Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cooked Coppa: Fauxppa?

Traditional Coppa is an Italian dry-cured and air-dried ham-style whole muscle that is thinly sliced and enjoyed by itself or perhaps on a sandwich. The muscle is traditionally located in the neck, starting in the shoulder and running to the head. The term coppa actually means nape in Italian. When I ordered a whole skin-on shoulder I was excited to find the coppa muscle almost entirely in-tact. I hopped on the chance to make a version I had recently learned about, but unlike the traditional method, this one uses a brine instead of a dry-cure and is slowly poached instead of air-dried. Otherwise, all of the techniques are the same.

The shoulder I received was larger than a typical commodity shoulder that arrives two in a vac-packed bag. This was again from Slagel Family Farms and included the front end of the rib cage and the neck bone. The piece I would trim out for this coppa would include the butt end of the loin.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sausage Porn, old enticing photos!

One of my favorite things from my brief stint in culinary school was the option to take electives. While most college students find this a fun benefit, it was exceedingly so for me in culinary school (as if tennis didn't measure up during my B.A.!). Some of my favorites included Fermentation, Cheese Making and Cuisines of China. But without question my favorite was Chef Pierre's Sausage Making Class. This was an evening class and it led up to the holiday break. It was one night a week and we made some damn good encased meats. Each class we made 2-3 types of sausage per pair of students. I took my camera in one class towards the end of the quarter. Here are some noteworthy photos!