If you’ve ever watched a cooking competition show or the Food Network, you’ve probably heard of compound butter. You may have wondered exactly what compound butter is, and how to make and use it in your kitchen. We think it’s one of the simplest ways to take your recipes up a notch, so our Epicurean Butter chefs have compiled everything you need to know to take your at-home steak to restaurant levels.
What Is Compound Butter?
Compound butter, or flavored butter, as we call it, is just butter mixed with other sweet or savory ingredients like herbs and spices. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination — you can create any flavor profile you can dream up.
It’s even easier and faster to buy high-quality flavored butter than make it — especially if you get a variety of flavors to keep on hand.
According to Oxford, the word compound means “something composed of two or more separate elements; a mixture.” Epicurean Butter’s flavored butter is a compound because we combine high-quality butter with real, high-quality ingredients.
Compound butter is commonly used in the French cooking technique, especially for creating sauces. The original French masters would bring butter to room temperature and add in finely chopped herbs. Then they would roll the mixture tightly with paper and store it at a cold temperature. You can refrigerate or freeze compound butter - it's surprisingly easy to slice when frozen.
Restaurant chefs use compound butter to optimize flavors and save time. Why chop garlic and measure butter in the middle of a dinner rush when you can take pre-made garlic butter from the fridge when you need it? Many chefs even use compound butter with fish and meat — compound butter for steak is particularly popular.
While our Roasted Garlic Herb butter is a best seller, compound butter doesn’t start and stop at garlic or in the restaurant kitchen. Home cooks can take advantage of the time savings and chef-created flavors ranging from savory to sweet. Anything goes.
How To Saute, Cook, Bake, and Finish with Epicurean Butter
Compound butter can be used in many ways when cooking or baking. Toss it in the pan when sautéing veggies, use it to create a buttery sauce, or use it when baking cookies in place of regular butter. It can also be used to finish a dish—like Black Truffle butter on top of a steak or Cinnamon & Brown Sugar butter on top of pancakes. That’s why the term “finishing butter'' is commonly used to describe compound butter, too. It’s a flexible ingredient that saves you time and steps in the kitchen.
Using Compound Butter for Steak
We recommend letting your steak rest for 5-10 minutes after you cook it before adding a tablespoon of flavored butter on top just before serving. Although our favorite is Black Truffle, you can easily swap it out for White Truffle or Roasted Garlic Herb. You can buy our Steak Butter Variety Pack to get all three and experiment with them all to choose a favorite.
Why Do People Butter Steaks?
Butter often feels like an indulgent ingredient, so it’s no wonder it pairs well with a main course known for making a special impression. When you add it to steak (as long as you add butter that enhances the existing flavor of your steak rather than overwhelming it) you can elevate the richness of an already decadent cut of meat. Plus, if your steak is charred or needs a bit of added moisture, butter can help soften the outside and make it juicer. Butter has been known to save a steak here and there, and we aren’t here to judge if that’s why you need it.
If you’re working with a tough cut of steak that has tougher, chewier fibers and a lower amount of fat, adding butter as a finisher once you finish grilling your steak can help break down those fibers and make your steak more succulent and tender. There’s no substitute for a high-quality steak, but butter can definitely help elevate any cut.
Save Time with Epicurean Butter
With Epicurean Butter, you don’t have to sacrifice taste to take a shortcut and save time. You can skip some extra prep steps and trim down your next grocery list with flavored butter. Don’t worry about whether you’re going to mess up. Sometimes you overcook steak. Smother it in Black Truffle butter. Our chefs here at Epicurean Butter have already done the work to blend perfectly portioned fresh herbs with butter for easy cooking and delicious flavor.