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


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.


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.


Pour 1kg of coarse salt and distribute evenly.


Place the pork over the salt layer.


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.


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


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).


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


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


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


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.


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.


In a bowl, mix all the dried spices.

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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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


Remove the gauze.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


Quantity: 2 kg (1 whole neck)
Prep time: 1000 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 1000 min
Publish date:

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