As many of you may have noticed, I am not the biggest meat lover out there. Which is kind of ironic, considering our whole beef jerky venture (find out more here). I’m not labeled vegan or vegetarian, but meat just isn’t my thing, it never has been. I rarely crave it, I don’t really care to handle it and there are always other options that I prefer. However, when it comes to certain combinations and dishes, I will not turn away. Especially if it’s of high quality and beautifully displayed. 🙂
Admittedly, I don’t have a knack with pulling together a beautiful platter full of meats. I do an okay job, but I definitely overthink it. Give me cheese, antipasto, nuts, fruit, and I can pull off a killer board! But mainly meats – I just don’t have the jazz and often hand this one over when I can.
With that being said, my wonderful friend Cyrus Cooper has the magic touch and easily throws together the best of the best in minutes. So I easily had him throw together his dish on how to get that beautiful looking spread. Prepared to be inspired. Here’s his dish:
Its not just cured, smoked or dried meat. Its art.
It takes time, patience and love to prepare correctly. It must be handled well, sliced to the correct thickness and enjoyed with the best and most simple ingredients.
In this case we used proscuitto, salami, soppressata, bresaola and a side of beef jerky. When preparing this dish its of utmost importance that you have a nice thick wooded board to place the ingredients on, a large cutting board will do.
First, lay out all your meats, cheeses, spreads, nuts, olives etc on the counter. Ensure you board is clean. And then.. the secret… Don’t over think it. Let your hands guide you and the creativity will ooooze.
Work in a vertical method and try to mix the levels of flavours so there is a balance. For example put the olives closer to the spicier meats and be sure to have a sharp cheese, a soft cheese. Mix in variety but don’t overdo it.
Remember, if you make a mistake, don’t worry, only you will know. Have fun and pick one or two simple garnishes to place on top. This time around we used fresh aromatic herbs from the garden which added a sweet pop of colour.
The key is transport yourself to Italy and let your hands do the work.
Buon Appetito! xx