The popularity of artisanal charcuterie meats has exploded in Canada recently with double-digit sales growth, so just watch as your party guests line up to get a taste of your own, chef-guided charcuterie platter. These savoury plates make a perfect appetizer, finger food dish, or even a light meal.
But it is also important to combine the right accompaniments and wine with that platter. Chef D, television personality and the corporate chef for Piller’s Fine Foods (a Waterloo, Ontario company), recommends the following elements for the perfect charcuterie platter.
“Aged cheddars, three to seven years old, go well with salamis,” he explains, “as do triple cream brie and raw milk goat cheese. And one of my favourites is the Piller’s Charcuterie Westphalian Ham (one of three new, hand-crafted artisanal meats offered by the company), wrapped around parmesan cheese.”
In terms of breads to pair with the charcuterie meats, Chef D recommends using “whole wheat, seven-grain or sun dried tomato flat breads, or savoury crisps.”
He notes that locally made wines go particularly well with the artisanal meats, and that “chardonnays pair amazingly well because they are aged in oak and this brings out the smoky flavours of the meats.”
“For red wine, the light acid and peppery flavour of Pinot Noir pairs well with the savouriness of the meats, and for beer, pale ale is fantastic,” he enthuses.
Chef D also suggests adding some colour and flavour to the platter with red and green grapes, walnuts, tomato-chili or roasted red pepper spreads, and honey as an innovative garnish. One final suggestion is to serve the spread on a unique platter, and that charcuterie boards made from old wine barrels are a very nice touch. More information and recipe ideas are available online at pillers.com.
Just an Olde Fashioned Butchery Inc., Oakville, (905) 842-2000
Florence Meats, Oakville
Dietrich’s Meats, Oakville
Brant Street Butcher, Burlington (opening towards the end of November)
The Dutch Shop, Burlington
J & G Meats, Burlington