Cheeseboards are now a staple of the Brennan’s Bar night and in this post, we will be teaching you how to make your very own with style, taste, and variety!
Step 1: Choose your board
First, you must choose what you will be serving on. While a plate is all well and good for a quick cheese binge, to really show class go a step further, and it really makes the difference! For this area you really have 3 main choices:
Slate Board – A slate board is a very stylish choice and definitely looks the part for a suave clean looking board to start with but the downside is the cleanup! If you will be following this guide to it’s full (which we recommend) you will be using a soft cheese and you must remember that slate boards are full of bumps and uneven grooves, this makes them difficult to clean.
Wooden Charcuterie Board
This is basically a cutting board with a handle and is a very solid choice for your board, it allows you to carry the board easily and usually has a lot of space to fit everything on, the handle also adds a slight quirky aspect to you board rather than a plain board.
Olive Wood Style Board
This boards are a personal favorite of mine and provide enough space to fit everything on, the wood has a texture and is smooth which adds interest while also not being plain, although the downside is that they can be expensive to get genuine olive wood and can be small from most stores, more of a one or two person cheese board option
Step 2 – A soft cheese
Now we can start by adding the first of the cheese, I would start with the soft cheese as it can be messy and difficult to measure size so get it out of the way first to make sure you have the space to fit it on the board. Our choice for soft cheese is Brie as it is a common favorite although some other options include Mozzarella or a Cream Cheese.
Step 3 – Semi-Soft
Now we will be slowly making up the cheese in order of how hard they are just to keep track and make sure we don’t miss anything. Our choice of semi soft is Blue Stilton to get our blue cheese out of the way, other options include Gouda, Roquefort, and Gorgonzola to name a few favorites.
Step 4 – Smoked Cheese
As smoked cheese comes in a number of varieties of hardness we choose this next. Our choice for this is an Oak Smoked Cheddar or an Austrian Smoked Soft Cheese for a different texture, Apple Smoked is another very good choice.
Step 5 – Hard Cheese
The hard cheese is always a personal choice, our boards currently hold 2 different varieties of hard cheese, Red Leicester, and bold cheddar as they are all round favorites from the feedback we have received. Other options for this cheese include Pecorino, which while difficult to get a hold of, is amazing, another option could be Parmigiano -Reggiano for a different flavor altogether.
Step 6 – Meats
While this step can be missed for vegetarians we would not recommend it as nothing goes better with a good cheese than some good Italian meats! we would suggest a selection of Italian meats and figuring out for your self what goes well together. Some good bases are Chorizo for a spice, well-salted Salami (try adding extra salt your self if not salty enough when store-bought), and finally Prosciutto for a well-varied choice.
Step 7 – Crackers
This is usually entirely based on personal opinion so think if you were to buy a selection box of crackers which would you go for first? then buy the best versions of those you can! For a twist, we suggest you to try adding some fresh bread in there, homemade is amazing but fresh bread from a bakery is fine too! Although for a good rule of thumb we would always include cream crackers as they are plain and enjoyed by most, therefore, you can’t go wrong.
Step 8 – Chutney
If you are not a chutney fan of course skip this step but if you want a fruity or fresh kick stick around! A good way of choosing your chutney is going for whatever is fresh or in season to make sure you get the best flavor possible. Although if you are craving plum chutney at any time just go for it!
Step 9- Dress it up
The key to the best-looking cheeseboard is making it look full, if you have got this far and realised that you have a load of space left on your board then fill it all up, an easy way to do this is to spread a few grapes around as not only do they add some more colour and take up a lot of space, they also go great with cheese, of course depending on the season you may want to add other fruit such as some berries. If you are all graped out and still looking to fill it up try some green leaves or for a step further why not some breadsticks laid down on in a small jar. Play with it, make it yours!
And then you are all done, of course, you can add a whole lot more kinds of cheese, fruit and more but this is a very solid guide to stick by. And remember if you want to try a cheeseboard by us made using our very own rules it is only £5.50 for a one person board or £15.00 for a 2 person board including 2 glasses of wine (or a half pint from our taps if a wine isn’t your style)
Send us some pictures of cheeseboards you have made using our guide and we may feature them on our social media!
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- Owain Brennan