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As much as I love Columbia, there are so many things I miss about living in the South. Probably 85% of the things involve food, though. Southern food is just plain good. It’s also what I grew up eating, so it brings back memories of family and childhood and all that good stuff, too. Country fried steak and pimento cheese are the things I crave the most, so I thought it’d be fun to partner with the Missouri Beef Industry Council and create an all-beef, southern-inspired beef charcuterie board for Game Day! It was a huge hit, and it’s inspired me to create more themed platter and boards for the holidays, too. Keep reading for details on my southern-inspired beef charcuterie board, plus some background info on what a charcuterie board actually is and how to choose the right meats for it!
What’s a charcuterie board?
First thing’s first– what’s a charcuterie board? Truthfully, the word charcuterie (pronounced shar-cue-ter-ee) has gotten lost in translation a bit. A lot of times you’ll see crudites, snack platters, and cheese boards labeled as such, but there’s one major distinction– true charcuterie boards include one non-negotiable element: cold cooked meats. In fact, charcuterie is a French term that essentially translates to cooked meat. So, if you want to create an authentic charcuterie board, you’ll need to add in one to three different cured meats.
You may be thinking– well, that just sounds like an antipasti platter. If you are, you aren’t wrong. Antipasti platters and charcuterie boards are super similar. The primary distinction between the two, though, is that one is Italian and one is French. Also, believe it or not, the charcuterie traditionally doesn’t include cheese, whereas the antipasti is known for its colorful variety of veggies, meats, and cheeses.
What are the best meats for a charcuterie board?
The best meats for a charcuterie board are dependent on a variety of factors. Honestly, it’s mostly a matter of theme and personal preference. Five of the most popular charcuterie meats, though, are soppressata, calabrese, prosciutto, mortadella, and salami. For this particular board, I decided to include cured beef only, primarily because most of my favorite southern dishes are made of beef. Also, it’s just such a great source of essential nutrients, specifically protein. If you haven’t tried cured beef before, I highly recommend it! It’s a little more difficult to find (I ordered mine from a local butchery), but it’s honestly the best-tasting charcuterie meat I’ve ever tasted.
Missouri actually ranks third in the nation in cattle production, so we have access to some of the best beef around. Upon the recommendation of the butcher, I opted for wagyu pepperoni, wagyu sanguinaccio, and smoked wagyu cecina for my board. I wanted bresaola, too, but they didn’t have any on the menu. The butcher didn’t steer me wrong, though– all three were delicious!
If you’re unable to find any of the above, roast beef, corned beef, and beef jerky are just a few alternatives that you can find pretty much anywhere. You can also go “full southern” and throw on some smoked brisket, too!
Southern-Inspired Beef Charcuterie Board
All the things I loved about growing up in the South came together on this beef charcuterie board. Here’s everything I used to make it–
- Cured beef– One to two cured meats is the standard, but since cured beef is more of a specialty meat, I bumped it up to three for this project. Upon the recommendation of the butcher, I went with wagyu beef pepperoni, wagyu beef sanguinaccio, and smoked wagyu beef cecina, all of which were amazing and a big hit with everyone.
- Brie with strawberry peach jam– Dressing up a wheel of brie is one of my favorite charcuterie board hacks. Not only is it pretty, but it’s also delicious. To give it a southern touch, I topped the brie with the ultimate southern fruit spread– strawberry peach jam. I also added on a few pecans and some smaller magnolia leaves for garnish!
- Warm pimento cheese dip– Is there anything more southern than a warm pimento cheese dip? This recipe is super simple and can be served hot or cold!
- Crackers– Similarly to cheese, it’s a good idea to vary taste and texture in crackers and breads, I like to include at least two varieties to compliment the different meats and cheeses.
- Fresh fruits– When I think of the South, I think of peaches, oranges, and berries. For extra color, I also threw on some red grapes and dried apricots.
- Raw honeycomb– Raw honeycomb is both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Kyle and I stock up every time we’re in Savannah. It can be quite messy, though, so I recommend serving yours in a small dish or ramekin with one of these cute little honey dippers.
- Pecans– I mean, you can’t call it a southern-inspired charcuterie board without pecans. I added a few on top of the brie!
- Magnolia leaves– Since magnolias are essentially synonymous with the South, I figured vibrant magnolia leaves would be the perfect final touch.
I like my platters and boards to have color schemes, so I did end up leaving some of my favorite snacks off the board. Other southern-inspired charcuterie board ideas are fresh figs, apples, blackberries, pralines, and strawberries. Popular snacks like fried okra or pickles, boiled peanuts, and pork rinds are always crowd-pleasers, too. Anything goes with charcuterie boards, so get creative!
Thanks so much for reading, y’all! For more charcuterie board inspiration, check out these tips for building the perfect charcuterie board. Also, visit Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner for more delicious beef dishes. They seriously have the most amazing collection of recipes!
This post is sponsored by the Missouri Beef Industry Council. Follow along with them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for updates on Missouri beef and related topics! As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the businesses and brands that make Diary of a Debutante possible!