Homemade Capicola Coppa

Homemade Capicola Coppa

In this recipe for dry-cured pork neck I tested the oldest, most natural and simplest way to store and prepare meat - brine and dry curing. We are big fans of prosciuto or jamon, but this time I chose to dry a smaller, boneless cut - the neck muscle and we got a beautiful Italian Coppa. The result is wonderful, the neck slices are fragrant, tasty and slightly salty.

The process is simple, but for safety, you have to follow a few rules regarding the amount of salt, temperature and drying conditions. Be careful where you buy the meat (I recommend a safe store, with regular health checks and verified suppliers. I usually buy from Kaufland, Metro or Carrefour). Of course, you can also dry cure other pork cuts like loin, leg or flank / bacon, the process is the same.

I managed to adapt the recipe for dry-cured pork neck to the house conditions. The only drawback is that you'll need a small dedicated place in the frige to dry the meat, unless it's winter and you have a balcony or a cold place outside.


Boneless pork shoulder
1 piece
here, about 2-2.5kg
3 kg
must be coarse salt
1 piece
Ground black pepper
1 tsp
Garlic powder
3 tbsp
Dried basil
1 tbsp
Ground coriander
2 tbsp
Dried marjoram
1 tbsp
1 tbsp
Layered sterile medical gauze 90x100cm
1 piece
can be found in any drugstore
Disposable bed pads
2 pieces
can be found in drugstores or supermarkets
Colson type cable ties with pliers, 360mm
30 pieces
can be found in any large DIY store

Step by step

Step 1

First of all, choose some pork shoulder from a store with regular sanitary checks. I usually buy from Kaufland, Metro or Carrefour.

With a knife, cut the small imperfections on the sides and edges. The piece should be as uniform as possible, smooth and straight. You can chop all the leftovers and use them in another recipe.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 1
Step 2

Take a deep baking tray or a platter (enough for the meat to fit in) and line with a disposable absorbent sheet.

If you have larger sheets, cut into halves.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 2
Step 3

Pour 1kg of coarse salt and distribute evenly.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 3
Step 4

Place the pork over the salt layer.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 4
Step 5

And cover the meat completely with another 1-2 kg of coarse salt.

Salt is the main preservative and disinfectant here, so don't skimp.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 5
Step 6

Wrap everything up with the absorbent sheet. Place a plastic bag or foil on top and leave in the fridge for 4 days.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 6
Step 7

After this time, you'll notice that the meat has reduced its size a lot, it's hard and dense. All the liquid released during the salting process has been absorbed by the sheet. It's a very good tip because this way you don't have to periodically drain the released  water yourself (if you don't have absorbent blankets, that's what you need to do).

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 7
Step 8

Thoroughly clean the salt off the pork and place in a large bowl filled with cold water to remove excess salt.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 8
Step 9

You must keep for 3-4 hours, but it's necessary to change the water every hour, so that the salt is removed efficiently.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 9
Step 10

Remove the pork from the water, wrap in another absorbent sheet.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 10
Step 11

Put some weight over it, about 1-2 kg, and leave in the fridge for 10 hours.

This way, we will dry very well the meat from all the water it stayed in before.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 11
Step 12

After that, remove the sheet and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the meat. Spread it evenly with your fingers all over the surface and in every crack.

This is a good disinfectant and will prevent mold from forming at the surface during drying.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 12
Step 13

In a bowl, mix all the dried spices.

Here, I've put the ones we like, but you can adjust this mix.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 13
Step 14

Toss the spices over the meat and coat evenly on all sides.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 14
Step 15

Wrap in several layers of gauze, to protect the meat from dust and moisture in the drying process.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 15
Step 16

This is what my plastic zip ties look like, they are the longest I found, 340-360mm.

You can find them in any DIY store, in the cables and fasteners department.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 16
Step 17

Squeeze and press the meat with these strips from place to place, see the pictures and video above.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 17
Step 18

Now, leave the meat to dry for 2 months. The safest is drying it in the fridge, on a wire rack, so that the air can circulate all over the surface. Periodically, turn it from side to side. I understand that it's also possible to hang it on the door somehow, so that it won't take up space on the shelf, but I prefer the rack.

In winter, you can hang it on a hook on the balcony or in another well-ventilated and cool place, provided that the outside temperature is between 2-8 degrees C.

You can also alternate. If outside it's wetter or warmer, move the meat to the fridge. When it cools, take it back on the balcony.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 18
Step 19

Every 2 weeks, check the smell and tighten the zip ties. While drying, the meat reduces its size considerably and, in this case, the self-locking ties come in very handy.

If you somehow feel any smell of rotten meat, throw everything away, analyze the mistakes and try again.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 19
Step 20

This is what it looks like after 2 months. Cut the plastic strips with the scissors.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 20
Step 21

Remove the gauze.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 21
Step 22

If you did everything correctly, the meat should smell good and not have any mold on it.

Otherwise, discard and try again. Pay attention to the drying conditions mainly.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 22
Step 23

I recommend always cutting into very thin slices with a very sharp knife. Of course it's a little harder, thicker and saltier than ordinary ham.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 23
Step 24

We bought a slicer and it's very good for this. The slices are even and perfectly thin.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 24
Step 25

Look and see the beauty and tastiness. It looks great and has perfect texture.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 25
Step 26

I recommend storing the meat always in the fridge, wrapped in clean gauze. Whenever you need, unwrap, slice as much as you want, wrap back and place again in the fridge.

In a plastic bag, small mold particles may form on top.

Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 26
Step 27

The process might seem a bit more complex and lengthy, but you should know that it's very simple if you follow the steps. And you'll end up with a delicious piece of dry-cured pork neck, which is perfect for appetizers, morning sandwiches and wine or beer snacks. For us, one piece lasts a few months, so it's really worth the effort.


Homemade Capicola Coppa  - Step 27
Quantity: 2 kg (1 whole neck)
Prep time: 1000 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 1000 min
Publish date:

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