Look up #cheeseboard or #charcuterie on any social media platform and you'll find yourself swimming in an endless sea of impressive charcuterie board ideas. But with so many different serving board options, it can get overwhelming trying to decide how to decorate your own board. After all, not everyone comes from a family of food bloggers! However, doing some research and careful planning will help you work towards designing the perfect charcuterie board for your dinner or party.
Luckily, presentation comes a close second behind top-quality cured meats here at The Jerky Co. In short, a good charcuterie board has a winning variety of flavours and textures that are thoughtfully displayed on a large board. Sounds pretty achievable right? So crack those knuckles and keep on scrolling down for some simple ways to create the perfect meat and cheese board. Plus, these charcuterie board ideas are so good, you could be done in less time than it takes to rip through a pack of The Jerky Co.'s cured meats.
What is a charcuterie board?
The word charcuterie borrows from the French term for cooked meats. Traditionally, it refers to preserved pork but is now a popular name for a style of meat and cheese board. The perfect charcuterie board is a well-presented selection of tempting cured meats, hard and soft cheeses, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, and fresh fruit. Today, the charcuterie board is popular in the West as a staple of many parties or gatherings. After all, they require practically no cooking and are fun to assemble. All the meats on a charcuterie board are already pre-cooked, smoked, or cured so you can just focus on making things look great.
And the best part? A good charcuterie board can be as minimal or as intricate as you like! Because really, it depends on how much time you have on your hands - and who you’re trying to impress *wink*. The perfect way to start building a crowd-pleasing board is to choose your favourite cured meats and then pair it with different types of finger foods. And it must be your lucky day because we've got the best beef jerky and beef biltong to help kick start all your juicy charcuterie board ideas.
How to pair cured meats and cheeses for a charcuterie board
While it’s the presentation of your charcuterie board that will win people over, there's an art to pairing cured meats and cheeses. A surefire way to find a great pairing is to work with opposites. Both meats and cheeses are fatty, salty, and rich in protein. You don’t want to overwhelm the board with too much of the same flavours and textures. So instead, complement the protein and fat of one food with a more tart and tangy (acidic) flavour in the other. Meats that are encased tend to be more acidic, while whole muscle meats are generally sweeter with a nutty taste. If in doubt, try to pair cheeses and cured meats that come from the same region.
Here’s how it might look in action. If you have some savoury ham, pair it with a more acidic, hard cheese like Gouda. Sweeter or smoked ham should be paired with soft cheeses like Swiss. After you choose the perfect meat and cheese combos, just sprinkle some dried and fresh fruit, nuts, spreads, jams, and crunchy crackers around the serving board and you've got yourself the perfect charcuterie board.
What kind of board can I use for a charcuterie board?
You can get really creative with this part. If you don’t want to go all out and get a fancy serving board just for one occasion, simply grab some butcher’s paper and line the top of the kitchen counter. You can serve up a really big charcuterie “board” this way if you are having a lot of people over! A marble board, your average cutting board, a Lazy Susan, cool tea towels, or multiple smaller boards next to each other or on different tiers are also great ways to serve up your cured meats and cheese platters.
It's all about me(ats)
Today's charcuterie boards are all about the cured meats. All the other flavours and textures are there to complement these perfectly savoury meat treats. So without further ado, grab a large serving or cutting board and help yourself to these tasty yet simple charcuterie board ideas.
- Calabrese salami, droewors, manchego, gouda, green apples, dried figs, raspberries, Ritz crackers
- Beef biltong, smoked ham, prosciutto, feta, brie, grapes, olives in a little bowl, chicken pâté, water crackers
- Chorizo, beef jerky, brie, pistachios, dates, strawberries, cherries, green apples, carrot and celery sticks, tzatziki, wafer crackers
- Biltong, Parmigiano-Reggiano, blue cheese, walnuts, apricots, pears drizzled with honey, duck pâté, water crackers
- Jerky, Irish cheddar, candied or roasted nuts, apricots, raisins, red and green grapes, vegetable crackers
- Mint lamb biltong, goat cheese, cranberries, prunes, pomegranates, cherry tomatoes, rosemary crackers
Let's get fancy
Because cured meats are the highlight of any epic charcuterie board, you'll want to make sure you pick the perfect meats to impress your guests. So make sure you get your hands on our beef jerky, biltong, snap sticks, or droewors. Our famous family recipes and spice blends make The Jerky Co.'s 24-hour marinated meats the best in the biz. Try a bite and we bet you'll be back for more.
So go ahead, impress your guests with a charcuterie board that looks nearly too good to eat. Whether you're having family over, bringing a dish to a party, or hosting an event, serving up a charcuterie board is a great way to offer something for every finger food-loving guest. And with a generous serving of The Jerky Co. meats, we're sure there won't be a single crumb left.