Cured Meats, Prosciutto, Pate, Rillettes, Saucisson Sec, Sopressata, Genoa Salami, Mortadella, Chorizo, Capicola, Jamón Ibérico
For a host of an event, a meat & cheese platter is the focal point of social eatery. "Charcuterie" refers to a wide array of different cured meats beyond salami, pepperoni and prosciutto. Charcuterie Platters features various cheeses, crackers, spreads and nuts and accompaniments. What exactly makes a meat platter so popular? Well, they're extremely functional: you can adjust the items for various events and taste. There is no wrong meat platter - one can easily scale the portions based on the number of family and friends. The Charcuterie experience works pretty well with any event. Some common meat items include: Prosciutto Rillettes Saucisson Sec Sopressata Genoa Salami Mortadella Spanish chorizo ‘Nduja Coppa/ Capicola Jamón Ibérico
Great meat platters are paired with fine wines and can be adapted to any season of the year. Meat & Cheese Platter typically contain meats such as: Salame, Prosciutto, Spanish Manchego, Double Cream Brie, Beaufor Cornichons, Kensington’s Mustard, Bonne Maman Honey, Sardinian CrackersBut perhaps the main reason is that they require zero culinary skills to assemble. Sure, there's an art to making a charcuterie board look as impressive as the ones you've seen all over Instagram and Pinterest. Don't worry—we're here to give you some wow-worthy charcuterie board ideas for your next gathering or holiday party.
Wine and Meat platters is all about pairing delicious cured meats with some wine for an easy executable menu your family and friends are going to enjoy. Your meat board will serve as a light starter.
BASICS OF A MEAT PLATTER:
Meats: Hot Smoked Bacon Gravalax Sujuk Liverwurst Ch’arki Cold Smoked Bacon Braesola Speck Bündnerfleisch Cecina (meat) Hot Smoked Salmon Pancetta Lardo Kabanos Carne-de-sol Cold Smoked Salmon Coppa Cervelat Tasso Ham Bakkwa Biltong/Jerky Culatello Salami Anchovies Sukuti Droëwors Spalla Nduja Lap Cheong Lahndi Country Ham/Ham on the Bone Chorizo Pastrami Pickled Herring Kuivaliha Texas Barbecue – ‘Slow n Low’ Jamon Iberico Black Forest-Ham Salt Cod Basturma Prosciutto Guanciale Westfalian-Ham Lap Yuk Gammon Lonza Mortadella Mettwurst Brési Salo • Bread or crackers in a range of textures from crunchy to crisp • Cured meats (appetizer portion: 2-4 oz/light meal portion: 5-6 oz) – salami, prosciutto, chicken liver mousse, pork rillette, and soppressata are good options • Cheese – brie, burrata, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, sharp cheddar, goat cheese, and pepper jack are popular choices • Olives, pickles, artichokes • Nuts – almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc • Dried or fresh fruit and vegetables • Jelly, jam, and/or honey • Dips/sauces like hummus, olive oil, etc.
Sparkling wine and Champagne are the best types of wine to pair with charcuterie because they are lower in alcohol and higher in acidity, making them the ideal compliment for the salty characteristics of charcuterie boards. If you decide to pair a red wine with your charcuterie board, seek a wine that has lower tannins and alcohol volume. Alternatively, if you have a specific wine in mind, adjust the selection of cheeses you place on your charcuterie board. For example, Cheddar and Gouda are a good pair with Cabernet Sauvignon. If the wine you’d like to serve is older, pair with an old/firm cheese.
It originated as a French tradition, charcuterie (pronounced "shahr-ku-tuh-ree") is the art of preparing and assembling finely crafted, cured meats and cheese products. The chef that prepares the meat is called a Charcutier. The charcuterie concept has become very popular outside of France, and has evolved to include a variety of foods besides just meat and cheese. In essence, a charcuterie board is an assortment of artisan dips, spreads, breads, olives and accompaniments, all delicately arranged on a serving board. Whether you call it a charcuterie plate or a charcuterie board, it’s easy to make when you start with quality smoked, cured meats. The perfect charcuterie plate will contain at least 3 to 5 types of charcuterie representing different styles and textures, plus something acidic, like pickles, and something sweet like fruit chutney to complement the flavors. Nuts, fresh and dried fruits, breads and crackers also make great accompaniments. A charcuterie plate is perfect for entertaining, cocktail hour bites, and even for convenient and satisfying snacking. Because charcuterie is ready-to-eat, making a visually stunning plate is easy.
