italian essentials: homemade capicola

ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

My Aunt Josephine used to make a lot of her own cured meats and sausages. I would watch as she would prep the meats with spice rubs and then hang them in a temperature/humidity-controlled closet that my uncle had built for her. As much as I wanted to try some of those tasty wares, I knew it would be weeks; even months before they would be ready for consumption. This recipe cuts the time down from months to weeks, yet it still has that great old-world Italian flavor. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

method Bake

Ingredients For italian essentials: homemade capicola

  • 3 - 4 lb
    pork loin or coppa, more on coppa later
  • THE CURING RUB
  • 2 Tbsp
    sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp
    coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp
    crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    curing salt #1 (prague powder)
  • THE SEASONING RUB
  • 1 Tbsp
    fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp
    coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp
    black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp
    anise seeds, or one whole star anise
  • 1/2 tsp
    crushed red pepper flakes

How To Make italian essentials: homemade capicola

  • 1
    PREP/PREPARE
  • 2
    You will need something called “meat netting,” I am using size 24. It is not really necessary, but it helps to keep the pork firm and round during the baking process. You can see an example of meat netting in step 17.
  • 3
    What is coppa? Coppa is a collection of muscles that runs through the pork shoulder and has a distinctive barrel shape. Being in the shoulder, it has a lot of fat, and is a muscle that gets used a lot, resulting in more flavor. It is not easy to find, and I find a pork loin works just fine.
  • 4
    Since you will be curing this pork for 10 days, you want to make sure you have the freshest pork you can get.
  • 5
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 6
    Place all of the curing rub ingredients into a blender.
  • 7
    Blend into a powder.
  • 8
    Sprinkle it evenly on the pork
  • 9
    Use your hands to completely rub it in.
  • 10
    Cover with two layers of cling wrap, and place into the refrigerator for 10 days.
  • 11
    At the end of 5 days, turn it over.
  • 12
    Add the seasoning rub ingredients to a blender.
  • 13
    Grind until blended but there are still some bits left.
  • 14
    Coat with the seasoning rub and place into the meat netting.
  • 15
    Place into the fridge, uncovered, for 24 hours.
  • 16
    Place a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 250f (120c).
  • 17
    Place the capicola on a baking sheet or rack, and cook for one hour, then turn over and bake an additional hour.
  • 18
    The internal temperature should be around 150f (65c).
  • 19
    PLATE/PRESENT
  • So yummy
    20
    Cool, then thinly slice and serve on a charcuterie board, in a sandwich, or on a pizza. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    21
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.
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