hether you call it a charcuterie plate or a charcuterie board, it’s easy to make when you start with quality smoked, cured, and cooked 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, bread, and crackers also make wonderful accompaniments. Continue reading for tips on making your own charcuterie plate.
A charcuterie plate is perfect for entertaining, cocktail hour bites, and even for convenient and satisfying snacking. Because charcuterie is ready-to-eat, making an impressive plate is easy.
How to Set the Perfect Charcuterie Plate
- Start with a large plate, platter, wooden cutting board, or a piece of slate as the base.
- Choose at least 3 to 5 charcuterie items that represent various styles and textures: smoked and meaty, dry-cured and firm, cooked and creamy. Allow two ounces per person, and slice your charcuterie into easily manageable, bite-sized pieces.
- Spread the pieces out on the board, leaving space between them for accompaniments.
- Add mustard, cornichons, olives, or chutney, so the acidity can balance the fat in the charcuterie. Use small bowls for these items, or just put them on the board with knives for spreading.
- Fresh fruits like grapes, figs, sliced pears and apples, and any dried fruits like raisins, currants, apricots, cherries, and pears will round out the plate, and add color. Use the fruits as palate cleansers between bites of charcuterie.
- Place sliced bread, or various types of crackers, around the edges of the plate, or tuck them between sections of charcuterie.
- Cheese is a welcome addition to a charcuterie plate; choose 2 -3 types of different textures to complement the spread.
- Add black truffle butter, which is especially tasty on a slice of bread with saucisson sec.
- A hearty red wine makes a good accompaniment, such as Côtes-du-Rhône, Gigondas or Madiran.
Our Top Picks for the Perfect Charcuterie Board
- Mousse Truffée: spreadable, organic chicken and turkey liver mousse with black truffles.
- Jambon de Bayonne: a thinly-sliced dry-cured ham. Great with fruit.
- Artisanal Saucisson Sec: dry-cured pork sausage, similar to salami. Slice on an angle and serve.
- Pâté de Campagne: rustic, coarse pork pâté with parsley. Slice and serve.
- Duck Rillettes (ree-yet): slow-cooked duck legs, shredded until spreadable.
- Pork and Garlic Sausage: cooked pork sausage with a little bite. Great with mustard.
- Smoked Duck Breast: air cured and smoked over natural wood. Slice and fan out.
- Wild Boar Lonza: dry-cured wild boar made Italian-style. Slice thinly and serve.
- Wagyu Beef Bresaola: dry-cured Wagyu beef with tender texture. Slice super thin.
Gourmet Quality Charcuterie Since 1985
Using time-honored techniques, recipes and all-natural ingredients, D’Artagnan has been making charcuterie for more than 30 years. Our charcuterie offers a full range of styles and flavors and is a favorite among restaurants, retailers, and home cooks.