In the first century AD, the Romans may have been the first to regulate charcuterie as a trade. The French have also had some influence and local guilds regulated tradesmen in the food production industry. The guilds that produced charcuterie were those of the charcutiers. The members of this guild produced a traditional range of cooked or salted and dried meats, which varied, sometimes distinctively, from region to region. The only "raw" meat the charcutiers were allowed to sell was unrendered lard. The charcutier prepared numerous items, including pâtés, rillettes, sausages, bacon, trotters, and head cheese (brawn). These preservation methods ensured the meats would have longer shelf lives. The original concepts of the Charcuterie are still present in most fine charcuterie boards. Traditional Charcuteries also provided sophisticated spreads. Here are some classic french spreads:
Pâté and terrine are very similar: The term pâté means paste in french. Pate’s are very popular in most sophisticated charcuteries’ as a spread for artisan breads, toast or even crackers. It is traditionally made using duck or chicken liver, mixed with wine and spices until it's cooked down into a spreadable texture.
Rillettes are slow-cooked meat that is pulled or shredded. This french specialty is similar to a pate but with a coarser texture. This charcuterie item is traditionally cooked from rabbit, goose, and/or duck. Rillettes are served cold or at room temperature as a spread for artisan bread or toast.
Mousse is very similar to a Pate or Rillettes, but the main difference is that it has a much smoother, lighter consistency that is similar to pate. The most popular mousse is made from chicken liver, which is often prepared with spices, cream, and a touch of wine. It’s served cold and tastes great on toast or even pieces of fruit.
What started out as a branch of cooking that involved prepared meats, has now evolved into what’s known as the shared platter or even grazing. Charcuteries around the world have transformed into an artform and is usually the centerpiece of conversation at most social gatherings. That is the beauty of the Charcuterie experience - it is whatever you would like it to be. Many people mix traditional charcuterie items with modern day twists.
Today you can find charcuteries with a Italian, Mediterranean or even Mexican perspective. It is not uncommon to find bruschetta, hummus and salsa spreads at get-togethers. This is probably why charcuterie experiences have become popular around the world. Characterized by its ability to adapt to any culture and suite any event.
Hot Smoked Bacon
Great starter project and easy. Salt cure, form pellicle, hot smoke/cook the bacon. I think this is the go to cured meat project. There is also cured ‘green bacon’ which is a simple cured meat
Hot Smoked Salmon
One of the most popular western style at home cured meats, basically same process as bacon. Because the meat is not as dense as pork, the smoking/cooking time is faster.
Cold Smoked Salmon Not sure why ‘cold smoking’ is made out to be so complex. It’s one of the oldest forms of preservation. The intensity of flavor is immense and as long as saltiness and sweetness are balanced. This is a harmony that is hard to beat!
Cold Smoked Bacon The best-smoked bacon before I started making it, was 3 days of smoking with a special blend of wood which was kept a secret, from a high end deli. Quality of the meat and smokey flavors were all balanced nicely. The smell of fried bacon kicks in some caveman or cavewomen senses
Biltong / Jerky Jerky is generally drier. Commercially made jerky is often sweeter to appeal to a wider market. Biltong comes in a semi-dried ‘wet’ format or a dry jerky style. Big difference in biltong is salt & vinegar; jerky is salt (sugar often or another sweetener).
Droëwors Coriander seed spiced South African sausage. Dried quickly using meat that doesn’t spoil as easy ie. beef and or mutton. Great snack for outdoor adventures like many meats Very classic and very popular amongst South African’s of course!
Country Ham / Ham on the Bone 1-3 months of salt curing, and then a long decent cold smoking. It can be glazed/baked to really give a sweet finish that matches the pork nicely.
