Colorado has a great deal of ranch land, so when I am looking for local, pastured meat for the grill, bison is a widely available and delicious choice. Also known as buffalo, bison is really lean and has a rich, mineral flavor that works well with this easy recipe for compound butter. I grilled these sirloins and served them with some summer squash, and topped both with a little of the butter.
If you have never made a compound butter, it is the easiest thing, and it freezes really well. I make it when fresh herbs are abundant in my herb bed and then freeze it in little butter logs for up to six months. Just cut off a little hunk, straight from the freezer, and throw it on grilled fish, meat, or vegetables for a solid hit of fresh herb flavor. Plus butter. You really cannot go wrong with butter, honestly. I stopped eating butter for a long while during the terrible “fat is bad” years, and I remember eating some vegetables at a dinner party one evening and tasting this amazing flavor that I could not identity…yes, butter. It had been so long, I had forgotten that blissful flavor. Buy organic, pastured butter, and then don’t feel any guilt about eating it.
Because bison is so lean, it is important that you cook it only to medium rare–much more and it will be tough. If you like your steaks well done, you should probably stick with marbled beef for the grill. Plus, you probably should try a medium-rare steak, just to see what you have been missing.
- Bison sirloins, one per person
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup salted butter, cut into chunks
- about a 5-inch stem of fresh rosemary, rinsed and stripped of leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
- I like to let my steaks rest at room temperature for about fifteen minutes after they are seasoned, as it makes it easier to cook evenly on the grill. Pat your steaks dry with some paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and let them rest.
- Heat the grill to medium-high heat, and cook the steaks for 3-5 minutes per side (this will depend on the how thick they are), or until medium rare. Remove from heat and top each steak with a pat of the butter.
- For the butter:
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the butter with the rosemary and garlic until blended. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the butter onto a piece of wax paper and form it into a "log" shape (for easy cutting). Roll it up in the wax paper and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
- Note: If you want to freeze the remaining butter, refrigerate in the wax paper until firm, and then place the butter log in a plastic freezer bag, remove excess air, and freeze for up to six months. The butter will still be safe after six months, but it starts to taste like "freezer" if you keep it too long.
Other great compound butter flavors: rosemary and thyme, Aleppo pepper and garlic, mixed basils, lemon balm…it works well for any herb you have on hand, and garlic is almost always a good addition. Sweet butters are also nice for muffins or toast: cinnamon, five spice, lavender, vanilla… I think it’s time to stock up on butter.
Thanks for reading,