A compound butter, also called a Maitre’d butter, is nothing more that butter, plus some other stuff. That other stuff, is usually herbs, spices, or even cooked aromatics, like garlic or shallot, but frankly can be just about anything. One commonality is that they pack a bunch of flavor, and are a great way to flavor meats like steak, chicken, and pork; as well as fish and other seafood. In this recipe, I show you how to make a compound butter with tarragon – an great herb with a unique anise flavor. And while this compound butter is super simple, but it still packs a punch, and adds a layer of complexity to whatever you put it on. If you’d like, you can add some sautéed shallots and you’ll have the primary flavors in a traditional béarnaise sauce.
RECIPE FOR TARRAGON BUTTER
- The only decision you really need to make is the ratio of butter to tarragon. I’ll use about a tablespoon of tarragon to 3 tablespoons of butter, and think that ratio scales pretty well. But feel free to vary it.
- Allow the butter to come up to room temperature, and cut it into a few pieces
- Finely chop about a tablespoon of tarragon
- Mix the two together, and you’ve got your compound butter
- Put the butter directly onto meat or fish (or even vegetables), once it comes out of the oven and still hot; allow the butter and herbs to melt, and the tarragon to release its great flavor and aroma
- If you’d like, you can easily store the compound butter in the fridge for a few days, or, freeze it for up to a few weeks.
Hope you enjoy this fast and easy way to add some flavor to your dishes. BTW – I think this particular tarragon butter goes great with a steaks…give it a try and let me know how it goes.