Homemade capicola will change your life … a little dramatic? Maybe, but you’ll be happy you made it. It’s tasty as all get out and easy as pie! Let me tell you about it…
What is capicola?
Capicola is a dry cured meat covered in spices. It comes from the coppa muscle and it’s located between the head (capo) and includes the fourth or fifth rib of the pork shoulder (collo). Or for us folks in the U.S., you’ll find it buried in a pork shoulder/butt. It’s used for it’s ratio of 30% fat and 70% lean meat.
I had a very hard time finding not only the coppa itself, but someone who knew what it was and would cut it for me. I eventually found a local grocery store that had actual butchers working. I explained what I wanted and boom! You could also ask the butcher for pork collar. That may be helpful, as not all butchers are familiar with European cuts of meat. (Shame on them!)
Anyway, finding the coppa is the hard part. The rest is just passive time and the result? It’s hard to put into words. Let me just say, the wife and I, well we do love charcuterie. A lot. But of all cured meats, capicola is our least favorite. But homemade? We cannot. get. enough. For real. It’s buttery and beautiful. I mean, look at the picture! A thing of beauty!
I used the Umai system to dry this, just as I did my dry aged ribeye. It makes it really easy and you can even get a spice kit with it. I used my own spices, which I’ll list below. It may seem pricey, but it comes with 5 bags, Instacure and juniper berries. Like I said, it does take time, but that’s all. It’s amazing to watch as this gross piece of raw pork turns into this dried, firm beautiful cured meat.
What’s gonna happen now is a little bit different than what normally happens here: I’m going to put a list of ingredients only and a video. It’s not that I want to force you to watch a video, I know some of you hate videos. It’s just a ton of information and it’s hard to put it all into words without you falling asleep, if you haven’t already.
The Scary Part of Homemade Capicola…
Now that you’ve seen that and I’ve got your juices flowing, here comes the “scary” part. I didn’t tell you up front because I knew you would leave. There’s some math involved in this. I used a 3.5 pound coppa. If your pork weighs more or less Just follow the standard ratio of Kosher salt to meat ratio of 3%. Instacure #2 to meat ratio of 0.25%.
And about the Kosher salt – salt weighs differently by the brand. For this video, I used Mortons Kosher salt. Always weigh it out on a scale using grams and not by using the teaspoon tablespoon method.
Not scared are you? You got this? You ready to impressive everyone you know and yourself with beautiful homemade capicola? Here’s what I did with the spices….
- 48 grams Kosher Salt for 3.5 pounds of meat follow the ratio stated above if you have more or less
- 30 grams sugar
- 4 grams #2 Instacure
- 2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
- 3 grams Juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 gram grated nutmet
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup Paprika
- 1/4 cup Kashmiri chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
You can get the meat netting roll here on Amazon. It’s a size 16 and it comes with 50 feet. You don’t have to use a netting roll, but if you want it to be a nice, standard shape of capicola, you’ll want to use it. It does not effect the flavor, just the aesthetics.