Speedy sauces: How to make a compound butter for steak
A compound butter is a mixture of butter and other ingredients. You may be most familiar with the garlic and parsley butters found at many retailers, but it’s easy to make your own – and it allows you to experiment with a range of flavours and textures.
How to make a compound butter
First, you want to start with softened, unsalted butter, so leave your butter at room temperature until you can easily whip it with a fork. Unsalted butter gives you the freedom to adjust the seasoning based on your personal preference and what or how you plan to use the butter.
In the meantime, prepare your herbs, spices and other flavourings – finely chop your herbs and garlic, caramelise your onions, toast the spices.
Once the butter is soft, whip it with a fork or a hand blender for a super fluffy texture. Then mix in your flavourings. Make sure to taste and adjust as you go along.
Transfer your butter onto a piece of parchment paper or cling wrap. Form the butter into a log by rolling the parchment or cling wrap. Work slowly and evenly, using a scraper or spatula to scrape any stray bits of butter back into the log.
Once you have a neat log, twist or tie the edges of the parchment or cling wrap and refrigerate for around two hours – until you can evenly slice into it into rounds with a knife.
Slice your butter log and serve on top of a sizzling steak just before you serve. Not only does it look beautiful, but the butter will melt with the residual heat of the steak, forming the perfect buttery sauce!
Now that you know how easy it is to make your own compound butter at home, let’s look at some flavourings that are perfect with steak.
Perfect flavours for sizzling steak
Try these flavour combinations in your compound butter:
- If you like a bit of heat, try chopped green chillies, crushed garlic and finely chopped coriander or parsley for a hint of freshness. Or stir through some spicy harissa paste.
- For a Chinese twist, mix five-spice powder into your butter (or make your own by grinding together star anise, fennel seeds, cloves, whole cinnamon and Sichuan pepper).
- Play on the Argentinian classic steak sauce chimichurri by mixing chilli powder, paprika, crushed garlic, and finely chopped onion, parsley/coriander and oregano into your butter.
- Bay leaf always pairs well with beef, so try grinding dried bay leaf and black peppercorns together, then mixing it into the butter along with some finely chopped dill.