Smoked Coppa

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disco

Epic Pitmaster
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Oct 31, 2012
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What the heck is a coppa?

A coppa is a cut of muscle off a pigs 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.
If you have ever had real capicolla, it is made from the coppa. However, it is hung in a special curing environment with controlled moisture and temperature for months. It is truly a great artisnal meat.

I am way too lazy to make capicolla but someone sent me an old family recipe for curing and cooking a coppa in an oven. It was from the turn of the century and was unusable. It used salt peter and an incredible amount of salt in the recipe. It would have cured the meat and it would have lasted a long time without refrigeration but the amount of nitrites and sodium would have been incredibly unhealthy.

It did inspire me to make a coppa with less sodium and nitrites and I thought it might be tasty done in my smoker. So, I decided to get a coppa and see what I can do.

If you have a butcher who knows Italian butchery, he can cut a coppa for you. If not, you will have to cut your own from a whole butt roast.
I started by buying a nice whole bone in pork butt roast.



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.



You have just cut your first coppa!

Measure the thickest part of the coppa and record it for later. Weigh the coppa and record the weight.



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
Put the coppa on a plate or tray. Sprinkle the mixture over the coppa and rub it in.

Smoked Coppa 4.jpg


Put the coppa in a zip lock bag or a vacuum sealer bag. Scrape any of the mix that fell off the coppa onto the plate into the bag. If you are using a zip lock bag, seal it. If you are using a vacuum bag seal it but do not suck the air out.

Put the coppa in the fridge to cure. To determine how long to leave it in the fridge, multiply the thickness of the coppa by 4. My coppa was 3 inches thick so I put it in the fridge for 12 days. I turned it every day or so.



Take the coppa out of the bag and rinse most of the rub of the surface under running water. Pat the coppa dry with paper towels.
Tie the coppa with butcher string every inch to get a nice round shape.



Make up a smoking rub by mixing the following for each kilogram of coppa you cured:
  • 7.5 ml whole coriander seed
  • 7.5 ml whole fennel seed
  • 4 ml whole black peppercorns
  • 1 ml dried chili flakes
If you don't use metric, for each pound of coppa:

  • 3/4 teaspoon whole coriander seed
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper corns
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili flakes


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. You can also cook it in a 200 F oven but I did like the smoke flavour in mine.

Put the coppa in the smoker and smoke it to an internal temperature of 150 F.



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.

Smoked Coppa 11.jpg


The Verdict

This is amazing! It has the nice warm heat of capicolla and a great rich texture thanks to the wonderful fat marbling of the coppa. This is great on a pizza, in a sandwich with some nice ementhal, or, best of all, on a charcuterie plate. The flavour is rich and complex. This is one of the best things I have made.

Disco
 
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Nice job Disco, I like the sound of the spice mixes and will give it a go soon I hope.
One question, are you going to make us wait on a sliced pic? :emoji_wink:
 
Holy cow, that is going to be some amazing eats.
I love coppa sandwiches.

I really want to try this, stuff like this kinda scares me because I'm not very good at following recipes.
I'm going to have my wife supervise, so I don't stray off the recipe, which I always seem to do. LOL.
 
Nice job Disco, I like the sound of the spice mixes and will give it a go soon I hope.
One question, are you going to make us wait on a sliced pic? :emoji_wink:
He blushes realizing his stupity. Sliced pic added to the post! Thanks for the kind words.
 
Holy cow, that is going to be some amazing eats.
I love coppa sandwiches.

I really want to try this, stuff like this kinda scares me because I'm not very good at following recipes.
I'm going to have my wife supervise, so I don't stray off the recipe, which I always seem to do. LOL.
Har! It can't be too hard, I did it!

The whole secret is to just take your time and do one step at a time. Let me know if I can help!
 
Okay, you convinced me, I'm going to buy a few butt's tomorrow.
I'll make your maple sausage with the leftover butt.
If I run into anything that stumps me I will send you a message.
Thank you very much Disco.
Dan
 
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I just noticed that you didn't include paprika in your recipe.
The Coppa my Nonna always had was lightly dusted with sweet Hungarian paprika.

See, I'm doing it already, I told you that I can't follow a recipe......:emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing:
 
Nice write up Disco, and a beautiful coppa there! I make them with a UMAi bag, takes about seven weeks in the fridge to cure and achieve a 35% weight loss. Good stuff and it keeps in the fridge a long long time vac-sealed. RAY
DSCN1020.JPG
 
It looks delicious Disco.
As a matter of fact I was going to do a coppa the old way in a curing chamber. I have been waiting on my pancetta which has been in there since June 6th & still hasn't lost quite enough weight. But as soon as it's ready the coppa will go in.
Al
 
Disco fantastic post . I have been trimming out a coppa when I make sausage and curing into ham . I use Dave's injection so it stays moist . Been wanting to do a spiced version .
Your spice recipe gives me a place to start . Thanks for the info / idea .
 
Look at that block of beef, it looks really appealing

Thanks! However, as stated by forktender, it is a cut of pork!

Wow that looks so great! Thanks for the recipe.

Thanks for the kind words!

I just noticed that you didn't include paprika in your recipe.
The Coppa my Nonna always had was lightly dusted with sweet Hungarian paprika.

See, I'm doing it already, I told you that I can't follow a recipe......:emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing::emoji_laughing:

By all means, add some paprika! The best part of doing it yourself is making it the way you like it!
 
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Nice write up Disco, and a beautiful coppa there! I make them with a UMAi bag, takes about seven weeks in the fridge to cure and achieve a 35% weight loss. Good stuff and it keeps in the fridge a long long time vac-sealed. RAYView attachment 413102

I am jealous! Traditional dry cured coppa is such a treat and has such a great texture. I tried this because I am too lazy for the long cure. It is delicious but doesn't have that great touch of sour from long curing!

Disco as always that is amazing nice step by step. Big Likes
Richie

Thanks, Richie! I appreciate the like.
 
It looks delicious Disco.
As a matter of fact I was going to do a coppa the old way in a curing chamber. I have been waiting on my pancetta which has been in there since June 6th & still hasn't lost quite enough weight. But as soon as it's ready the coppa will go in.
Al

I look forward to that thread, Al! I love long cured coppa but am way to lazy to set up a curing chamber.

Disco fantastic post . I have been trimming out a coppa when I make sausage and curing into ham . I use Dave's injection so it stays moist . Been wanting to do a spiced version .
Your spice recipe gives me a place to start . Thanks for the info / idea .

Thanks! I didn't inject this as I wanted a thin sliced drier coppa but altering Dave's recipe would be interesting!

Disco
 
This is one of the best things I have made.

Beautiful Disco....just beautiful, but I would expect no less from you sir :emoji_wink: You've always set the bar pretty high but for you to make the comment quoted above says a lot. This stuff must have been magnificent!! Like Al though was dry aging my stuff. At one point I had almost 150# of artisan meats and sausages going so I'm still pretty well set for a bit. Yours looks every bit as good as mine came out and yours didn't take several months to do. I like your approach a lot better.

Saving this one for later,
Robert
 
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