I’ve had my eye on this recipe since I first got the Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook for Christmas. I think I even pointed it out to David while I was skimming through it around the Christmas tree at Grandma’s house.
Looking for something to make on a lazy Saturday, I flipped through Back to Basics and noticed this recipe right away. I was surprised I’d never gotten around to making it, because really, it was one of the first recipes I earmarked in this book.
When it came time, though, I ended up skipping the whole steak part. We had some good quality New York Strip steaks on hand, so I didn’t feel justified going out and buying the hanger steaks that the original recipe calls for. Plus, we don’t have a grill at our apartment (yet, anyway). So basically, I borrowed Ina Garten’s recipe for Provencal Butter to melt over the steaks, and stuck with our usual method for cooking steaks: Alton Brown’s, shown in this post.
Even so, I have to say that I was impressed. Dave and I were both unsure about the butter on steak thing. I know it’s traditional, I know it’s common, and I know people like it, but it just never sounded that great to me. I’ve been converted. This herb butter brought such great flavor to the steak. When you sliced into the meat, the butter just melted down into every piece. It was really fantastic.
I also got to use my herbes de Provence from The Spice House!
Barefoot Contessa’s French Bistro Steaks with Provencal Butter
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook
For the butter:
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
For the steaks:
- 4 teaspoons herbes de Provence
- kosher salt and coarsely cracked black pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 hanger steaks, 8 to 10 ounces each
For the butter, put the garlic, capers, chives, thyme, zest, and pepper in the small bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until completely mixed. Transfer butter mixture to a piece of parchment and roll it into a log, twisting the ends (like an old-timey piece of candy). Store in the refrigerator.
Heat a gas or charcoal grill.
Drizzle the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle each one with herbes de Provence and salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to take the chill off of the meat.
When the grill is hot, grill the steaks for 4 to 5 minutes on each side (for medium rare). Place the steaks on a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice the meat crosswise diagonally and serve hot with one or two pats of the prepared butter on top.
Note: I’m sure this was not the last time that I’ll make an herb butter like this. We used the leftover butter on baked potatoes, crackers, and slices of bread–it was very versatile. I can imagine 100 different flavor combinations, too!