Jambonette is a meat dish in which the meat may be hashed and molded into various shapes for presentation. The name comes from traditional French cooking, and many culinary experts identify this dish as classically French in origin. Jambonette may use chicken or some other meat, although pork remains the most traditional choice for this dish.
Cooks who make jambonette will generally need to break down the meat from its original form and make it into a semi-ground consistency that can be molded. Various types of meat that are often used include pork belly, bacon, and other pork cuts, as well as chicken parts. Cooks will cut the meat into manageable pieces before mixing it or otherwise blending it into a sausage-like consistency.
Before cooking the jambonette, a cook will often add different ingredients to the mix. These include simple spices and flavorings like salt and pepper. Garlic or onions may also be added. It’s up to the cook to think about what’s best to include in a jambonette meat mix where many different options will provide widely variant flavor profiles and final results.
After the meat is properly mixed, the cook will find a way to mold it into a particular shape. For chicken-based jambonette, the cook may actually form the meat into the shape of chicken pieces, or into a simple medallion or other shapes. Traditional recipes for jambonette show pork products being molded into a pear shape, although a medallion or other similar shape will provide an effective presentation. These shapes are often reinforced with tin foil or some other material to help them last after cooking.
Once the meat has been molded into the desired shape, it is then cooked according to specific recipes. Cooking the meat just the right time, and at just the right temperature, is critically important to prevent problems with final texture of the end-product. Cooks need to evaluate the overall fat content of the meat, noting whether pure fat, or various fatty parts of the animal, have been included in the mix.
In its final presentation, jambonette may be garnished in different ways. Some dishes are topped or layered with a thin sauce, which sometimes includes the stock of the meat. Some dishes may use greens or vegetables for an additional garnish, to add shape, color, and flavor. As this food is often part of a gourmet meal, the plate that it is presented on will not usually include a great deal of food. This is generally a very rich food that is often served in quite small portions.