Truffled Coppa

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I really like supporting local businesses and buying from harvest markets; talking with stallholders and knowing where the produce comes from. I purchased this amazing high quality pork scotch from a family business who breed heritage free range Wessex Saddleback pigs. Langdale Farm. I was able to arrange with the owner the cut of meat I wanted and was able to pick it up at the Launceston Harvest Market.
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I also bought this amazing aromatic truffled salt from Tamar Valley Truffles. They produce a high quality sea salt that is combined with the highly prized black truffle (Tuber Melanosporum), or the world renowned French Perigord truffle – infusing the rich, earthy truffle flavour into every grain. The intoxicating, earthy aroma of this gourmet salt compliments many types of cuisine, which is why I was hoping to have a high quality truffle infused coppa as a finished product.

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Ingredients:

2465g pork scotch, excess fat trimmed (100%)
81.4g truffled sea salt (3.3%)
6.2g instacure #2 (0.25%)
12.3g Tasmanian pepperberries coarsely ground (0.5%)
5g pepperberry leaves, crumpled (0.2%)

*This makes approx. 2010g finished product, @20% weight loss. Ideally the weight loss would be at least 30% for health and safety (so you don’t get sick) but because this was a fattier cut of meat there was less water loss. I specifically asked for a fattier cut in this instance and allowed a much longer hanging time to get to the 20% loss. I checked the weight regularly and the weight loss plateaued over the last few weeks so I was confident that it was ready with only a 20% loss.

Note – If you don’t have, or cant obtain the following you can substitute the ingredients: truffled sea salt you can use sea salt, Tasmanian pepper berries, you can replace with black peppercorns & if you don’t have pepper berry leaves you can replace with bay leaves.I kept the flavour ingredients to a minimum as I wanted the truffle to be the main focus.

The ingredients used are shown as a percentage of the starting weight of the meat. I’ve noted the percentage next to each, so you can adjust what you will need based on the weight of your meat.

Assemble all of the ingredients. Pat dry the meat with paper towel and tidy up your pork scotch to remove any pieces hanging off the meat. This particular cut of meat is really good as its a nice solid muscle piece and holds a great shape.

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Grind the pepper berries in spice grinder or mortar and pestle; combine the crushed berries in a bowl with your salt and add in your crushed pepper berry leaves (or bay leaf).

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Rub the curing salt/spice mix into the meat, making sure not to miss any folds or crevices; take a few minutes for this process to make sure you do a really thorough job. Transfer the meat into a ziplock bag, seal it and make sure to squeeze out as much of the air from the bag as possible. If you don’t have any ziplock bags handy (or prefer not to use them) you can also place the meat into a glass/ceramic dish or a vacuum sealed bag. Place the meat in the fridge to cure for approximately 12-14 days, (if your pork is larger than this, allow 7 days per 2.5 cm to the center of the pork via the shortest route). Flip the meat every 2-3 days while also massaging the cure back into the meat.

When the fridge time is up, lightly rinse the cured meat under cold running water quickly – making sure you don’t soak the meat. You will probably find that there will still be some of the rub left on the meat, which is fine. Pat the meat dry with paper towel and leave it on a wire rack on the kitchen bench for about 2-3 hours. Weigh and record the weight of the meat, then wrap it in cheesecloth or muslin and hang in a cool ventilated place (or in a curing chamber if you have one). Wrapping the meat protects the fat and creates the really white colouring; uncovered fat will turn rancid with exposure to light. Check the weight periodically until 30% of the starting weight is lost. The required weight loss will take about 4-6 weeks depending on the temperature and humidity.

I left this particular coppa hanging for almost 4 months for it to reach its required weight loss. It took longer than usual due to the higher fat content of the meat; if you have a particularly fatty cut of meat the hanging time will be longer.

The finished product was amazing! I was a bit worried that the truffle flavour wouldn’t really carry through, but you could taste the very delicate earthy undertones. I was really surprised at how much of the truffled salt had carried over and permeated into the coppa. I found that the flavour of the meat was really enhanced and intensified. The colour of the fat is porcelain white, the thinly sliced coppa just melts in your mouth, the meat was tender and soft in texture. This is definitely the most delicate Coppa I have made to date and possibly that I have ever tasted.

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This coppa is best served thinly sliced with some marinated olives and a glass (or two) of red wine.

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