Mangalitsa Coppa

This is my first attempt at a coppa. Our guy at culinary classics is working on getting me an actual coppa, but for now I just used cuts form the shoulder of the mangalitsa. They cured for 15 days in a mixture of salt, cure #2, cane sugar, garlic, black pepper, juniper berries, and red pepper flakes. Then they got rubbed down with a mixture of smoked paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes, some espelette, etc.

This is my first attempt so I hope they turn out good. The most fun came when trying to case them!!!

I also have recently done some pepperoni and sopressata with mangalitsa. It's great having all of these mangalitsa rolling in because I am able to use all of the scraps on my projects and the quality of meat is superior. The pepperoni is a mixture of mangalitsa scraps and wagyu scraps. Should be tasty.

Here is another mangalitsa belly that I thought was worth posting. We have a handful of these going. These things are beasts.

I'll post on my recent trip to Charleston, SC and stage at McCrady's restaurant soon....

more mangalitsa and a chamber upgrade

The mangalitsa is now coming in more and more that is being featured on our menu, and we have all sorts of things going on. We currently have working 2 bellies (chef has them in his molasses brine) for bacon, all sorts of lardo, guanciale, 3 coppa, and we will be making some salami and pepperoni on monday. I really want to do a country ham soon, but then comes the waiting and waiting and....

The jowl are so nice. They look more like regular bacon than the bellies do (because they are so fatty). I cured these with salt, sugar, black pepper, thyme and garlic for 15 days, and they will prob hang close to 3-4 weeks. I can't wait to render these bad boys out and taste them.

I have also recently had an upgrade in a curing chamber. Its a good thing too, because we have soooo much fat that we have lardo hanging from the roof (ok, that's an over exaduration), but still we have a lot. Half of which isn't even done curing yet.

We have been trying a lot of different recipes, ratios, spices, etc. for curing the lardo to find out which one we like the best so you'll see a lot of different types hanging. I would like to do a side by side flavor and texture comparison once we have one of each type ready, but until then here's what we got!!

LEFT TO RIGHT: lardo di toscana, pimente d' espelette, smoked paprika (behind the pimente), sugar/salt/black pepper, garlic, lardo di colonata (which is berkshire not mangalitsa) and has been curing for about 5 months.

The bottom half of the new chamber.

gunaciale, lonzino, boar salami

And the old chamber... thank goodness for the new!!!

Pasture Prime

The other day we had the opportunity to travel up to Pasture Prime Farms in Ocala, Fl to take a look at their operation. The property is beautiful, and rests on hundreds of acres of open fields and is surrounded by woods. Spring was the perfect time to go out and see the farm as everything is beginning to bloom and is bright green.

Their story up there is unique. Once a dairy farm that was forced to shut down by large corporations and government regulations, pasture prime shifted its focus and has been raising 100% grass fed Wagyu since 2007. They have recently begun raising Mangalitsa (a.k.a. wooly pigs, which we have been lucky enough to be receiving), Naked Neck Chickens, and Red Bourbon Turkeys.

The trip was not only informational, but was inspirational as well. I can't wait to get my hands on some more mangalitsa. I see some coppa and salami in the future and we have more bacon and lardo already working. I thank them for their hospitality the other day and also for their passion for raising such great products 100% naturally the way they do. You can find them at and on facebook.

I have so many pictures from the farm, but will only show a few....

The Wagyu

Cattle dog in training

The old dairy farm

The Mangalitsa

Naked Neck Chickens

Red Bourbon Turkeys


Although we have been extremely busy with the new menu change, and the addition of a 5 course tasting menu and 3 course prix fixe menu, I have been able to keep up with curing (large things anyways). I must say before I start, that this is in my own personal opinion one of my, if not the most successful and tasty thing we have cured yet. MANGALITSA BACON! which really looks like lardo, but if rendered properly is soooo good. I cured it for 17 days, Chef Windus smoked it for about a day, and now we eat it. The best way to cook it is pressed between 2 silpats in the oven, but was able to do an amuse for my uncle the other night (with I had snapped a shot) which consisted of bacon wrapped wild striped bass, stewed dragons tongue (white) beans, burnt onion and truffle jus. I was really pleased with it.

I know these pictures aren't very good, but they give you an idea of the fat on these things....

We also have some mangalitsa lardo that has been hanging, and a bunch of chunks that recently went into the cure...

We're also messing around with flavor profiles....

Piment d'Espelette

Hot Smoked Paprika

Have some guanciale on the way as well.....STOKED!!