Building Your Best Charcuterie; This Category of Cooking is Quick, Easy, and PortableJul 31, 2020 12:41PM ● By Gabrielle Varela
What You’ll Need
Right from the start, you have options. Large cutting boards, marble slabs, ceramic platters, basically any flat surface with room to build. Barrette suggests JK Adams, a company that specializes in high quality, handcrafted wooden boards and kitchen products. As for dishware, he loves the cheese knife set by Out of the Woods Of Oregon for clean and simple slicing and spreaders from Tovolo. For those oh-so-good-and-goey jams and mustards, he encourages mini jam cups by Fortessa. You can find them here or at his shop in Hanover.
Choose your players
The French word
charcuterie (shar-coo-tree) translates to “pork butcher shop” and while the
origin refers to pork, charcuterie has evolved into a fun way to prepare and
arrange cured meats, cheeses, and other snacks into an artful spread. Depending
on how large the board is, 2-5 different options will do with a couple of ounces
per person. Here, the focus is on flavor. Arrange contrast for balance and
variety. Think spicy chorizo next to silky prosciuttos, tannic dry-cured red
wine sausage next to rich, luxurious lardo.
“Play with tastes and textures,” says Boyk. “You’ve got your different meats and cheeses, throw something nutty, an olive, something fruity (dried or jammy), a cracker/bread; any variation on this theme and you’re good!”
Barrette suggests a blue cheese like the subtle and approachable Bayley Hazen paired with jam like the Blake Hill Cherry Jam and some walnuts for salt and crunch; goat cheeses with honeycomb and dried apricots; harder, earthier cheeses like Tarentaise with a cheer-y blueberry Jam and Marcona almonds. “Pair bright, acidic cornichons, pickled shallots, or olives to cut the fat of the charcuterie and edible flowers or berries for color,” instructs Barrette.
In your Glass
Similar to building what is on the board, beverages that compliment the flavors on the board and the season are key to successful pairing. A light and fresh rośe will bring out the flavor of cold, cured meats. Crisp Lagers and Pilsners will tame the spiciness of salami and accentuate the saltiness of prosciutto. Cream ales or fun and fruity IPAs for the more robust meats and harder cheeses. Whiskey or scotch is great for smoothing out the flavors of funky cheeses like Harbison by Jasper Hill or Middlebury Blue by Blue Ledge Farm.
What’s on your board?