June 6, 2006
The Universally Useful Herb Butter

herbbutter.jpgIn France, a common simple accompaniment to a grilled steak is a disc of butter and herbs, usually called beurre maître d'hotel. It's a lovely finishing touch to a steak, albeit a bit rich. But how can you not like melted butter and fresh herbs? Now that I have a flourishing herb garden, I decided to try my hand at my own mix of herbs and butter. Because I love strong flavours (and so do both my Critics) I decided to jazz up the usual mix of butter, parsley, lemon juice and pepper.

From my garden, I grabbed a small handful of each of the following herbs: lemon thyme, tarragon, soft oregano and a few leaves of basil. I chopped the herbs and stirred them into 40 grams of soft butter with one pressed clove of fresh garlic and a pinch of salt. It was heavenly on a steak. It was bliss on the accompanying baked potato. It was so good that I made another batch and smeared it over a Loué chicken. And then I used the remaining herb butter to fry up the liver and lungs of said bird for a tasty lunch, served with apple slices. It's garlicky, herby, buttery, rich and just the perfect finishing touch to just about any simple dish.

I think I'm in love.

Posted by Meg in Sussex at June 6, 2006 1:51 PM Print-friendly version

This Herb Butter must be delicious as I can imagine form your description. I will try to follow your steps.
Thank you for sharing it with me.

Posted by Maria loves pictures on June 7, 2006 at 11:10 AM

I've always wondered why people don't tinker more with the herb mix. Especially seeing as tarragon is a key ingredient in bearnaise sauce (and who doesn't love that?!). Thanks for suggesting a way to shake things up.

Posted by Franca on June 7, 2006 at 12:34 PM

I thought the tarragon and oregano and garlic combination was particularly good. If you are just using it as an accent (as opposed to cooking offal) a little lemon juice might bring out the flavours a bit too - I just didn't think of it.

Oh, and if you like lively herb sauces, I have to say that my absolute favourite is Nigel Slater's Salsa Verde, with parsley, mint, basil, garlic and anchovies. It is absolutely heavenly, I end up stealing spoonfuls to eat it straight:


Posted by Meg in Paris on June 7, 2006 at 3:31 PM
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