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Celebrate with Charcuterie

Before I discovered Charcuterie, a French word pronounced  (shahr-cute-uh-ree).  meaning smoked, dry-cured or cooked meats., I served many a cheese and cracker tray that in retrospect looked drab and tasted ordinary.  Then after  seeing Lisa, a food-stylist,  fine cook, and neighbor, build masterful Charcuterie Boards, my idea of an Hors d’ oeuvre Tray quickly evolved. Her Boards glowed and shimmered like  Cezanne’ paintings with layers of color plus salty, sweet, sour, smoky flavors.  And most important, with the Charcuterie board within easy reach, we lingered longer to tell our stories by the Board of Plenty.

Lisa Building a Charcuterie Board

Fun for all and inspired by thin slices of salami and summer sausage and black olives and pickled beets and cheeses soft and hard, bread sticks, salty nuts, carrot sticks, piles of strawberries, and more!


Read on to see how easy it is to make an impressive Charcuterie Board.


Begin by setting the stage for your  Charcuterie and think handmade and of natural materials.  Get creative by choosing a plank of wood, hand thrown pottery plate, a tile of slate or include the option of your scarred and soulful cutting board or grandmother’s bread baking board.


A Slate Charcuterie Tray

In your prep place, set out a range of charcuterie. Choose cured meats that represent various styles and textures: smoked and meaty, dry-cured and firm, such as; salami,  summer sausage, thin slices of ham and smoked turkey, smoked wild goose or duck, venison sausage, maybe a  liver pate’.

For me, Charcuterie Boards express the terra on which I live, and I search for meats and other foods that are grown, hunted, dried, smoked, packaged nearby.

Charcuterie can be a Continental experience.  Meat Companies in my region of Nebraska make sausages from recipes that traveled to America with new settlers from Germany, Sweden, Mexico, Central America and other countries too.  Salami, summer sausages, dried and smoked meats, venison sausages, smoked goose and duck breast plus ham and smoked turkey are all available in our rural Nebraska meat markets.

With Spicy Beer Mustard as the centerpiece of your Board, zip and flavor are guaranteed.

Meat selections come first then get creative with color, shapes, textures and tastes.

Maybe you can find a cheese maker in your region, or visit your local grocery or cheese shop and select about 1 or 2 oz per person.   Look for hard and soft cheeses from mellow to sharp.  Cheeses are easiest to eat when already cubed or sliced.

My recipe for Charcuterie Cheese Ball, a simple, colorful and good-to-eat cheese ball.

Dried Beef and Spicy Beer Mustard Cheese Ball





Spicy Beer Mustard and Dried Beef Cheese Ball

Creamy, photogenic and real food!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings 6



8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature

2 tsp. Spicy Beer Mustard

1/3 cup shredded slices of dried beef


Shred the dried beef in a food processor or by hand with a French Chef knife

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate until firm (20 minutes)

Form into 2 balls, cover and refrigerate.

Serve on the Charcuterie Board at room temperature.


The board should look full, don’t be afraid to pile and stack them while thinking about varying the different items throughout.

Vegetables:  Vary heights:  consider adding tall slender carrot sticks, cucumber or celery sticks or bread sticks in a translucent glass jar for interest and crunch


Bread and Crackers: Again variety is key, include buttery flaky crackers, whole grain crackers and thinly sliced and toasted baguettes.


Express yourself and your terra and feel amazed at the shine and beauty and flavor of your Charcuterie Board.  Cheers!


Purchase Spicy Beer Mustard at – grocery and gourmet, then search for Spicy Beer Mustard – 6 pack and Spicy Beer Mustard 2 Pack

Spicy Beer Mustard 6 Pack