Though it’s often associated with rustic French farmhouse cuisine, charcuterie has recently caught the attention of the most high-minded New York chefs. In 2007, when Daniel Boulud opened Bar Boulud, it became the first stateside source for sausages, pâtés, and terrines from the celebrated Parisian charcutier Gilles Verot. And last November, the family behind Parmacotto, an Italian prosciutto producer, debuted Salumeria Rosi, helmed by Cesare Casella (late of Beppe and Maremma) and offering 27 kinds of cured, smoked, and roasted meats. This spring Robert Hellen, the meat-mad executive chef at the Belgian joint Resto, introduced a series of Large Format Feasts—nose-to-tail-style dinners that make even better use of the whole hog than the charcuterie plate on his regular menu. Such plates feature prominently at some of the most talked about new restaurants in town: Terrance Brennan’s Bar Artisanal, Tony May’s SD26, the reincarnation of Charlie Palmer’s Aureole, and Boulud’s latest spot, DBGB Kitchen and Bar, whose entire raison d’être is sausage. We got up close and personal with the plate from Alain Ducasse’s 18-month-old bistro, Benoit, to see just how it all comes together. (It’s $42, by the way, and easily serves three.)
Condiments and Salads
To accompany the charcuterie, Ducasse serves Dijon mustard and baby cornichons from the brands Maille and St. Luc, respectively. It also comes with American fingerling potato salad with croutons and Le Puy lentils slowly cooked with onion, celery, and carrots, and dressed with Delouis sherry vinegar.
House-made from free-range Iowa pork butt sourced from the New York butcher DeBragga and Spitler, the rillettes are oven-braised for two to three hours, then shredded. To finish, pork fat is added and the mixture is pressed into a terrine, then chilled in a refrigerator.
Made using an 1892 recipe by Lucien Tendret, a French lawyer and gastronome, the pâté en croûte is produced in-house from a mixture of ground milk-fed veal shoulder, Iowa-raised pork loin, French Label Rouge chicken, and pork fat (all from DeBragga and Spitler), plus pistachios and Moulard duck foie gras, from Marieville, Canada, produced by La Ferme Palmex. It’s all hand-seasoned and baked in a pastry shell for an hour and 15 minutes. A sauce made from Christian Brothers Ruby Port is then added and chilled until it becomes a gelée. The chicken-liver pâté is made similarly but with much more chicken.
Veal Tongue and Foie Gras
Prepared Lucullus-style (named for the Roman general famous for his extravagant feasts), slices of veal tongue from Benoit executive chef Pierre Schaedelin’s favorite New York butcher, Schaller & Weber, are simmered in vegetable stock for two hours, then layered with foie gras marinated in Cossart Gordon Rainwater Madeira, Christian Brothers Ruby Port, and Rodell Napoleon Brandy VSOP.
Pot de la Boulangere
For this delicacy, La Ferme Palmex foie gras, Iowa pork shank from DeBragga and Spitler, and chopped onions are slowly braised in duck fat from D’Artagnan. The mixture is cooled in a glass jar and served cold.
These include jambon de Paris, house-made from Schaller & Weber pork legs that are salted for three weeks and then slow-poached for 48 hours; prosciutto di Parma, from Italy, aged for a minimum of two years and sourced through Salumeria Biellese in Manhattan; and saucisson sec (a type of dry-cured sausage), sold at Salumeria Biellese and produced in the French Basque Country.
Aureole, 135 W. 42nd St.; 212-319-1660; charliepalmer.com. Bar Boulud, 1900 Broadway; 212-595-0303; barboulud.com. Benoit, 60 W. 55th St.; 646-943-7373; benoitny.com. DBGB Kitchen and Bar, 299 Bowery; 212-933-5300; danielnyc.com. Resto, 111 E. 29th St.; 212-685-5585; restonyc.com. Salumeria Rosi, 283 Amsterdam Ave.; 212-877-4800; salumeriarosi.com. SD26, 19 E. 26th St.; 212-265-5959; sd26ny.com.