Picnic Essential: Cold Meats

Perfect for summer sandwiches…


It’s been threatening to happen for a while now, and finally, this weekend, it did. The sun came out. Actually came out, not just for a few seconds, but for most of the weekend. Of course, this is all news to you, because you can’t remember. Like everyone else, the minute you saw it, you immediately leapt from your house and began running around hysterically searching for cold beers. You might even have grabbed a handy set of shades so that you could pretend to study the horizon, whilst deftly straining your eyes to take in the cleavage at nine o’clock. You’re a clever so-and-so. But also a stupid one. You got so wasted that you missed at least two fantastic picnic opportunities. It’s not your fault, you just got a little bit carried away. We forgive you. But, from now on, silence your haste, and take a few moments before you go dashing wildly into the streets. Pack a hamper.

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As ever, we will be saluting picnic season – our favourite culinary movement – by throwing open our incredible outdoor cook book and selecting treats and recipes that even the most vomit stained tramp could put together in a neat and tidy fashion. Today, cold meats…

Every picnic needs a clever variety of meats. The posher types might pack an entire corn fed chicken, and some rare roast beef. But for most of us, the cold meats will come in small skinny packets picked up in a hurry from Sainsburys. Hence, you need to know what to throw into the hamper. Here’s what we suggest:

1. Chorizo – In Italy, men eat these straight from the sausage, using a knife and not once breaking eye contact. Here, you should buy it in a pre-sliced packet, as knives and parks tend to spell trouble these days. A strong, well-flavoured meat, this isn’t for the faint hearted or elderly.

2. Breaded Ham – The traditional choice, the added breadedness makes it seem more classy than the non-breadcrumbed stuff. This goes excellently in a baguette with a cheese and coleslaw accompaniment.

3. Salami – Besides at picnics, very few people ever enjoy salami sandwiches, even though they’re fantastic. Hence, take the opportunity with both hands, and splash out on plenty of the cheap Danish stuff. Not to be confused with German sausage, which is absolutely vile.

4. Pastrami – Should you be looking to impress your pals with salted and spiced meats, this is one of the best.

And, there you go, a selection of tasty meats to go with your breads and cheeses. No cookery required.

Next time: How to make the perfect drumsticks…

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