Charcuterie Boards are rising in popularity at trendy restaurants, but you can bring that same level of sophistication to your home with a little DIY enthusiasm. Harcuterie (prenounced like shahr-cute-uh-ree) is a French word for any smoked, dry-cured or cooked meat. Some of the most common items you’ll find on boards are bacon, ham, sausage, and pâté. To compliment the meats, artisan cheese and breads will be added.
When creating your own charcuterie board at home, consider these key components.
How much meat?
2 ounces of meat per person. Double if using as the main entree at a cocktail party.
Offer a variety of textures and flavors. Pair thinly sliced ham with a creamy pâté, offer something spicy or tangy and an item served warm. Avoid offering several items in the same style such as smoked, because the flavors will lack being distinguishable for most individuals. Some of our most popular items for these boards include thinly sliced Country Ham, Summer Sausage, or Smoked Peppered Pork Tenderloin.
Slicing is where most of the labor happens. Most meats can be sliced as thin as possible, for the harder meats such as salami aim for the thickness of an American quarter. This will allow everyone to enjoy several items without feeling over-full.
Like the meat, you want to choose cheeses that differ from one another enough to be distinguishable. Don’t forget that each cheese should complement at least one of the meats. Take this opportunity to throw in some new items as well; as a favorite like our Hickory Smoked Cheddar, considered aged Gouda, Gruyere, Brillant-Savarin, or Gorgonzola.
Breads & Crackers
This is the delivery vehicle for those delectable flavors you chose so carefully. Include one or two options on your board such as sliced baguettes and large artisan crackers. Think about what cheese or meat they will likely pair with.
Compliment your meat, cheese and bread choices with artisan mustards, pickles and olives. Each of these can break up the flavors, don’t be afraid to try new items here such as sour pickles. Be sure to use small containers to keep these moist elements from intermingling with other foods while on the board. Consider simple ramekins or small glass containers.
Once if you’ve made your choices, then it is all about presentation. Mix and mingle your items around on your large board or platter. Depending on the size you may want to only use half of the items and refill during your event, or make multiple boards that simply mirror one another. Be sure to offer a choice of beverages that will complement the board you’ve put together as well.