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Wednesday 19 January 2011

Coppa Ham

Coppa Ham is Italian and as it's name translates and suggests it is made from the neck (nape) muscle of the pig. Above we can see some Coppa wrapped in ox-casings this offers protection to the ham by allowing the meat inside to remain supple without being over air-dried.

Coppa ham air-drying alongside some salami and saucisson sec.

Here is Maria Elia at the infamous cookery school "Thyme at Southrop" demonstrating the butchery of a pork shoulder and how to find the nape muscle to cure as a Coppa ham.

Maria explains not only the butchery but also shares a cure recipe and some tips on how to make your own Coppa.
Place your nape muscle in a plastic bag and add 30g of curing salts per kilo of meat along with some added Italian flavours; fennel seeds, crushed juniper berries, celery salt, thyme and vanilla salt. Massage in all the ingredients ensuring all the nooks and crannies are in touch with the cure, expel as much air as you can from the bag and tie/seal the opening the best you can.
Place in your fridge for 3 weeks turning daily, thereafter pat dry the ham and hang to air-dry for at least 3 weeks before slicing thinly and serving. Aim for a 25% - 35% weight loss as this will indicate when it is ready.
Adding sugar to cured meats will counter balance the nitrates thus stopping the meat becoming too firm, so if you wish to have a sweet tasting cured meat but still of a firm texture then Maria suggests using vanilla salt. You make vanilla salt as you would vanilla sugar by placing your discarded vanilla pods into a jar of curing salt, when applied as part of your cure mix it will impart a sweet flavour to your ham.
Have a go yourself, you know it makes sense!
Checkout http://www.thymeatsouthrop.co.uk/ for charcuterie courses.
Checkout http://www.thisismariaelia.com for she is a unique talent.


  1. Haha! I doubt my house can stay at a constant temp to for drying!! What a fun experience...to be young again

  2. Quite new to this. Is coppa only from the nape or is it any part of the shoulder. Can it be dried without a casing? thanks

  3. Yes it is only from the neck (strictly speaking)and agin yes it can be dried without a casing...