Pure Charcuterie: A venerable culinary practice for the holiday season


It may take a certain technique to build a beautiful charcuterie board, but it takes even more precision, care, and patience to produce the luscious meats on display. PURE CHARCUTERIE: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home by Meredith Leigh is an accessible, visual guide that walks the reader through the technical process of making charcuterie, covering everything from ingredient sourcing to slicing and storing meats, as well as recipes like Black Pepper Culatello and Buttermilk Boudin Blanc.

Charcuterie is an age-old culinary art that arose from the need for preservation in a time when cooking and refrigeration were not always available. Today, it is an embodiment of art in the kitchen, combining meticulousness, balance, patience, and creativity. PURE CHARCUTERIE explores many facets of producing charcuterie from scratch: readers will encounter primers on sasauge, suspension, fermentation, and whole muscle curing, as well as a guide to equipment and supplies and how to build a smoker at home.

Important to Meredith’s core values and life’s work, PURE CHARCUTERIE also speaks to a sustainable way to preserve highly valuable food.  It serves as the perfect companion to Meredith’s first book, The Ethical Meat Handbook: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie & Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore.


On left, Buttermilk Boudin Blanc . Right, Salami.

The analogies drawn between art and food, along with creative and accessible photographic discussions of charcuterie methods, make this book an essential primer on the basics of charcuterie: the mystery, the science, the art, and the technique.


  • Sourcing ingredients
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Creative recipes balancing tradition and invention that include Pickled Ginger Miso, Mortadella, Pork Confit, and Calabrese-Style Salami with Vanilla & Lardo
  • Smoking meats and building your own smoker
  • Slicing and storage of meats

Meredith Leigh, who was a vegetarian for nine years and a vegan for two, believes in the connection between consumers and their world via foodShe is a food and farming specialist who has worked as a butcher, chef, teacher, and homesteader, all in search of realistic solutions for sustainable food. She is the author of The Ethical Meat Handbook: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie & Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore (New Society Publishers, 2015). Meredith has developed a farmer co-op, managed a butcher shop, and founded non-profit ventures. She is committed to real food as a means to connect with people, animals, and plants.

PURE CHARCUTERIE: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home (Urban Homesteader Hacks Series) is published by New Society Publishers, The 160 page book is in full color and retails for #29.99.

Learn more about the book by visiting: http://www.mereleighfood.com/books/pure-charcuterie-pre-purchase



About Author

Christine Anne Piesyk has been a journalist for more than 50 years. Her credits include positions as Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Staff Writer specializing in education, leisure living, food and arts and entertainment. She was co-producer, writer and on air persona for the Entertainment Review for 25 years. Now "retired," she finds herself working on online websites and as a book editor. In her other life, she is a costume designer in her daughter's company, Gemini Dream Designs.

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