Casings Preparation: Before you begin you need to buy from your butcher the casings for the sopressata. The casings will be given to you stored in salt. They need to be cut in lengths of about 10-12 inches. washed well under cold running water and put in a bucket of fresh water and peels of orange or lemon for about two days (store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them).
Remove all the meat from the pork leg (this is the same leg that can be used to make prosciutto). Obtain all the meat and discard all the fat. Cut the meat in small chunks.
Grind the meat with a meat grinder. You want to use an adapter that will give larger chunks of meat compared to the usual ground meat.
The only MUST seasoning is SALT. Dosage: 25 Grams (.88 Oz ) per 1 Kilogram ( 2.2 Lbs ) of ground meat. All the other seasonings: hot pepper (powder and flakes) and black pepper kernels use as desired. We use all 3 in equal amounts.
To check the level of seasoning, saute` a little meat and taste. If necessary add more seasonings.
Reverse the casings inside out. You want the external part of the casing to be in contact with the meat. Tie one end of each casing with cotton twine, puncture a few small holes with a needle and fill with meat using a sausage machine and tie the other end.
Your sopressate are now all done and ready to be cured. Hang them in a cold and well ventilated room for 1 week for the skin to dry. After 1 week, lay them down on a wood board, cover completely with another wood board and put a weight (about 70-80 lbs) on the top board to put pressure on the sopressate. After 48 hours, remove and hang again to complete the curing process for another 3 weeks. Toward the end of the process you want to check on the hardness as it may take a few less or extra days depending on climate, size of the sopressate, etc.
Once cured, the sopressate must be stored in a cool part of the house in a bucket and completely covered with oil (vegetable oil is fine) or in vacuum sealed bags.