Sensational charcuterie

Let this delicious charcuterie board from Oak Valley inspire you to create your own

Next time you’re cruising through the Elgin Valley in the Western Cape, do yourself a favour, and drop in at Oak Valley ’s Pool Room. No, not a place to shoot pool, but rather to shoot the breeze. Find yourself a place, as we did, over-looking the crystal pool with a glass of the estate’s chardonnay while grazing on a charcuterie board.

This isn’t your average plate of charcuterie either… The bounty comes from the farm itself and all the meat is pasture-reared, free-range as well as hormone and antibiotic free. The charcuterie is made on-site with acorn-fed pork.

Do you want to create a beautiful charcuterie board at home? Here are the main elements that make for a delicious, balanced offering:

Texture and flavour: use a variety of cured meats and sausages of varying styles and flavour profiles. Try a selection of: Parma ham, mortadella, saucisson sec, salami, coppa and bresola.

Colour and freshness: Make your plate pop with shredded purple cabbage and carrots, green leaves and slivers of beetroot. The rich meat needs slices of freshness to wake your palate up.

Pickles: a match made in heaven with cured meat. Pickled vegetables are a must on a board. Try gherkins, pickled red onions, pickled olives and so on.

Pâté: also a form of charcuterie, make space for a country pâté or a luscious rillette too.

Bread: There’s no point in serving top-end cured meats with average bread. Think sourdough, ciabatta, and herbed focaccia.