If you want to avoid producing a Béarnaise sauce to serve with your perfect steak, you can serve it simply with a herb butter, and the same goes for other meats as well as fish and seafood.

You simply bring your butter to room temperature. I always keep mine at room temperature anyway, otherwise it’s a nightmare to spread. Use unsalted butter if possible – but then you must add in some smoked sea salt first. Then you beat in all the ingredients and  form and freeze (or keep in the fridge) it. Just dig out with a spoon as and when you need it.

Here are some flavours and suggestions of what goes with what. One brick of butter (250g/8 oz) is enough for about ten people:

 

Herb butter – a traditional accompaniment to steak, or with snails

For this you really are better off using unsalted butter because you will get more flavour out of the clove of garlic if you crush it under the flat of a big kitchen knife with some smoked salt.

  • 1 brick of butter
  • Zest of a small lemon
  • 5 cloves of garlic, ground with
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • Few grinds of Indonesian long black pepper
  • Six tablespoons of a mix of two or three herbs – tarragon and sage is rather nice

 

Blue cheese butter – good with pork, or on its own on toast

Follow this link for some information about Irish blue cheeses. Blue cheese and walnut butter is also very good with steak. Goats’ cheese butter is also good – especially with finely chopped pistachios.

  • 1 brick of butter
  • ⅔ cup/80g crumbled blue cheese
  • couple of tablespoons of chopped sage

 

Red butter  – with chicken

  • 1 brick of butter
  • a roasted red pepper from the deli
  • three teaspoon of sweet, smoked paprika
  • a few grinds of Indonesian long black pepper
  • the leaves taken off a small bunch of thyme

 

Prawn butter

You might not want to make this in quite such large quantities. Simply take a 150g pack of shelled prawns, chopped small. Mix with about 50g (a fifth of a brick) of butter, and some ground pepper and a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice. Garnish with lemon zest and a whole prawn. Serve with warm, crusty bread and pea soup.

prawn butter recipe

serve the prawn butter with a creamy pea soup, dashed with pomegranate molasses

Mediterranean basil butter – add to pasta or risotto

  • 1 brick of butter
  • about eight tablespoons of finely grated parmesan
  • shredded leaves of a small bunch of basil
  • two tablespoons of sundried tomato paste

 

Anchovy butter – on omelettes

  • 1 x brick of butter
  • A couple of tablespoons of Patum Peperium
  • A tablespoon of furkake
  • 2 teaspoons of good quality soy sauce

 

Lime butter – especially good with fish

  • 1 brick of butter
  • Zest of two limes
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried chillies
  • Small bunch chopped coriander

 

Horseradish butter – good with salmon or roast beef

  • 1 brick of butter
  • A bunch of chopped chives
  • 4 tablespoons of creamed horseradish
  • About twenty grinds of Indonesian long black pepper

 

Mushroom butter – good on mussels

NB because you haven’t cooked the mushrooms first this butter should be cooked along with whatever it accompanies. It will not keep more than a few days in the fridge.

  • 1 brick of butter
  • Small bunch of chopped parsley
  • 100g/4 oz chopped mushrooms
  • 80g/3 oz (this is a typical small pack) of Parma ham
  • 6 cloves of garlic – minced as described above – with the smoked salt
  • 20 grinds of Indonesian long black pepper

 

Chive butter – good with smoked eel

  • zest of a lemon
  • 100g/4 oz butter
  • 4 tbsp/25g/1 oz chopped chives
  • few drops of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

 

Wasabi butter – great with steak – and wasabi aïoli

  • 1 brick  of butter, softened
  • 5 teaspoons of freshly grated wasabi

 

Za’atar butter – also good with steak and a watercress and spring onion salad with a lime juice based dressing

  • zest of a lime
  • 100g/4 oz butter
  • 1 tsp lime zest (zest of one lime – use the juice for the dressing)
  • smoked salt and Kampot pepper if you have it

 

Parsley and caper butter – excellent with white fish

  • 100g/4 oz butter
  • 2 tbsps chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed thoroughly if in brine (you could soak in milk and then rinse to get the vinegary taste away, capers should really taste a little sweet), dried and chopped.

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