This is the baked version of traditional Italian dry-cured coppa and is super easy to make. Succulent, superbly seasoned and flavorful, this Capicola will take your Italian subs, sandwiches, pizza and snacking to a new level!
To make the cure, place the sea salt, sugar, red pepper flakes and pink curing salt in a coffee/spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle to grind them. (It is essential that the pink salt is evenly distributed in the rub.)Place the pork in a large bowl or on a work surface and massage the rub into the pork, making sure to get every nook and cranny.Wrap the pork tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 5 days. After 5 days flip it over so the bottom side is up and refrigerate it for another 5 days.
After 10 days unwrap the meat. It will be firmer to the touch. Thoroughly rinse it under cold water to remove all the spices and set it aside while you prepare the final rub.To make the rub, place the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, anise seeds, red pepper flakes and black peppercorns in a coffee/spice grinder or use a mortal and pestle to grind the spices until you get a coarse rub. Lightly blot the coppa with a paper towel.Spread the rub out onto a plate or work surface and roll the coppa in it, coating all sides. Use up all the spice rub to coat the meat.
Next you'll need a #24 netting roll. Cut a piece of netting off the roll that is a few inches longer than your coppa.Stretch the netting and feed the coppa through it (unless you have a ham-stuffing funnel, it's easiest to do this with two people).
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Fill a pan up with water and place it on the middle rack of the oven. This will create humidity as the coppa cooks to keep the coppa moist. Place the coppa on a roasting pan fitted with a wire rack and place the pan on the top rack of the oven. Cook the coppa for 1 hour, then turn the coppa over so the bottom side is up and bake it for another hour or until the internal temperature reaches 145-150 degrees F. Don't overcook or the meat will be dry.
Be patient, it's not quite ready yet! Remove the coppa, place it on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours.
At that point your homemade Italian capicola is ready to eat! Slice it thinly and enjoy it on your sandwiches, pizzas or eaten on its own! (For professional looking deli meat slices, use an electric meat slicer.) To store, keep it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 2 weeks.The sliced capicola can also be frozen for up to a couple of months.