Homemade Italian Soppressata

soppressata on cutting board

The Spruce / Laura Donovan

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 1 soppressata
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
2268 Calories
174g Fat
4g Carbs
157g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 2268
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 174g 223%
Saturated Fat 64g 319%
Cholesterol 586mg 195%
Sodium 8630mg 375%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 157g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 134mg 10%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 2155mg 46%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

In Italy, the word ​soppressata (meaning "pressed down") can refer to several different types of sausage. In Basilicata, for instance, where soppressata is a dry-cured salami, butchers use only the best cuts of pork. In Tuscany, on the other hand, soppressata is a large, uncured sausage: the unusable parts of the pig are cooked down into a flavorful mixture, then stuffed into a sausage casing.

Perhaps the most popular type of soppressata is the sopressa Vicentina from Vicenza. This dry-cured salami has a round shape and a distinctive herbal flavor with hints of garlic and rosemary. True sopressa Vicentina can only come from certain Northern Italian pigs weighing over 287 pounds. While your local butcher probably doesn't sell such delicacies, you can make your version of this delicious sausage with regular pork meat.

Most people choose to make soppressata with medium-sized hog middles, beef middles, or collagen casings that range from 1.5 to 3 inches in diameter. Feel free to experiment with different types and sizes of sausage casings—if you can't buy them at your local specialty market or butcher, you'll find an abundance of options online. Unlike typical store-bought salami, soppressata should have large, distinct chunks of fat and meat—make sure to use a coarse grind setting on your meat grinder.

Plan ahead, since the sausage will need to cure for over two weeks. We highly recommend consulting experts and books before attempting to make this recipe if you're new to curing meat since mishandling can lead to serious foodborne illness.

Ingredients

  • Black peppercorns, to taste

  • Whole cloves, to taste

  • 6 1/2 pounds pork loin or other lean pork cuts

  • 1 pound lard

  • 1 pound lean bacon

  • 6 tablespoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 cup grappa brandy

  • Sausage casings

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • Pecorino, fresh goat cheese, or any complementary cheese for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Italian Soppressata ingredients

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  2. Grind the peppercorns and cloves together with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.

    peppercorns and clove in a bowl

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  3. Clean the pork meat well, trimming the tendons and gristle. Chop up the pork meat, lard, and pork side until the mixture will fit into the meat grinder.

    pork meat in bowls

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  4. Put the meat through a meat grinder (using a coarse setting) and transfer to a large bowl.

    pork meat ground into a bowl

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  5. Add the ground cloves and peppercorns and 4 tablespoons of the salt to the ground meat. Mix to ensure even distribution. Add the grappa and mix.

    add ground clove, peppercorns, and grappa to the ground pork in the bowl

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  6. Wash the casing well in the vinegar.

    Wash the casing in the vinegar

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  7. Combine the remaining salt and freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl.

    salt and fresh ground black pepper in a bowl

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  8. Dry the casing thoroughly and rub it with the salt and pepper mixture. Shake off the excess.

    casing in a bowl with salt and pepper mixture

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  9. Use a sausage stuffer to fill the casing, pressing down to expel air. Twist the ends of the casing shut and tie the salami with string.

    sausage filling being stuffed into casing

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

  10. Hang for two to three days in a warm place and then for two months in a cool, dry, drafty spot, where the temperature hovers around 60 F and the humidity level is around 60 to 70 percent. The soppressata is ready to eat when it's lost about 30 percent of its weight. Cut into thin slices and arrange on a charcuterie board with complementary cheese.

    stuffed sausage ready for hanging

    The Spruce / Laura Donovan

    Curing Meat Warning

    Curing meat requires specific expertise and failure to cure meat properly may result in sickness or death. If you have no experience in this area, we advise you to consult an expert to teach you proper techniques and applications.

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