Capicola is a type of ham that is dry-cured and typically made from pork shoulder or Boston butt. This flavorful meat can be enjoyed on its own or used in sandwiches, salads, and other dishes. Capicola is available at most grocery stores and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
What Is Capicola And How It Made?
Pork shoulder is the main ingredient in capicola, and it gets its characteristic flavor from a combination of wine, garlic, and a variety of herbs and spices. After the pork shoulder is seasoned, it’s stuffed into a natural casing and hung to cure for up to six months. It can be smoked, and in one variety, called coppa cotta, it’s also slow-roasted. Capicola is a popular cold cut in Italy, but it’s also becoming increasingly popular in the United States. If you’re looking for a tasty and unique cold cut to add to your rotation, give capicola a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Where is capicola or coppa located?
Following the movement of a pig’s head, capicola comes from the neck or fourth (or fifth) rib. It is a type of ham, and it is a tasty treat that many people enjoy.
In Italian, coppa also means “cup” because it resembles one when cut open. The meat itself is located in the muscle that starts from the neck area. In English, this could be called either “capocollo” or “coppa”; both words describe exactly the same component in different languages!
Coppa has been described as having a flavor similar to prosciutto due to its position near where you would find prosciutto on a pig.
What Makes Capicola Special?
What makes capicola different from other thin, cured meats is that it comes from the pig’s upper back. Traditional capicola is only made with the meat of this cut, while prosciutto which is made with meat on the hind leg and speck which uses different spices to make it taste distinct are both cured for months or years before they’re ready to eat. Soppressata can be made out of any part of the pig while Serrano ham has to be made using Landrace pigs while Iberico ham is made by hand-breeding Iberico pigs.
How To Make Capicola?
Capicola is a dry-cured ham that is typically made out of pork shoulder or butt. The meat is heavily seasoned with spices such as sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic, and then left to cure for weeks or even months. During the curing process, the meat will shrink and become more flavorful. Capicola can be eaten on its own or used in sandwiches, salads, and other dishes.
Making capicola at home is a relatively easy process. The first step is to mix together the sugar, salt, and Instacure #2 in a bowl. Then add juniper berries, ground black pepper, nutmeg, garlic, thyme leaves, and bay leaves and blend until combined. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork shoulder until it is coated, then place in a bag or vacuum sealer. Refrigerate for 7-14 days, turning every other day.
After the curing process is complete, remove the meat from the bag and lightly rinse off any excess seasoning. It’s okay if some of the spices remain on the surface. In a separate bowl, mix together chipotle powder, paprika, and chili powder. Rub the meat with the spice mixture liberally and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes so that the flavors can develop.
Next, cover the pork in meat netting and place it in an Umai bag. Vacuum seal and refrigerate for 6-10 weeks to allow it to cure. Remember to flip the meat in the fridge every few days.
After 6-10 weeks, take the bag containing the capicola out of the refrigerator and remove it from its netting. Then use a sharp knife to slice off thin pieces for serving or cutting into thick slices for sandwiches. The meat will keep up to 3 months when stored at 32°F (0°C) in vacuum sealed bags, allowing you to enjoy homemade capicola throughout the year.
How To Serve Capicola?
Capicola is a very versatile meat and can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be served as part of a platter, used to make appetizers, or added to main courses. Some dishes that you can make with capicola include chicken breasts stuffed with capicola slices, pasta with diced capicola, and pizza with capicola added on top. Capicola is also a great addition to breakfast recipes such as breakfast sandwiches and omelets. If you are looking for salty, delicious meat to add to your meals then capicola is a great option.
What Does Capicola Taste Like?
Capicola is usually smoky with spicy or sweet flavors dependent on the spices used, but may also have a myriad of other flavors depending on the recipe. The spice mixture used can vary from chipotle powder and juniper to chili powder and nutmeg. Other variations may call for fennel, anise, red pepper and coriander. With such a wide range of flavors possible, it is important to look at the ingredients list before making a purchase to get an idea of the flavor profile you might enjoy. So, whether you are looking for a spicy or sweet capicola, there is definitely one out there that will satisfy your taste buds.
Where To Buy Capicola
While it is possible to make your own capicola, it is difficult to achieve the same flavor profile of commercially produced capicola. For this reason, it is often better to buy your own capicola at your local market where you can inspect the label and make sure you are getting what suits your taste buds best.
Capicola is dry meat that can be stored at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for up to two weeks. Make sure to keep it away from any other raw meats as it can contaminate them. If you are going to freeze capicola, it is best to do so for no more than two months. As with all meats, make sure it is completely thawed before cooking.