Monday, November 14, 2011

Schulterspeck/Speck di Spalla/Shoulder speck

I was fortunate enough to be bequeathed some more Mangalitsa to cure by Michael. Among the several cuts I received was a shoulder. Prior to receiving said shoulder, I planned on making a Spalla Cotta, which is a cured, then cooked shoulder stuffed in a bladder. Well, plans have a funny way of changing. The shoulder I received was more akin to the cut used for leg speck. I was told that the coppa was removed and it was basically flattened, as pictured. In my suspension of disbelief, I skinned it, still thinking I could roll it and tie it and make the aforementioned salume. What a friggin mistake. I knew it, too,

even before I did it. I mean, it was abundantly apparent that Spalla Cotta was no longer a possibility. Oh well. So, here I am with a skinless piece of shoulder that is unsuitable for Spalla Cotta. Now, due to it's being skinned has become less suitable for anything for w
hich it would have been suitable had I left the skin ON. Make sense? It will. I went home and pored over all my books, researched German language Italian websites(odd, I know),
and consulted some Italian salumi forums, the best of which being this one. I knew that in Sudtirol, that they make speck with almost
every cut. I also knew that they did make speck with this actual cut. The problem is finding enough detail to actually make it. With some help over at the Italian forum, combined with my research, I found something concrete. I decided to go with rosemary, garlic, allspice and black pepper as my seasoning, as seen in this terribly non descriptive picture. Further research revealed that the smoke should be provided by beech wood, which I've subsequently purchased. In about 2 weeks, this will hit the smoke, along with s
ome other new salumi, like speck di carre or karreespeck and speck di coppa. I'll be writing about those in the near future.


  1. When I've seen it, it has always had the skin on it. Like in this photo:

  2. I know, Heath. I admitted to the error as schulterspeck was not initially intended. Spalla cotta was, which is skinned.

  3. Yum, yum! Though I haven't tasted it, the shoulder speck looks delicious. How much is that, anyway? And what is the most inexpensive sausage I can buy?

  4. I didn't mean to be dense.

    I'm guessing your stuff will turn out fine.

  5. Not dense at all, Heath. I would never have skinned it if speck was my intention. Now, I have to somehow case it.

  6. Some guys I know took some seamed out leg cuts (muscle groups corresponding to the "top round", "bottom round", of a cow). They didn't put them in casings - they just hung them up after curing. They turned out fantastic - in fact, better than some bone-in hams made from the same pigs by some different people.

    I'm sure you've noticed the bias for bone-in hams versus "cured pieces of ham meat". I don't think that bias is rational. You personally make so many products, I'd guess you've noticed that the bone-in ones don't always taste better than the non-bone-in ones, or the cased ones versus the non-cased ones.

    When it comes to products, I've given up on rules like "bone-in better" or "mixed-cure" worse than "dry-cure"; a bit like wine, the proof is in the final product.

  7. This looks quite arresting and I'm almost certain I ate something like this in Bozen a few years ago. I don't remember what it was called though. If you're looking to case it in something bladder like, a bung casing cut and sewn works fine, or even a very big hog middle. Sometimes they're huge. IN any case, the whole thing sounds fabulous.

  8. Thanks, Ken. It's very likely you ate this or something quite similar. I cased in a beef bung. I split the bung and trussed it together. The result I call, frankenspeck