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Meat Pie Magic With St. James Cheese Co.'s Jess DeVay

If you've ever seen St. James Cheese Company during a lunch rush then you know that their tiny kitchen is often put to the test during the onslaught, turning out sandwiches, specials, cheese boards and also a few meaty gems, including the charcuterie and Ploughman's Lunch. Not only is Jessica DeVay the diligent lady who manages the behind the scenes kitchen action, she's also the one to thank for the signature housemade pork pie (found on the Plough), and the pates and duck pastrami (found on the charc). Here now, a quick look at the meat pie magic.

What's on the board?

We have a duck pate that I make in house. This one is duck and pork wrapped in bacon, marinated in port wine with pistachios. Sometimes I put cherries in it too. Duck pastrami and a mini pork pie. I make both in house.

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What's your favorite meat on the board?

I'd have to say it's the duck and pork pate. It's a recipe that I've been working on and tweaking for a long time, so I feel like I own it, you know? I'm pretty proud of the way it came out. It's the perfect balance of flavors, It's smoky. I prefer pate de campagna because they're not too livery.

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How did you learn to make charcuterie and sausage?

I started off working at St. James with [Chopped winner] Andy Scurlock. He was the manager here, and after about a year or so I was looking to branch out. He taught me everything I know about meat pies, pates, pastrami, all kinds of stuff.

What would you suggest pairing with this charcuterie board drink wise?

I would suggest a really delicious, well-balanced beer, or a malty beer. Nola Brown would go really well with it. Or we have London Pride. It's a British beer and it pairs well with the pork pie. I put a little bit of Cheshire on the bottom of this one. It's a pork Cheshire pie, and it pairs really well with the London Pride, very British pairing. The duck pastrami and pate, I found, pairs really well with a crispy, dry Rosé.

Who else in town is honoring charcuterie and sausage traditions?

Toups Meatery. I go there a lot. They have really good pates, sausages, and boudin that they make. Crescent Pie & Sausage. Cleaver & Co: I get a lot of ingredients from them. Livers and lard and fat back. They're really great.

· The Five Days of Meat 2014 [-ENOLA-]

St. James Cheese Company

5004 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 504 899 4737 Visit Website