Salty, savory and always a delight. These melt in your mouth favorites cured meats make your charcuterie platter the best. Break out the fancy cheese, artisan crackers and your favorite cheese board. These are some knock out delicacies that truly speak for themselves. Today we’ll dive into a primer of all things cured meats. There’s no limit to what you can put on a charcuterie. We wanted to provide a bunch of meats you may not know. That being said, there’s nothing common, simple, or basic about these world class snacks.
Related: These are our absolute favorite charcuterie accessories for making the perfect platter!
Some of the Best Cured Meats for Your Charcuterie Platter
Curing foods is a method of preparation that typically uses salt to remove moisture. Over time, the dried meat safe to eat without using traditional cooking methods. Your next cheese and wine soiree is begging for these personal favorite salted savories. The curing process brings out the best of the meat’s cut, celebrates its cultural heritage, and gives the diner something more to appreciate. Read on for best cured meats for your charcuterie platter!
A well-loved Italian cured ham slice, this paper-thin melt in your mouth delicacy is a definite favorite. It’s uncooked, cured usually with salt and is a mainstay on charcuterie platters the world over. Its mild and sometimes sweet flavor is a great way to introduce your friends to something new. Serve wrapped around grissini for an italian favorite.
Speck is also derived from pig leg, air dried with salt it’s closer to bacon as a cut than Prosciutto. Think ‘fancy charcuterie bacon’ it has a great role to serve as a wonderful accompaniment to any of your favorite cheeses. This smoked beauty is available almost anywhere there’s a decent deli.
Iberico is all about the pig, hailing from the iberian peninsula this cured ham can be made only from black iberian hogs. Living a life of luxury, these pigs are fed well with top shelf ingredients and pampering that some believe lends to the incredible flavor of this high class favorite. Smooth and savory, with lots of gorgeously marbled fat this is a must try.
Chorizo is a type of sausage that is cured, smoked and sometimes fermented. Those not cured of course could require cooking, we’re referring to the cured variety. Spanish chorizo is generally spicier than other cured meats that are comparable in taste and preparation. It’s made with lightly processed pork and pork fat, which are rendered into a tube and cured. Salt, fat and spicy smoked paprikas give the meat it’s signature red profile. Its spicier and deeper flavor may compliment more flavorful cheeses, red wine would also pair well.
And not from the gas station, please. This universally acclaimed cured meat has unlimited potential, and has met great fame as a topping. Everyone underestimates pepperoni’s value as a charcuterie meat. The tubular meat comprises cured pork and chilies. Pepperoni impresses in everything from chef’s salads to the most gorgeous of charcuteries.
As you can tell by now: Pork lovers love cured meat. Speaking of which, they’ll especially love Lardo. Lardo uses pork belly fat strips. Cured uses salt and herbs rendering a highly enjoyable cured meat.
Usually sliced paper-thin for maximum enjoyment, this lovely cut comes from pork shoulder. Capocollo comes prepared mild or salty. Somewhat lean by comparison, it provides a slightly different texture than a chorizo or pepperoni, for example. Pair with provolone for a tasty italian treat.
Sharing the same cut of pork as bacon, Pancetta is shall we say, the more cultured and affluent cousin. When they try pancetta, bacon lovers convert. Pancetta boasts the same fatty goodness but with less grease and more flavor. *Do not confuse this with the raw, often minced, pieces of seasoned bacon you might find in the refrigerated section, cook that one first!*
From top round beef, roast beef fans love this classic cold cut. With a long curing process that renders a tender and sweet slice, this alpine delicacy is one for the history books. Pair with a firm parmesan and a dry sparkling brut!
Similar to salami, soppressata is a similar type of cured meat. Sliced, it tends to be somewhat harder of a product post curing. With a deep savory flavor, herbs and spices make this one a must-try. It will compliment stronger cheeses, and flavorful reds.
Try Something New!
These cured meats are a great way to break into a new taste. Adding these to your platter are a great way to get your guests excited and keep the wine flowing. Grab some of these cured meats before making your next charcuterie platter. They bring much-needed, deep salty and exotic flavors! The wide variety of flavors that can accompany your favorite artisan treats are nearly endless. From the spicy, to the salty, fermented and not to mention the textures and cuts that can enhance your wine tasting experience beyond belief! Get ready to show off your new-found charcuterie mastery! Discover new pairings, flavors and create the ultimate snack lover’s dream.