For me the best way to finish off a great steak is to slather it with a delicious compound butter as soon as it comes off the grill. A good piece of meat needs nothing more done to it and whilst I’m partial to a Bernaise sauce as an accompaniment, I don’t like to mess around too much with sauces and marinades for steaks. However, a flavourful compound butter really enhances not only the taste of the meat but the tenderness and juiciness too. The other butters we like to use for steaks are this porcini butter and one I haven’t posted yet, Cafe de Paris butter. These three butters can be used on all manner of meats but they really shine when they are added to a hot steak whilst it’s resting. The Japanese seaweed paste in the recipe is crucial and can’t really be substituted with anything else. It can be found in good Asian supermarkets and if you live in Sydney there’s a terrific Japanese grocer in the Northbridge shopping centre. The seaweed paste is a rather unattractive black paste made from kelp but it packs a big umami hit of flavour to anything it touches and I find myself reaching for it more and more for all manner of savoury dishes.
Ingredients – makes 1 large log which can be frozen and used as needed Adapted from Yoshoku by Jane Lawson
200g unsalted butter, softened
6 teaspoons, prepared seaweed paste – or to taste, I like to add slightly more (picture of brand I use below)
2 tablespoons nori flakes
2 cloves of garlic crushed in a garlic press
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Combine the softened butter with the seaweed paste, nori flakes and garlic and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and add the butter mixture in the centre. Start rolling the plastic to form a log and then twist the ends tight to get a nice uniform shape. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm before using, or it can be placed straight into the freezer for use later on. When ready to use slice into 1 cm rounds, re-wrap the used end of the remaining log and replace in the freezer.