START YOUR PARTY WITH A WELL-COMPOSED SELECTION
Whether it’s the prelude to a meal or the meal itself, charcuterie—essentially, a selection of cured and prepared meats—is as flexible as it is delicious. There’s no right or wrong combination. Just take Publican Prime Meat’s Missy Corey’s advice: Mix textures and flavors, balancing firm with soft, mild with spicy or smoky.
Charcuterie is at heart a casual treat, so serve it family-style on a rustic board or earthenware platter, with everything pre-sliced for easy serving.
Start with the luscious texture and earthy flavor of terine or pate.
Add a salty cured meat like proscuitto or spanish jamon serrano.
Head cheese lends a bold note. Acidic olives and pickles cut the richness of the meat.
Finish with a hint of heat: A hot sausage or a spicy pepper sauce for spreading on bread.
BREAD | Choose something firm enough to spread on, like a sourdough or rye.
MUSTARD | Try two: a Dijon and a whole-grain mustard for contrast.
PICKLES | Cornichons are a classic choice, or serve bread- and-butter pickles.
JAM | Stay away from anything too sweet. Apricot, fig, cherry, or raspberry are perfect.
Chris Carter and James Peisker, Butchers, Porter Road Butcher, Nashville, TN; prbutcher.com
Hang Cordier, Olivier’s Butchery, San Francisco, CA; oliviersbutchery.com
Missy Corey, sous chef, Publican Quality Meats, Chicago, IL; publicanqualitymeats.com