How to Build a Charcuterie Board Like a Pro

Up your holiday entertaining game this year with charcuterie board tips from Fleishers Craft Butchery, chef Jamie Bissonnette and White Gold Butchers. Photo courtesy of E. Guigal.

Charcuterie boards are often overlooked for the cheese plate when it comes to easy, crowd-pleasing holiday hors-d’oeuvres. That’s a shame. A good charcuterie board an art form that can showcase both the season and the mood of the gathering, setting the tone for the rest of the evening.

But like all good things, there are classic rules (that you can of course break in your own way). Tovi Barkan and Rich Sastre of Fleishers Craft Butchery, chef Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa, Toro and the Little Donkey and the team at White Gold Butchers shared their charcuterie board tips, must-haves and favorite drink pairings with us:

Fleishers Craft Butchery’s Charcuterie Board
Tovi Barkan and Rich Sastre recommend sticking to five types of meat on the board, three kinds of cheese and a few other condiments.
Meats: Berkshire Prosciutto, Fleishers Wild Boar Salami (so flavorful and who doesn’t love the sound of it?), Tasso Coppa, sweet and spicy Sopressatta. Slice all the meats paper thin.
Cheese: Choose three of your favorites. Can’t decide? Opt for a cheddar, an alpine and one soft option such as Fleishers Hudson Valley camembert.
Condiments: Barkan likes to add some jam and a baguette to finish off the board while Sastre thinks a meat board is incomplete without some good some good mustard and picking things.
“Get some tart in there to break everything up, My go-to is pickled green bean/wax beans, cauliflower, hot peppers, pickles (duh) or any other seasonal veggie,” Sastre said.
Drink Pairings: A Rioja, or Montepulciano. Or a crisp lager, brown ale or hearty stout.

Chef Jamie Bissonnette puts the final touches on his charcuterie board. Photo courtesy of E. Guigal.

Chef Jamie Bissonnette’s Charcuterie Board
“I always say when plating charcuterie, mix and match where the meats are placed on the board. Variety is important both for looking great and keeping your charcuterie organized,” Bissonnette said.
Meats: Saucission, Pate and Terrine, Rilletes, Chorizo, Ham, Jambon de Bayonne
Condiments: Sweet and sour celery, marinated mushrooms and a romesco mustard
Drink Pairings: An E. Guigal rosé, an unoaked white, such as E. Guigal’s Cotes du Rhone Blanc or a well-balanced red (E. Guigal’s Côtes du Rhone Rouge) all go well with the fat and salt flavors.

White Gold Butchers’ Charcuterie Board
The Upper West Side butcher shop likes to mix up a charcuterie board with three types of meat, one cheese and several different condiments.
Meats: Boudin Blanc, Duck rillette, Prosciutto
Cheese: Humboldt Fog
Condiments: Spicy grainy mustard, Giardiniera, toasted rye
Drink Pairings: Catskill Brewery Ball Lightning Pilsner