The weather’s getting cooler, so there’s no better time to gather your friends around a good glass of red and tasty nibbles at home. A charcuterie board is a perfect meal to prepare for an afternoon of grazing that requires minimal prep time and maximum taste. Read on for our tips on preparing the perfect grazing board this winter.
What is a charcuterie board?
Charcuterie is cold cooked meats and originates from France where charcuterie was the traditional way of cooking meat. The method was originally adopted to help preserve the meat for longer before the use of refrigeration. Today, charcuterie is beloved worldwide and is a popular starter or snack when entertaining. Our Victorian readers can find a deliciously curated edit of the very best charcuterie meats over at Meatsmith.
Our top charcuterie board tips
1. Use a range of charcuterie meats:
You don’t need to buy out your butcher shop, but the trick to a great charcuterie board is variety. Offer at least two different meats to give your guests variety. Why not try our two favourites, rare breed ham and sopressa?
Rare Breed Ham:
Beloved by many, you can’t leave thinly shaved ham off your charcuterie board. Try the award-winning ham from Meatsmith if you’re looking for the best. should be enjoyed all year round, not just at Christmas time! This free-range, ethically farmed Tamworth pork is brined for 48 hours, then smoked in German Beechwood for a sensationally smoky, savoury and tasty ham that is sliced to order. Add a little horseradish cream and pickled baby onions for the perfect accompaniment.
Sopressa Della Nonna
For a milder alternative, this one is a complete crowd-pleaser. It’s a large, classic Italian aged salami with pork, lard, pepper and spices – typical of the Veneto region in northern Italy.
2. Go French
Charcuterie originates from the land of love and great wine after all, so why not add a French touch to your board with terrine and parfait? Here’s some of our favourites to consider.
Chicken and Tarragon Terrine
A simple yet sensational terrine made with whole chicken thighs marinated in tarragon, garlic and seasoning, layered in a terrine mould and slow cooked. Ideal for those who like a less gamey terrine. Delightful with horseradish cream.
Foie Gras Parfait
Rich, decadent and silken, foie gra. Made with foie gras, chicken liver, shallots, butter and madeira, and topped with madeira jelly. Serve with toasted brioche and pickled cherries.
Rich, savoury and incredibly moreish – slow-cooked, shredded pork shoulder is mixed with duck fat, rosemary and fennel seed. Available in a jar or by the slice, smear a generous amount on charred sourdough and top with a couple of cornichons.
3. Add a pop of colour
Make sure your charcuterie board features a variety of colours to be extra appealing to your guests. For a winter board, try adding some slices of orange, sprigs of rosemary, and pearls of pomegranate.
4. Don’t forget to say cheese
Texture is important when it comes to great charcuterie boards, so opt for a variety of cheeses here. Try soft and gooey, sharp and mature, and tangy blue ones.
5. Pair with wine
Charcuterie and entertaining go hand in hand, but don’t forget the final touch of a glass of wine for your guests. We like vibrant, fruity reds on a cold winter evening. Try a glass of pinot noir along with your cured meats for a warming winter celebration.
Inspired to create your own tasty winter charcuterie board? Pop into Meatsmith to select your favourite small goods, cheeses and extras and create your dream board with the help of this gourmet butcher shop. The perfect balance of flavours, textures, spice and accoutrements is just around the corner.