Sometimes it's so easy to get carried away. You are standing at the meat counter picking out the perfect steaks and it is so easy to be so enamored by your selection that you want to adorn it with all kinds of crazy spices and sauces. One thing that I have discovered over my years in the kitchen is that sometimes more is really just more. I like to think that pairing wine and food has given me a bit of restraint when selecting exactly what to do with any given protein. Especially when wine is involved. The other night I opted for some beautiful fillets, rather than my usual choice of bone-in ribeye steaks. Even though these fillets were beautiful it did seem that they were calling for some accessories.
A quick search of the internet and I was able to find some inspiration for a flavorful compound butter. Compound butters or "Beurre compose" are mixtures of butter and supplementary ingredients. Primarily they are used to enhance flavor in various dishes, in a fashion similar to a sauce. The great thing about compound butter is that they are much easier to assemble than a sauce, require basic prep skills, and are assembled prior to the meal. They also freeze wonderfully, have many uses, and most importantly are generally full of wine friendly ingredients such as fresh herbs, citrus zest, roasted or fresh garlic, cheese, and in this particular case -- olives. I make the butter ahead of time, earlier in the afternoon, and give it some time to firm up in the fridge. Then once your steaks are grilled, simply top them with a generous knob of butter and let it melt onto your steak. Voila! Instant sauce.
Wine pairings for tonight's meal! Cercius from the Rhone Valley and Turnbull Old Bull from the Napa Valley