This post and recipe is sponsored by Certified Piedmontese. All words and photographs are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make KJ & Company possible!
The Ultimate Charcuterie Board is what appetizer dreams are made of! From salty, delicious meats to creamy or funky cheeses and all the way to the crackers or bread you smear it all on. Perfect for snacking, sipping your favorite drink and enjoying the company of those around you! Let’s walk through all the steps to make the Ultimate Charcuterie Board.
Step 1: Choose your Board
First off, you will need a board to arrange all these scrumptious items on! A wooden charcuterie board is the most popular by far.
Since my wooden boards are older and more so used for photography purposes, I like to use my marble board. This way, I can spread cheeses on it and arrange the different meats however I like with easy cleanup.
Round, square or rectangle, it doesn’t matter!
Walking into The Mercato is like walking into a candy land. The store is loaded with so many goodies! Not only are you able to purchase fresh cuts of Certified Piedmontese Beef, but there is also a vast array of options of everything you would need for The Ultimate Charcuterie board and so much more. I’m a sucker for their house-made gelato!!
Step 2: Meats
Typically, when you look at a charcuterie board, the different kinds of meat tend to pop out and steal the show. And I understand why! One of the best parts, if you ask me. Here are the meats I picked out from The Mercato to build my Ultimate Charcuterie Board:
- Incontro Cured Jamón Mangalista – have you ever had prosciutto? Well, this is like prosciutto on steroids! SO good and rich! Plus, it looks nice and pretty when folded and arranged on the charcuterie board.
- Beef Summer Sausage – you can’t go wrong with a classic. Made in house, this summer sausage has such a pure flavor that will make you keep going back for more. I like to cut it into 1/4 inch disks and fan them out across the board.
- Pork Rilette – a Mercato specialty. Warm it up quick in the microwave, add it into a bowl and place it on your charcuterie board. Prepare to have your mind blown! Essentially, it’s pork confit – shredded pork cooked in pork fat. This ended up being one of my favorites.
Start by arranging the meats on the board first. Try to not put them all directly next to each other as they are eye-candy on the board. You want to draw the eyes in and take in the whole thing. Next up, cheese!
Step 3: Cheeses
After you choose your meats, it’s time for cheese! I like to offer at least 3 different kinds of cheese: something hard/sliceable, something creamy and something funky. Here is what I chose from The Mercato:
- Jisa’s Spinach & Artichoke Cheese – sliced at least half of it up and arrange it on the board with the remaining block of cheese. That way, if guests want more, they can dig in! This was a fun twist on a “harder/sliceable” cheese and we all loved it.
- Hemme Brothers German Quark – this ended up being a cheese my mom and I couldn’t stop eating! It’s like a fancy cream cheese that is much more lighter and more airy. AKA: a dream. I smeared it across the board in a swirl pattern, drizzled it with a little olive oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper.
- Shadowbrook Farms Graydon – do you love goat cheese and bleu cheese? Then this is the funky cheese for you! Here is their description: “A cave-aged blue cheese made from a blend of cow & goat milk.” Funky and delicious! I also love the triangle shape. Crumble a bit off for guests to dive into and arrange the remaining triangle on the board with it.
When choosing where to arrange the cheeses, I tend to tuck them in next to the meats that I already arranged. That way, your meat and cheese options are right by each other! Now, we gotta have something to eat these meats and cheeses on, crackers and bread!
Step 4: Crackers and Bread
Since we have all these beautiful meats and cheeses, we need a vessel to eat them on! I like to offer both a cracker (crunchy) and a bread. That way, there’s a good mixture of crunch and fluffy bread goodness. Not just any bread though, go with a baguette, sourdough or in this case, Homemade Focaccia from The Mercato!
- Housemade Focaccia – I mean, does this really need an explanation? Focaccia is such a great choice for a charcuterie board because it offers a great bread choice without being too overwhelming ie: feeling like you’re building a sandwich. No sandwiches around here! Slice the bread into pieces that are no larger than a few inches.
- Rustic Bakery Rosemary & Olive Oil Sourdough Crackers – boy oh boy did these crackers surprise us! They have so much flavor! Plus, they add the perfect crunch and munch factor.
Arrange the bread and crackers on opposite ends of the board so that everyone has easy access to vessel for their meat and cheese goodies. Now, onto the final part: specialty items!
Step 5: Specialty Items
What is a “specialty item?” To me, they are ingredients that are really going to make your board pop! They add acidity, sweetness, tartness, spicyness or brightness to your board depending on what you choose. It can anything from specialty mustards, pickled items, jams, honeys and salts. Here is what I chose from The Mercato:
- Roland Extra Fine Cornichons Gherkins – can you ever go wrong with little pickles? I don’t think so. Drain some of the juice and pour the pickles into a small dish to be nestled into the cheese board.
- Kansas City Canning Co Vanilla Bourbon Peach Preserves – we LOVED this stuff! Here was my perfect bite: focaccia, quark, pork rilette and vanilla bourbon peach preserves. Insert all the heart emoji eyes and chef’s kiss**. I just opened the jar and placed it on the board with a little spoon in it!
- Maldon Flaky Sea Salt – If you ask me, salt is always a yes! Grab a decorative little bowl and pour the salt right in. Guests can then add a little sprinkle on top of their bites whenever they desire.
Other specialty items could include nuts, fresh fruit such as grapes, dried fruit, honey, olive oils for dipping. The possibilities are endless!
Step 6: Dig In!
Now that you have it all assembled, snap a picture (you know you’ll want to) and dig in! If you post it on social media, don’t forget to tag @cp_mercato and @kjandcompany so we can see the creations you came up with!
Looking for other Certified Piedmontese Beef recipes? Check these out!
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If you make this recipe and love it as much as I do, I’d love to hear from you! Comment below, rate the recipe, or share a picture tagging @kjandcompany or using #kjandcompany so that I can see your fun pictures 🙂
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