Adapted from Food & Wine.
Compound butter is one of the easiest, yet most impressive ways to make a meal more delicious. Even though it's nothing more than softened butter with herbs or spices or other flavorings whipped into it, somehow it achieves a level of refinement that comes across as very impressive (for a barbecue, having a couple varieties to slather on everything makes for a fantastic party). Though the old-school recipes use French flavors, just about anything will play well with butter.
This one goes on a hanger steak rubbed with ground chipotles, cumin, and paprika, which give it a smoky, spicy kick. The decadence of a beefy, juicy steak is phenomenal in its own right, and with a butter brightened with minced garlic, lime zest, and lime juice melted over the top (keeping with the flavors inspired by Mexico), this dish goes from good to great. Though the recipe called for ribeye, I grilled a hanger steak instead to keep the price in check.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated zest from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon fresh juice from 1 lime
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle powder
- Four thick, boneless steaks, such as ribeye or hanger, 10- to 12-ounces each
- Vegetable oil, for the grill
Combine the butter, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, and a salt to taste. Set aside. Combine the paprika, cumin, and chipotle powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle the steaks with plenty of kosher salt, then evenly sprinkle the spice mixture over them and rub into the meat.
Oil the grates of the grill (or grill pan) and preheat over high heat until smoking. Reduce heat to medium high and add steaks. Cook without moving until well-charred, about 4 minutes. Flip steaks and continue to cook until center of steaks register 125°F on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, or 145°F for well done. Transfer to a platter and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes, adding the lime butter after a few minutes to melt from the residual heat.
Slice the steaks and serve immediately.