Friday, February 3, 2012

Rosemary Butter

Last summer, after a 30+ year hiatus, I started eating cows again.  As much as I had missed eating steak, I'm glad I missed 30 years of feedlot meat.  Growing up, beef was one of my favorite foods.  Of course, in England, cows are all free range and grass fed.  That is how cows are supposed to be raised.  Feedlots became the norm in the US in the 1970s although they had been around before that.  Feedlot beef tastes different than grass fed and is much less healthy for human consumption.  Being brought up on grass fed beef, that is what I prefer.  To read more about the health benefits of grass fed beef go here.

One of the first dinners I learned to cook as a teenager was broiled steak.  I would marinade it in pickle juice and stick it under the broiler for about 5mins a side which would yield a tender juicy medium well steak.  Of course not cooking beef for 30 years I've had to learn all over again.  There are tons of videos on YouTube, the most amusing being Jamie Oliver's version where he gently strokes the steaks with fronds of fresh rosemary.

Being more practical, I decided to make a rub for my steaks instead.  This incorporates everything into one topping that can be made days ahead of time and then rubbed onto the steak before cooking.

You will need a mortar and pestle for this.

makes 2 tablespoons (which is enough for an 11oz steak)

2t of dried rosemary
pinch coarse Celtic sea salt
pinch fresh ground pepper or two peppercorns
2T organic pastured butter (cultured if you can find it)

  1. Place rosemary, salt and pepper into the mortar.
  2. Cover mortar with free hand while slowly grinding the spices with the pestle.
  3. Grind into a find powder.
  4. Soften butter with a fork or spoon in a separate dish.
  5. Stir spices into butter and mix until fully incorporated.
  6. Massage into dry room temperature meat before cooking.  
  7. Make in larger batches and wrap tightly in plastic wrap or wax paper to save for later.  Will keep indefinitely if kept away from air and refrigerated.  Allow to soften before use.
Optional add in: 
Add a small clove of garlic to the mortar once the spices are ground fine.  Mash with pestle.  This will make an herb paste that you can incorporate into the butter.  This will introduce a very strong garlic flavor to the butter and may be too much unless you adore garlic like I do.

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