Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spicy Coppa - From Package to Cure

So I finally got a Tails and Trotter Coppa last weekend at the Portland Farmers Market this weekend.  I'm actually very lucky.. Most of the Coppa's are being sent to restaurants, but since Morgan ( the proprietor )and I are now Facebook buddies, I put a request in, and it was waiting for me when I stopped by to say hi Saturday.

Look at this thing!!! Almost 8 pounds of porky-backfatty goodness!!! 

Morgan said that since he knew I wanted to cure the Coppa, he left the backfat on for me in case I wanted to take a shot at curing Lardo.   It's not the 4" thick Mangalitsa Lardo I was saving myself for, but who am I to say no to free backfat? Of course I'll take the challenge.
Stay tuned for a future post that details my experiences with my first lardo.

The first thing I did after putting my daughter in front of the tv with chocolate milk for dinner ( mom was at sushi ), was to separate the coppa from the lardo.   This was pretty easy, and while I'm sure the butchers among you will say I mangled it, I think it looks pretty good.

As you can see, it's a beautiful piece of meat ( that's what she said ), and the backfat is nice and thick, probably about an inch and a half.   The pig breed is Berkshire.

Next up.. the Cure. ( not the weepy eyeliner kind that JDub loves so much, but the salt and spices needed to turn this hunk of raw pork into beautifully cured dried meaty goodness ). This time, instead of measuring the cure, I decided to try a combo of recipe/Salt Box Style ( described in Ruhlman's Charcuterie book ). Basically, "salt boxing" means making a big batch of 'cure' recipe, tweaking it with spices to your liking, then taking your item to be cured and dredging it really well in the cure, rubbing it in until it's worked into all the nooks and crannies. 

Here's the Recipe:
6.5lbs Coppa
3/4 cup kosher salt
2.5 tbsp sugar
1tsp cure #2
1tbsp black pepper
1tbsp cayenne pepper
1tbsp red pepper flakes
1tbsp Chile de Arbol powder
1tbsp Annatto Chile powder
1tbsp dried garlic powder.

As you can see, it looks an awful lot like my "Lonzino Da Diavalo".  I think You and I are going to find that the "base cure" recipe will work for almost anything we make, with some tweaking to our individual tastes.

I placed the coppa in a large nonreactive plastic container, put the lid on it, and wrote myself a note to check on it in 9 days.  At that time, I'll drain off any of the liquid that has been released, and rub it down with the remaining cure mix, and leave it for another 9 or so days ( until it "feels cured". ).

Stay tuned.. I have a feeling this is going to be a good one.. ready just in time for prime deck weather.

PS.. I ordered tshirts and they should be in next week... depending on how they look, I'll then be looking for a tshirt printer and e-storefront so all of you guys can get your PCP tshirts, thongs, codpieces, helmets, etc.



  1. You guys eat a lot of meat over there! And I was just wondering if you could have possibly chosen a longer name for your blog? :)

  2. As you've already experienced ( and will experience a lot more of if you continue to give props to PCP in your blog) we give most of it away.

    This is just something that keeps me out of trouble :-)

  3. nice blog, what a great topic. Sip too. I added links to both of your blogs to pdxploration.

  4. You're lucky to be able to get the whole collar already removed from the shoulder!

  5. @Jason... Go to

    Morgan will ship just about anywhere, and he's a charcutier as well as a butcher, so He knows how to slice a coppa!

    PS.. The coppa is ready..2 months in the curing chamber and it's go time.. when I get back from vacation on the 9th I'm going to have an "opening" party with Morgan and a few others in attendance. If it tastes good, I'm going to do 4 or 5 more.