This recipe is more about the compound butter than it is about the ribeye. Truthfully any steak would taste amazingly good with this compound butter. So would a bunch of other things, like warm toast, corn on the cob, steamed vegetables. The list could go on and on. But I do love a nice, seared steak.
As luck would have it, our local grocery store had beautiful ribeyes on sale for less than half the normal price, so today’s post is featuring my bargain find with the compound butter.
I have been a fan of compound butters since I was 16, which is the first time I remember having it. I was living in Brazil and dating a young Swedish guy. We were at his parent’s house one evening and his mother invited me to stay for dinner. She served beef tenderloin with compound butter and I fell in love.
The velvety lusciousness of melting sweet butter infused with herbs is truly a spiritual thing. Add a nicely seared hunk of beef and life doesn’t get any better than that. Somehow fancy, but oh so easy.
Here in the US, I often see sweet compound butters served with fresh bread, but I don’t often see savory compound butters. With the summer grilling season in full swing, I wanted to highlight this beautiful compound butter as an option for your grilled protein. You might even consider it for your July 4 menu.
By the way, I did not grill today because we have had excessive heat warnings all week in Phoenix (you might have seen that we hit 120° F on Tuesday). Going outside to cook was not at all appealing, so I opted for a pan sear.
Let’s make this pan seared ribeye with compound butter
I’ve seen recipes out there calling for a long list of ingredients for making different compound butters. But I really like this simple recipe. It uses only three little herbs (I include garlic as an herb here). I don’t even add salt because the steak will be seasoned enough. I just want to taste sweet butter and fresh garlic and green herbs. But if you want to add salt, please do so.
Make the compound butter first because the stick of butter needs to be at room temperature for mixing, so you’ll need time for the final product to become hard again in the refrigerator.
Add the pressed garlic, chopped chives and parsley to the softened butter in a small mixing bowl.
If you are multiplying this recipe to make more, you may want to use a food processor. But I prefer pressing the butter and herbs together with a spatula because I like to keep the herbs at their chopped size. Plus, the butter is so soft, you end up leaving a bunch behind in a food processor.
When everything has been mixed well, spoon the butter onto the center of a small sheet of plastic wrap, in a 6-inch length, give or take. Then pull one side of the plastic up and snugly cover the length of butter so that you form a tube.
Wrap the other side of the plastic wrap over the tube. Then holding the ends with your fingers, spin the tube quickly. That will twist the ends and help make the tube more solid, getting rid of the air pockets.
Then put the compound butter in the refrigerator to harden.
Lightly brush the steak with some olive oil and season with salt and fresh cracked black pepper on both sides.
Then heat a cast iron skillet to medium high.
When the pan is hot, lay the steak in the middle of the pan.
I don’t add any oil to the pan because I don’t want to add any more fat. A well-seasoned cast iron pan should provide a non-stick surface. With the bit of olive oil and some of the fat that will render off the steak while it cooks, the steak should be easy to flip.
Cooking time will depend on the size of your steak. This one was about 14 ounces, which is a little big. I seared it at medium high heat for about 6 minutes before flipping. Than I did another 6 minutes on the other side. It came out a perfect medium rare.
By the way, pan searing can get a little smoky, as you can see, so make sure your vent fan is on high.
Oh, oh, oh. The beautiful aroma of seared beef!
After searing both sides, lift the steak out of the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes on a plate. After resting, I placed the steak back in the cooled pan for presentation purposes. But you’ll most likely just keep the plate.
Then cut yourself a couple of slices of the your now chilled compound butter tube, and place it on top of your steak. The meat should still be plenty warm. Which will start to melt that velvety, sweet, herby butter. Ahhhh……
This. Is. So. Good. There are so many layers of flavor in play that you have to taste it to really get it. So simple, so yummy, so worth it!!
Compound butter, people! You won’t regret it!
Pan Seared Ribeye with Compound Butter
- FOR THE COMPOUND BUTTER
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
- 2 teaspoons chopped chives
- 1 glove garlic pressed
- Salt optional
- FOR THE STEAK
- 1 12- ounce bone-in ribeye steak
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Press the butter, garlic, chives, and parsley in a small bowl, using a spatula.
- Add salt, if desired.
- Press and stir until the herbs are evenly distributed in the butter.
- Tear off a small length of plastic wrap and lay it on a flat surface.
- Spoon the compound butter down the center of the plastic wrap, making a length of about 6 inches.
- Fold one side of the plastic wrap snugly over the butter and seal the butter into a tube.
- Wrap the other side of the plastic wrap around the tube.
- Holding both ends between the fingers of each hand, spin the tube quickly. The ends should twist tightly, putting pressure on the tube to become more solid, eliminating air pockets.
- Place the tube in the refrigerator to firm up the compound butter.
- Lightly brush the ribeye with olive oil, then season with salt and cracked pepper on both sides.
- Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high. When the pan is hot, lay the steak in the center.
- Cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side for medium rare, depending on the thickness of the steak. Only flip the steak once.
- Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- Place some slices of the now firm tube of compound butter on the steak and serve.
Mary Tappe says
Well, I absolutely learned something just now! I have been making what I think is a compound butter when I fix my annual prime rib roast. I just didn’t know it. I’ve never heard it called that, I just mix the herbs with the butter and spread it over the outside of the roast and it bakes up beautifully with a wonderful crust. Maybe it’s not a true compound butter but it’s similar. I’m going to try your butter the next time we have ribeyes. As always, thank you so much Lori.
In theory, I think yours really is a compound butter, Mary. Normally, however, the term “compound butter” refers to a seasoned butter of some sort that can act like a sauce (if it melts) or a condiment that is applied to a finished product, not as an ingredient for cooking. But hey, I re-purpose leftover compound butters for cooking other dishes too. Potato, potahto, right? 🙂