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 Quality 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 terrine or pate. Add a salty cured meat like prosciutto or Spanish jamón 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
Hang Cordier, OLIVIER’S BUTCHERY, San Francisco, CA
Missy Corey, sous chef, PUBLICAN QUALITY MEATS, Chicago, IL