Prosciutto Of course a favorite, quality pork & salt – 12 months minimum drying/aging. It doesn’t get any simpler then this. But inside the basic recipe there are hundreds of years of Italian fine tuning so the end product is perfect. Control of humidity, temperature, air flow & good bacteria are essential. These factors are applicable to many dry cured meats. The Romans used this method to stop spoilage and preserve meat over long periods of time.
Lonza Classic loin dry cured Italian salumi. Its a super lean cured meat and can be made in the fridge or a cool area with good results. Cured Meat Gravalax Nordic classic, salmon cured in salt, sugar & dill (also vodka or beetroot variations). A classic cured meat variety.
Deli Meat Braesola A part of the classic Italian Salumi family, it’s traditionally made of beef with balanced spices of cinnamon & cloves. From the classic Italian type of cured meat this beef its from the ‘eye of round’ cut, which is quite lean.
Pancetta cured meat Classic Italian pork salumi cured meat that is found rolled or flat pork belly. In some regions of Italy it’s likely smoked, it’s not bacon because it is dry cured until its fully preserved. So it can be eaten raw like proscuitto.
Cure Meat Coppa or Capocollo Upper neck salumi, wine spices and garlic are sometimes used. Fast showcased through this cut of cured meat. CAPICOLA is a cured meat that is also known as Coppa or Capocollo, this tender smoke sausage meat is produced from pork and has unique spices and herbs. This meat platter originated from Norcia, home of cured meats and specially bred pigs
Meat Platter of Culatello Leg of prosciutto deboned, I have heard that some say it rivals the parma ham. Only 30,000 a year made in Italy vs Parma over 12 million.
Spalla cured meat platter Pork shoulder de-boned and rolled, then dry cured, another classic Italian salumi meat platter speciality. It mentioned that pepper, cinnamon, garlic and nutmeg are the general aromatics. This chunk of cured meat goes back to 1170!
Cured Meat Chorizo A form of Spanish salami, with smoked paprika and garlic. A plethora of variations out there, being a salami meat platter item it can be used in many different dishes.
Jamon Iberico / Iberian Ham Meat Platter Found as a Portugese & Spanish meat delicacy. It's like proscuitto, fundementally different based on piggies diet. Black Iberian pigs are also the key to the quality & flavors that come with Jamon!
BRESAOLA Meat Platter An air-dried, salted beef that has been aged two or three months. A lean meat with a less gamy flavor.
Guanciale Cured Meat Glorious amount of flavor from this hard working muscle. Pork cheek or jowl pancetta basically. Pepper, thyme, fennel maybe garlic – of course there are huge regional varieties in Italy of this salumi! Mortadella Meat Glorious cooked, emulsified giant salami, it has a completely different flavor to many other classic Italian cured meats. SALAMI MEAT PLATTERS One of the more common encased meats, with a variety of styles differing in heat and spice. Pepperoni, or salami piccante, is among the most well known types of salami. While pork salami is the most popular, beef salamis are available. Originally Bologna got famous for it. One of the more common encased meats, with a variety of styles differing in heat and spice. Pepperoni, or salami piccante, is among the most well known types of salami cured meats. While pork salami is the most popular, beef salamis are available. I have to say the truffle & pistachio embedded type is a glorious joy from Sicily. Sujuk Meat Curing Cured meat of Balkan, Central Asia & Middle East. Lots of variations of this fresh sausage. Black pepper, aleppo pepper, whole garlic cloves, red pepper powder, and cumin are added to the meat before it is ground.
Speck In English or German the word means “fat”, I love speck meat. Dutch say lingo ‘speak’, which means bacon in German. Yes, it does make wicked bacon. It’s a pork belly variety, but with more fat content.
Pastrami Meat Platters Linked historically to Roman, Greek & Bulgarian cured meat origins. Salted and then slow simmered meat that is hot and smoked. Salumi refers to Italy's vast array of cured meats. know your salami, prosciutto, 'nduja, and more JAMÓN SERRANO & JAMÓN IBÉRICO DE BELLOTA MEAT Jamón Ibérico de Bellota is one of the most expensive cured meats, as it is made from special black-hooved pigs. The hams are aged up to five years to develop their trademark sweet, nutty flavor. Jamón Serrano is a more affordable version made from white pigs and aged for less time.