Garlic and Herb Infused Cowboy Butter Recipe

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Published: 02/27/2024 | Updated: 03/25/2024

The cowboy butter recipe is a flavorful compound with fresh herbs and spices, creating a robust flavor profile that enhances many dishes. Originating from the American West, cowboy butter is the perfect topping or dipping sauce for grilled meats, adding rustic charm to any meal.

Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a special dinner, this butter recipe is particularly fitting for occasions where you fire up the grill, serving as a mouthwatering compliment to grilled steak or chicken.

Combining the boldness of freshly ground black pepper and salt with the tang of lemon and the kick of dashes of hot sauce, cowboy butter is versatile enough to be used in sweet or savory dishes, from dinners to desserts.

Its unique blend of ingredients is perfect for celebrations like Mardi Gras or simply to elevate a weekend brunch. When at room temperature, it serves as an irresistible dipping sauce for grilled steak or can be melted gently to drizzle over vegetables or jalapeno cornbread.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Dried herbs, as desired

Instructions

Step 1: Place the softened butter into a bowl

Begin by placing the softened butter into a medium bowl and mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined. If a food processor is available, it can be used to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the butter.

Step 2: Paper the Butter

Once mixed, lay out a piece of wax paper and spoon the cowboy butter onto it. Roll the butter in wax paper, twisting the ends securely to form a log. This method aids in pressing and shaping the butter into a uniform cylinder.

Step 3: Refrigerate

For optimal texture, refrigerate until firm, which typically takes about 2 hours. This chilling time melts the flavors, creating a more cohesive taste experience.

Step 4: Serving Technique

When ready to serve, slice the cowboy butter into discs and allow it to reach room temperature for easy spreading or melting atop your favorite grilled meats or vegetables.

Optional Additions/Variations

Cowboy butter can be personalized with various additions to suit different flavor preferences. For a kick of heat, incorporate diced jalapeños or a few extra dashes of hot sauce.

Those adhering to dietary restrictions may substitute the regular butter for plant-based alternatives to create a vegan version. Adding ingredients like fresh minced garlic or a sprig of rosemary can also introduce new flavor dimensions to the compound butter.

For a sweeter variation, consider mixing in honey or maple syrup, which pairs beautifully with desserts such as grilled peaches or pound cake. Using garlic powder instead of fresh garlic is another modification that can be made for a milder garlic flavor. The versatility of this recipe allows for endless experimentation with sweet or savory twists.

Cooking Tips

Starting with butter at room temperature is crucial when preparing cowboy butter to ensure all ingredients are incorporated smoothly. Opt for fresh minced garlic rather than powder for a more pronounced flavor.

Using dried herbs and crushing them between your fingers before adding them can help release their flavors. Lastly, always taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper before refrigerating, as the butter will absorb these flavors as it sets.

Equipment Needed

  • Medium bowl
  • food processor.
  • Wax paper or plastic wrap

Preparation Time

Preparing cowboy butter is quick, typically requiring about 10 minutes of active preparation. However, an additional 2 hours should be allocated for the butter to refrigerate until firm. This ensures the cowboy butter is at the ideal consistency for slicing and serving.

Serving Suggestions

For a delectable experience, mix the ingredients of cowboy butter and serve it atop a hot, grilled steak. As the butter slowly melts in a pan or directly on the meat, it infuses it with rich flavors. The remaining ingredients can also be used to create a variety of side dishes, such as a bowl of herb-infused rice or a buttery sauce for roasted vegetables, to complement the main course.

Storage Instructions

After enjoying the cowboy butter, any leftovers should be wrapped in plastic wrap or wax paper and placed in a sealed container to maintain freshness. It’s best to store it in the refrigerator, where it will keep for up to 2 weeks.

When you’re ready to use it again, remove the desired amount and let it come to room temperature for easy spreading or melting.

Recipe Notes

A splash of Worcestershire sauce can be added to the cowboy butter mixture for an extra savory touch. This ingredient is not only for enhancing steaks but also adds a delightful depth to breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs or omelets.

As for seasonal variations, consider adding pumpkin spices in the fall or fresh basil in the summer to align the flavor profile with the time of year. Celebratory events such as Mardi Gras offer the perfect opportunity to showcase the versatility of cowboy butter.

It’s a decadent addition that can be prepared ahead of time and quickly melted in an Instant Pot for effortless entertaining. Whether spread onto bread or used as a base for sauces, the rich taste of cowboy butter is sure to impress guests.

 

FAQ

What is cowboy butter made of?

Cowboy butter is a flavored butter that combines unsalted butter with various seasonings and herbs. Key ingredients include garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a mix of herbs like parsley, chives, and dill.

For a kick of heat, red pepper flakes are often added. This butter recipe is the perfect topping for steaks, veggies, and bread.

 

How do you make your own butter?

To make your own butter, start with high-quality heavy cream. Beat the cream in a mixer until it separates into butter and buttermilk. Strain off the buttermilk, and rinse the butter under cold water. Knead it to remove any remaining buttermilk. Mix in garlic, herbs, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper flakes for a twist like cowboy butter.

 

What does cowboy butter taste like?

Cowboy butter tastes rich and tangy with a spicy kick from the red pepper flakes. The combination of herbs adds freshness, while ingredients like horseradish and Dijon mustard introduce a complex, savory flavor profile. It’s a delicious way to make cowboy butter a standout addition to any meal.

Garlic and Herb Infused Cowboy Butter Recipe: The Ultimate Steak Companion

Prep Time9 minutes
2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Keyword: cowboy butter recipe
Author: Natalie

Equipment

  • Medium bowl
  • food processor.
  • Wax paper or plastic wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Dried herbs, as desired

Instructions

Step 1: Place the softened butter into a bowl

  • Begin by placing the softened butter into a medium bowl and mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined. If a food processor is available, it can be used to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the butter.

Step 2: Paper the Butter

  • Once mixed, lay out a piece of wax paper and spoon the cowboy butter onto it. Roll the butter in wax paper, twisting the ends securely to form a log. This method aids in pressing and shaping the butter into a uniform cylinder.

Step 3: Refrigerate

  • For optimal texture, refrigerate until firm, which typically takes about 2 hours. This chilling time melts the flavors, creating a more cohesive taste experience. 

Step 4: Serving Technique

  • When ready to serve, slice the cowboy butter into discs and allow it to reach room temperature for easy spreading or melting atop your favorite grilled meats or vegetables.

Notes

  • A splash of Worcestershire sauce can be added to the cowboy butter mixture for an extra savory touch. This ingredient is not only for enhancing steaks but also adds a delightful depth to breakfast dishes like scrambled eggs or omelets. 
  • As for seasonal variations, consider adding pumpkin spices in the fall or fresh basil in the summer to align the flavor profile with the time of year. Celebratory events such as Mardi Gras offer the perfect opportunity to showcase the versatility of cowboy butter. 
  • It's a decadent addition that can be prepared ahead of time and quickly melted in an Instant Pot for effortless entertaining. Whether spread onto bread or used as a base for sauces, the rich taste of cowboy butter is sure to impress guests.

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