Oh, how I love steak. A good friend of the store Rob Firing recently released a cookbook all about steak, from how to source the best beef, to how to cook a perfect striploin. He asked me to write the forward, which of course I was happy to do, and while writing it I was reminded on how much I loved steak. It’s my death row meal, my desert island need, my Saturday night go-to. My two-year-old son has eaten more ribeye at his age than all of his cousins combined. And now, with the sun finally making an appearance outside, the time for al fresco dining is almost upon us. Nothing beats a steak dinner on the patio, with a bottle of good red wine, crusty bread, and a simple vinegary salad on the side.
I generally don’t sauce my steaks too often (the flavour of the beef is good enough), but I do find a good compound butter can complement almost any cut. Compound butters are basically just softened butter that is mixed with different herbs, spices, and other flavours, then kept chilled until it’s time to slice a piece off and top a hot steak. The butter will slowly melt over the cut, mixing with the steak juices on your plate, creating the perfect dipping sauce for your bread.
One of the most common compound butters is just made of shallots, thyme, and red wine. For my butter, I like to up the herb content and use tarragon, an herb that I find goes very well with beef (béarnaise anyone?).
Compound Butter for Steak
Yield: Enough butter for at least 4 steaks
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp tarragon, picked and chopped
1 tbsp parsley, cleaned and chopped
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and spoon the butter out in a cylindrical shape in the center of the plastic. Wrap the butter and roll it into a tube shape, twisting the ends. Refrigerate until needed. When your steak is finished, slice a good-sized round of the butter and lie it on top before serving, allowing the cold butter to melt onto the steak.