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Making Coppa, Copa - or French prosciutto  RSS feed

 
Irene Kightley
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Location: South West France
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Sorry it's taken me a while to get this together, the photos were difficult to find.

It's easy to make, it just takes time and watching the air drying carefully to make sure the meat is always in good condition.

When you butcher your pig in winter, as soon as the neck meat has been cut, cover it in sea salt completely roll and wrap in a cloth.



Then put it 3 days per kilo in a wooden salt box surrounded completely in sea salt

Remove the meat and clean off the salt then rub all over with fruit alcohol (I like fig eau de vie), roll the neck with herbs and spices tucked inside to taste. I use coloured peppers and a little dried thyme. Roll really tightly, tie with string and cover completely in ground pepper - rubbing the pepper well into the edges.



Air drying should be done somewhere dry with plenty of wind and absolutely no humidity. Check the copa regularly, especially the edges. It should be completely dry - rub more pepper in if needed.



Air dry for 15 to 30 days before cutting and don't hesitate to bring it inside somewhere cool to protect it from the humidity if it rains for a few days.



To keep the copa in good condition, cover and rehang in the air covered with a muslin cloth to let the air circulate. In the right conditions it will last for up to 6 months.

Selection of air dried pork (This copa is a bit fatty - it's the slice on the left)



Ours never lasts long - this is always the first of our charcuterie to go !
 
paul wheaton
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jeremiah bailey
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That sounds like it'd just melt in your mouth! Makes me wish I had some acreage for livestock.
 
Irene Kightley
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Paul, you just have to choose the right place to hang your hams and copa etc.

A very cold larder which is very well-ventilated will do the job too but of you live in an area which is very wet, you'd have to keep your eye on the meat and bring in in to the interior to stop it spoiling. If it's too humid you may have to preserve your food by other means.

The old country folk use or will have used methods that work where you are - ask them.

Jeremiah, you don't need a lot of land for pigs as long as you've enough to feed them well and you let the land rest from time to time.

They are lovely animals and are very easy to keep. It's difficult facing up to killing them - that's the hardest part.   


 
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