How to assemble a charcuterie board
It’s the simplest starter of any party spread: an assembly job of bought-in elements, the success of which hangs on the quality of the items you choose. Henrietta Green, founder of the British Charcuterie Awards, explains how to get your charcuterie board just right.
Now there’s so much brilliant British charcuterie widely available, it’s hard to think back a decade or so ago when Italian, Spanish or French cured meats were all we could get. So let’s celebrate with a beautiful board of British cured meat that tempts both eye and taste buds with contrasting flavours, textures and colours.
How to arrange a charcuterie board
Rather than slapping down slices straight from the packet, separate them, then arrange artfully – fold some over, curl some round, drape others – the aim is to add height and visual texture, while leaving the slices accessible.
What to add to your charcuterie board
Include a good chutney or relish (use one of our recipes or buy a good ready-made one such as chutney or relish, from delis and on Ocado); some quality olives with their stones still in (at room temperature – never cold from the fridge); cornichons; fruit such as dried or fresh figs or grapes; thin slices of toasted sourdough and some quality crackers (such as Fudge’s and Peter’s Yard Sourdough Crispbread). Add a few fresh herb sprigs for colour contrast and your board is good to go.
The selection here is made up of winners from the British Charcuterie Live Awards 2019 – an example brilliant UK produce that works well together. Mix and match a few of these winners with your own favourite deli-counter buys.
Made from pork shoulder, cured and lightly smoked over applewood, this Cornish charcuterie has complex spice and herb flavours, a reverberating meatiness and a firm texture.
A delicious. Produce Awards winner, this is made from wild venison
and has a pronounced but balanced game flavour and a smooth texture. The addition of green peppercorns gives this salami a gentle ‘bite’.
Made using meat from the Mangalitza breed and dried in the Continental style, this complex-flavoured ham balances a mild salt finish with a lingering sweetness. 4. Highland Charcuterie: Pork rillettes
A traditional British-style dry-cured ham with a firm texture and a great, balanced, salty pork flavour. They’ll also be selling whole York hams online for Christmas (soon).
Made with a blend of spices (from a 100-year-old Indian pickle recipe), including black pepper, fennel, fenugreek, nigella and mace, this pungent salami is like no other.