myglobin.
I think it's available here, maybe under Boar's Head branding (?)

The BF information I had archived was a forum post from at least 10 years or more ago. Oddly, I remembered it because it mentioned PH and altitude as well as pine shavings, plus the recipe mentions 'nitrite salt' instead of Cure #2 which I thought should have been used. As to the pine shavings.... I grew up camping in the Rockies and unless I burn pine down to coals for a cooking fire, I don't care for the flavor. I don't even like the cedar planks that are popular with salmon. But, I wonder if cedar would be a substitute for the pine chips?? Also, if you feel that domestically produced BF ham has a different flavor than the imported, there is no telling what changes were made.

Maybe this write-up has a clue that might help with the technique.:

Here as promised is what I could find out about Blackforest Bacon. It is not much. As I said before the recipes are guarded like a state secret, even my own brother was not very forthcoming. "You are'nt going to tell someone about it. Are you?" was his comment. Then he gave me the following list of ingredients but no weight or percentage.

Normal cooking salt.
Nitrite salt (Poeckelsalt)
Juniper berries
Pepercorns whole
Garlic fresh
Onion fresh
Coriander

The meat chosen for blackforest ham should have a PH value of no more than 5.9.
The best meat comes from the pork shoulder and hams for this type of bacon and should not be to fat.
The seasoning mixture is rubbed well into the meat. The curing phase begins with the bacon being left for 2 to 3 days so it can build and rest in its own juices. After that the bacon is transfered into a wooden (oak wood) container and pressed for another 2 to 3 days. (preferably this is done on a location which is at or higher than 800 meters above sea level) I do not know why but my brother and others are insistent on that one to achieve maximum quality)

After the curing the bacon is moked in cold smoke (tmeperature between 25C to 27C) for 2 to 3 weeks. (Again, my brother and others insist that this has to be done in an old well used high brick chimney and you guesst it above 800 meters sea level.) For smoking only pine wood and pine needles are used in addition with juniper berries or branches and coriander.

After the smoking the bacon is let to rest for another 2 to 3 weeks in a specially climatized room. My guess here is as good as yours. I think the same humitiy and temps apply here as with salami or thereabouts.
 

zwiller

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That info looks to be same place I gleaned some of my info from. I think it was a member brican. I've tried 5 different spice teas for an injection made from the ingredients listed and while tasty as not the flavor I am after. I recall Boar's Head was OK but my favorite is Dietz & Watson. Not sure if you can find it near you. https://www.dietzandwatson.com/product/Uncured-Black-Forest-Ham Strangely, Kroger generic BF is pretty good.

I plan to try a few other things in the future including liquid smoke and juniper extract (just ordered).
 

thirdeye

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That info looks to be same place I gleaned some of my info from. I think it was a member brican. I've tried 5 different spice teas for an injection made from the ingredients listed and while tasty as not the flavor I am after. I recall Boar's Head was OK but my favorite is Dietz & Watson. Not sure if you can find it near you. https://www.dietzandwatson.com/product/Uncured-Black-Forest-Ham Strangely, Kroger generic BF is pretty good.

I plan to try a few other things in the future including liquid smoke and juniper extract (just ordered).
I think I've seen Dietz & Watson products and will try to buy some. Looking at the D&W info, the label mentions hickory, so way different pine, but attractive to American tastes. It also states "uncured", and the ingredients list celery powder which brings some natural nitrates to the party. Maybe for the pink color? If you are considering liquid smoke, Wrights makes an apple flavor which is much milder than their hickory or mesquite flavors.

From a flavor point of view, I'm curious if you have tried the daveomak daveomak ham injection that has a base of vegetable stock? I am a huge fan of injections (brines, curing brines, flavor bases) and would have never considered veggie broth as a base for curing ham.... but I love it. I only mention this because you tried the different "teas", and it would be possible to add flavors to the broth then add AmesPhos, salt, sugar, and Cure #1.
 

chopsaw

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I don't put a whole lot into the trimming out a whole muscle section of a pork butt . If the main intent is to do a ham , Sharp knife and follow the connective seems until I get the size I like with less interior fat . Remove the fat cap side of the bone . If it looks like bacon I'll cure it . Everything else is sausage .
Basic veg stock phosphate injection .
Trimmed out pork butt .
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Pork cushion
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Boned and rolled picnic
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Spiced ham roll . Pork cushion chunks cured and stuffed in casings then smoked .
Edit : I SV'd the roll . No smoke .
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The texture on the picnic and pork cushion is what I like . Comes out fantastic .
 
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