The jambon beurre is not really a recipe. Rather, it is an assemblage of ingredients whereby quality of every component is the key to success. Originating on the construction sites of 19th Century Paris, the jambon beurre calls for a fresh baguette that is soft on the inside and crusty on the outside. Good-quality ham from the thigh of the pig is essential, and the whole thing is moistened with the addition of a thick slaver of salted farmhouse butter on both halves of the bread – you cannot underestimate the importance of the quality of that butter. Pickles are commonly added for zip.
When Michel Roux Jnr took Fred Siriex to Paris to show him the best eateries in town for the BBC2 TV series Remarkable Places to Eat, one of the selections was Le Jambon Beurre on Rue Saint Honoré in the 1st arrondissement. The genesis of this shop lay with two friends, Stéphane Pinloche and Rodolphe Constans-Gavarry, who ditched banking jobs to set out to make the best jambon beurre in all the world. It seems they succeeded, as double-Michelin-starred chef Michel saw fit to take his friend and former employee Siriex there to showcase the best of Paris – and Siriex is also French.
Sadly, Le Jambon Beurre on Rue Saint Honoré has now closed. Website The Paris Shortlist has made a recent list of the best sandwich shops in Paris, all of which will do you a bloody good jambon beurre.
- Half a baguette
- Salted butter
- Sliced ham
Split the baguette. Spread with enough butter to kill you. Fill with ham. Scoff.