Friday, November 19, 2010
Coppa di Cinghiale
AKA Wild boar coppa. This was an unplanned item. Initially, I was summoned by my friend at his salumeria to retrieve a couple wild boar shoulders to make salame di cinghiale. When I arrived, I found these shoulders to be perfectly cylindrical. So after brief deliberation, another experiment was hatched, we decided to make 2 coppe. I'd never seen it before and I was interested. I returned home and everything fell apart.....literally. Well, that's a slight overstatement, only 50% fell apart. What I mean is, I removed the netting around the first shoulder and it fell apart. Very poorly butchered, looks like maybe the first time this individual butchered anything of ANY kind. But, no biggie, I would give it a shot regardless, cure it and tie it tightly prior to casing should do the trick. The second shoulder was a dream. The picture above is, in fact, the latter. Coppa #1 was cured with juniper, rosemary and fennel seeds. Coppa #2 was cured with hot pepper powder, crushed red pepper flakes and fennel seeds. Man, now that I'm typing it out, and looking back in my notes, I think I have a small obsession with fennel seeds. They were both cured for 2 weeks. Due to their stoutness, I had to use a couple 100mm collagen casings to case them. I hung these right before I left for Italy on 9/15. I figured I would return and they would be perfect. Live and learn they say. I didn't pull these until about 10 days ago. Took 2 months for them to achieve the requisite 30% weight loss, and they're both still soft, a bit softer than I care for, but, 2 months is plenty. I brought them to the salumeria of record for tasting and they both passed muster. Coppa #1 is awesome. The crushed red pepper flakes made the difference in heat. I usually only add the hot pepper powder and that mellows with time. The flakes, however, did not. I made this to emulate the wretched "hot gab-a-gool" of anglicized Italian and "Sopranos" infamy. Well, I'm sure that more than one track suit clad gentleman would enjoy this and be completely ignorant to the fact that it is cinghiale. Coppa #2 is delightful as well. The transcendent flavor here is rosemary. But, I am as big a rosemary freak as I am fennel. Case in point, during our stay in Chianti, there was a large rosemary hedge right outside our apartment. Every time I passed by the hedge, I made sure I rubbed some part of my body on it, thus filling my car with rosemary perfume. I'm serious, EVERY time. Anyway, this coppa was very good as confirmed by my friend. This was the coppa that had to be tied up prior to being cased. As I cut through the end of it, it looked just fine. However, I cut into a little more to mete out my friend's portion and it was then that you could see the air pockets created by the poor butchering. Good thing is, no internal mold. Success all the way around, and everyone was happy. I will probably shoot out a bunch of new posts in rapid fire succession. I have 11 new projects since I've returned from Italy(inspired?), including 2 big speck projects(one cold smoking outside as I write), 2 lonzini(one cold smoked), a bresaola, Salame Toscano, and Salsiccia di Calabria. Just yesterday, I took a ride up to Mosefund Farm to visit Michael Clampffer who was nice enough to invite me to observe Kristoph Wiesner conducting the Mangalitsa class. He also gave me a bunch of meat to play with. So, I now have another Mangalitsa Lardo and guanciale curing. Today, with the scraps I made 10lbs. of 'nduja(which seems a bit extravagant with this pork) and 5lbs. of salame felino. Been a bit busy, it seems.