I first learned about compound butter while living in Germany. Compound butter is simply butter to which herbs, spices, etc. are added, rolled into a log shape, and chilled until needed to top fresh bread, baked potatoes, steaks, salmon, etc. While prepared compound butters are not so easy to find in American supermarkets, Europeans can easily find them one can find them in most grocery stores, right alongside regular butter.
Our favorite flavors included paprika-kräuter (red pepper & herb), frühlings kräuter (spring herb) and knoblauch (garlic). They come in small cubes ready to use, but I soon started experimenting with making my own compound butters, to create flavor combinations the store brands didn’t offer. One of my favorite recipes included charred scallions with lemon zest; these two flavors marry nicely and are perfect on a grilled ribeye.
Grilling steaks can be intimidating; steaks aren’t cheap and cooking over open flames can seem like an uncontrolled process, but if you take some time to familiarize yourself with the proper temperatures and textures to look for, it will quickly become second nature. There are few things as satisfying as serving up a perfectly grilled slab of steak, and your friends and family will certainly remember the effort.
I look for a 10-16oz. ribeyes, about 3/4” thick, then season generously on both sides and let it come up to room temperature while the grill heats up, sear for 5 minutes on both sides for medium-rare, 7 minutes for medium-well, and tent with tin foil to let the juices reabsorb before serving.
Grilled Ribeye with Charred Scallion Citrus Compound Butter
Yields: two servings
2 ribeye steaks (~3/4-1lb. each)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Charred Scallion Citrus Compound Butter
2 large bunches of scallions
1 stick of butter (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 lemon juice + zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Prepare the compound butter a day in advance. Wash scallions and dry with paper towels. Place scallions on a platter and drizzle with olive, tossing to coat. Add salt and pepper and set aside. Grill scallions for 4 minutes on each side or until charred. Set aside.
Cream the butter and set aside. Zest lemon, making sure to only zest the bright yellow of the outside. Cut the lemon in half and juice 2 TBSP of the juice and add it along with the zest to the butter. Thinly slice the charred scallions and add to the citrus butter mixture. Blend together and add the butter to plastic wrap and roll into a log. Refrigerate for 6 hrs or overnight.
Pat the steaks dry and season well on both sides with sea salt and cracked black pepper, allow to rest at room temperature while grill preheats to 450’F. Grill for 5 minutes each side, tent with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Just before serving, top each steak with a coin of compound butter.
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