Butter-basted Steak Recipe

Summer is full of holiday cookout opportunities, so I came up with an original recipe that will take advantage of fresh seasonal ingredients. This method yields tender, butter-infused steaks topped with a fresh horseradish root compound butter and served with seasonal vegetables.

Serves: 3-4

Why It Works

  • Integrating the horseradish within the butter prevents oxidation by coating the horseradish in a layer of fat.
  • Using butter basting as our method of cooking evenly sears the steak while adding flavour.
  • Cooking the vegetables in the leftover butter adds richness and depth that makes the dish cohesive throughout.

Ingredients

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Horseradish Compound Butter

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

4 oz grated horseradish root (or to taste)

Kosher salt

Butter-basted Steak

2.5 lbs NY Strip steaks, or any other cut at least 1” thick

2 halved shallots, 4 whole cloves of garlic, or any other aromatics

4 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt

½ pound sugar snap peas

Directions

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Horseradish Compound Butter

Step 1.

Leave the butter to soften on the counter until room temperature.

Step 2.

In a small bowl, finely grate the horseradish root. I used roughly 1/5th of the root. Grate more to the mixture later to taste, if needed.

Step 3.

Mix the butter and grated horseradish shavings together until uniformly combined.

If you prefer a stronger tasting butter, add more grated horseradish root. The key is tasting often to avoid having to start over.

Set aside.

Butter basting technique:

Step 1.

Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel to remove extra moisture before you begin salting. “Dry brine” the steaks by spreading an even coating of Kosher salt to both sides. Place on a wire rack and refrigerate for at least an hour for best results.

If you are short on time, instead heavily salt the steaks up to 5-10 minutes before cooking. It is best to avoid dry brining for less than an hour, since the salt will not be able to draw out the moisture from the meat in time.

Wet meat steams instead of searing, so pat the meat dry with paper towels again before cooking.

Step 2.

Heat a small amount of oil in a cast iron or steel pan until it is almost smoking.

Sear the meat on all sides, including the fat caps, for 1-1.5 minutes on each side. After the meat is seared, flip regularly- every 30 seconds to 1 minute is recommended for an evenly cooked steak.

Step 3.

Add a knob of unsalted butter to the pan along with any aromatics you may be using. You want your aromatics to be in large chunks to prevent them from burning while the steak is cooking.

Let larger aromatics cook until the butter is fully melted, add fine herbs just before basting.

Step 4.

Once the butter is melted, lift the handle of the pan so the butter and shallots pool to one side.

With a spoon, pour the butter over the steak. Remember to continue flipping once every 30 seconds to 1 minute. This process cooks the meat from both sides resulting in an evenly cooked center.

Step 5.

Take the temperature using a meat thermometer. 120°F for a rare center, 130°F for medium rare, and 140°F for a medium steak.

It is important to remove the steak from heat 2-3 degrees prior to reaching desired temperate as the meat will continue cooking further while it rests on the wire rack.

Step 6.

Remove from the pan and let the steak rest for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack over a baking sheet.

Drain the aromatics and browned butter from the pan into a bowl and set aside to use later.

Turn the heat slightly down in between steaks as the pan will get progressively hotter, affecting the cooking time and consistency of each consecutive steak.

Step 7.

Repeat these steps for the next steak.

Step 8.

Pour the browned butter back into the pan. This allows for no wasted flavour and gives the vegetables a more complex profile, as well as cohesive flavour that ties it in to the rest of the ingredients.

Cook the sugar snap peas until done, 2-3 minutes.

Step 9.

Serve with a dollop of horseradish butter and enjoy!


References:

Gritzer, Daniel. “How to Butter-Baste Steaks, Chops, and Fish.” Serious Eats, Serious Eats, 27 Sept. 2018, https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-butter-baste-steaks-chops-fish.

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