Tried-and-true companions for steak, compound butters never get old. They’re nothing more than a highly effective way to add a lovely jolt of additional flavor and a little silky fat to the meat. The concept is simple: take room-temperature butter and mix in some punchy flavors. Popular compound butter additions include anchovies, mushrooms, or herbs, but really anything goes.
Here, we found that the umami-rich combo of anchovy and garlic provides a perfect base for the jalapeño. Blackening the chile adds nuance and brings out its flavor. Don’t worry about too much chile heat, as jalapeños today tend to be pretty tame. If you want real heat, sub in a serrano or habanero chile.
This recipe is geared to make two good-size dollops of compound butter, but it scales easily for larger amounts, and it’s not a bad idea to make more if you like it. Wrapped tightly, the butter will keep in the fridge for a few weeks or in the freezer for up to three months. And while it’s tasty on steaks, it’s also delicious melted on corn on the cob, grilled chicken, and roasted fish.
- Allow the butter to come to room temperature on the countertop while preparing the other ingredi¬ents. To char the jalapeño, if you’ve got a hot grill going, simply grill the jalapeño on all sides until blackened all over. If cooking indoors, hold and turn the chile with insulated tongs or a skewer over a medium stove-top gas flame until black¬ened all over. Allow the charred jalapeño to cool.
- When the chile has cooled, cut it in half length¬wise, remove and discard the stem and seeds, and mince finely. By now, the butter should be easily spreadable. If not, let it continue to warm until it is soft enough. In a small bowl, combine the butter, jalapeño, garlic, and anchovy paste and mix well.
- Lay a square of plastic wrap or aluminum foil on a work surface (plastic wrap is easier to use). Use a rubber spatula to get all of the seasoned butter onto the square, shaping it into a rough log, and then use the plastic wrap or foil to roll and shape the butter into a uniform log. Wrap the butter in the plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate until firm and chilled.
- To use, cut the desired amount off the log and leave it to melt on top of a steak hot off the grill.
Reprinted with permission from Franklin Steak by Aaron Franklin & Jordan Mackay, copyright © 2019. Photographs by Wyatt McSpadden. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc.