Curing Pork Loins with Mariano Floro

In the video below, Mariano Floro describes his process for making cured pork loins which he refers to as capicolla. He starts with a whole pork loin that he cuts into three pieces. He pokes a hole through one end of each piece and threads a cotton string through to later hang the loins to cure. He rubs each piece with about 2 TBLS. of salt and lays them in a container that will catch the liquid as it is drawn from the meat. He turns them once or twice a day to continually bathe the meat in the salted juices. He does this for 36 hours. He then rinses the loins and dries them, then puts enough white vinegar in a pan to wash each piece in it, then dries them without rinsing. He coats each loin with his cooked red pepper sauce (can also be purchased by the jar) to which he has added crushed hot pepper seeds. (See recipe for pepper sauce below). He then hangs the prepared loins in a room in his basement that is very cool and has good air circulation. The loins will hang for about two months to dry and cure. When he feels they have adequately cured and are not too soft and raw, but also not too hard and dry, he vacuum seals them to stop the drying process. He stores them in a refrigerator drawer.  He seals all but a few that he will eat soon. These he stores in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. He recommends keeping them in the bag to keep them soft. If already too soft, he allows them to air dry on a paper towel in the refrigerator.

Curing pork loin is a fairly easy process and produces a delicious product that has a taste that is a cross between traditional capicolla and prosciutto. Some people even refer to this cured meat as prosciuttini. 

Mariano’s sweet red pepper sauce is made from peppers that he grows in his garden. He cuts them into small pieces and parboils them until soft. He puts them through a food processor to make a puree which he preserves sealed in canning jars. This is the same sauce that is used in traditional sopresatta. He also uses it when he makes a thinner version of sopresatta that he refers to as salsiccia.

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