Steak with Maître D’ Butter
Steak au Beurre Maître d’Hôtel
As an even easier alternative to Steak with Pepper Sauce (fromt he book), you can adorn your grilled steak with beurre maître d’hôtel. It belongs to the family of compound butters, made by mixing flavorings into butter. The possibilities are endless, both in the ingredients added in—fresh and dried herbs, spices, citrus juice and zest, shallots and garlic—and the ways to serve the resulting beurre composé. Cold with crunchy crudités such as radishes; lightly spread on crostini or in sandwiches; softly melting on a piece of steamed fish or grilled meat.
It’s hard to imagine how something so simple can bring such an air of sophistication, but there it is. Keep a log of this parsley and shallot butter in your freezer or fridge, and adopt the smug air of the cook who can whip up a bistro classic in minutes.
1/2 cup (115 grams) high-quality unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 tablespoons (20 grams) finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons (10 grams) finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef steak, your choice of cut (see page 000), 1 to 1 1/2 inches (2,5 to 4 cm) in thickness, patted dry with paper towels
2 teaspoons neutral-tasting organic oil, such as sunflower seed, grapeseed, or canola
Make the compound butter the day before. In a medium bowl, put the butter, shallot, parsley, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Using a wooden spoon, mash the flavorings into the butter. Scrape onto a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a log, about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) in thickness and 5 inches (13 cm) in length. Tuck the sides of the parchment paper in and under to wrap tightly, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
40 minutes to 1 hour before cooking, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Sprinkle all over with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and let rest.
In a large heavy pan, preferably cast-iron, heat the oil over medium-high heat, until it is just beginning to smoke.
Add the meat in and cook without disturbing for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until a golden crust forms.
Cook a few minutes more, flipping and basting with the juices every 20 to 30 seconds, until browned on the outside and cooked to your liking. If you have a meat thermometer, aim for 130°F (55°C) for medium-rare, and 150°F (65°C) for medium-well. If you don’t, cut a slit the thickest part of one of the steaks to gauge the progress.
Transfer to a cutting board, preferably with grooved edges to collect the juices. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Unwrap the butter and cut 4 to 6 rounds depending on the number of servings, about 1/3 inch (1 cm) in thickness. (You will have more than you need here; see Headnote for other uses.)
Slice the meat into servings as needed, transfer to warmed plates, and place a round of butter to melt on each serving. Serve with fries.
FROM: Tasting Paris by Clotilde Dusoulier
Published with permission of the author