A Guide To The Modern Charcuterie Board
The modern cheese plate has met its match and with the charcuterie board. You’ll often see the spread at a fancy dinner party, yet it had humble beginnings.
Charcuterie is French for preserved meat. It started as a solution for dealing with scraps that would normally go to waste. The types of food on a charcuterie plate run the gamut from pork products to cornichon pickles, grainy mustard and slices of bread. To learn how to preserve meat and make the terrines you’ll find in this guide, attend an online culinary arts program.
This is a cured pork sausage that is thinly sliced similarly to a cold cut. This hard air-dried meat is like a salami and is made with lean pork, fats, spices and sugar. Alcohol can also be added to give it a distinct flavor. Depending on from what region you source your saucisson, the flavor will change to reflect the local culture. In its place it’s fine to serve any dried sausage like salami.
Pate – French for “paste” – is a ground meat with a soft spreadable texture. Many times it is made from liver, pork or game. When fish is the base of the pate it’s combined with mayonnaise, sour cream or a soft cheese. It’s usually enjoyed spread on a piece of crusty bread. To prepare pate for charcuterie, just place a slice directly on the board. A rillette is a type of pate cooked with rabbit, duck, goose or pork, and flavored with lard.
The word terrine refers to a baking dish in the form of a loaf pan and comes from the word meaning earth. However, it can be used interchangeably with its end product. Minced meats like seafood, poultry and game are added to the rectangular dish. It’s cooked in a bain-marie or water bath, similarly to how flan is prepared. At times, fruit terrines are also made.
Charcuterie meals often have galantine, which is meat glazed with a gelatin and served cold. It isn’t ground or spreadable like pate. It’s commonly made from boned poultry that is wrapped and cooked in its own jelly.
These plates can be filled with whatever the chef wants. In modern times, people add thinly sliced Italian meats to the board. Prosciutto is a popular addition and comes from the hind leg of a pig. Other meats like coppa and bresaola are also suitable.