Beef? Good. Butter? Good. Beef Butter? Even better. —INGRAIN, Summer 2018
There was a time when good old-fashioned butter, thick and rich and worthy of slapping on anything, was appreciated as a topping for steak. Remember those herbed compound butters slathered on bistro steak frites? Consider this version with beef jus, reduced down to a skeleton of pure flavor, an all-beef homage to the bistro glory days (Belgian-style ale is a must).
Pairing With its tangy, sour goodness Halia (Goose Island), aged in wine barrels with fresh summer peaches, will provide the acidity needed to balance all those big, beefy butter and grilled steak flavors.
Makes 8 steak-worthy pats
3 cups (roughly) good-quality beef stock
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter (room temperature)
Parchment paper (or wax paper)
The beef stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook until broth has reduced to a few tablespoons (no need to measure). If the stock has evaporated almost completely, add another splash and reduce the liquid slightly again. Let cool until warm to the touch (if too hot, it will melt the butter).
Softened butter into the cooled broth by hand or in a stand mixer until fully incorporated. Place beef butter in the middle of a sheet of parchment or wax paper and use the paper to shape the butter into a log. Twist together the ends of the paper and refrigerate until firm. Refrigerate butter for up to 1 week. To serve, slice butter into rounds and place on top of sizzling hot steaks.
Make sure the butter is truly at room temperature and very soft so the stock fully incorporates. Melting the butter might sound like a good alternative. It’s not. (The fat in the butter and water in the stock create the classic “oil and water do not mix” problem.) Order bones from the butcher and make a really good beef stock, or buy the good stuff. Anything labeled bone broth and sold fresh or frozen should do the trick. Enjoy the rare moment when the culinary desires of health fanatics and flavor purists collide.