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    Cowboy Butter Recipe

    Published May 9, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This full-flavored Cowboy Butter Recipe loaded with spices and herbs is the perfect finishing compliment to any steak dish. You will love the subtle flavors of mustard and horseradish in this butter.

    I am big into flavored butter and believe it can turn any dish into a wonderful balance of flavor. If you want to try out some fun butter, try my Compound Butter or Garlic Butter.

    cowboy butter log with slices


     

    Cowboy Butter

    Cowboy butter is a compound butter of herbs, spices, onions, mustard, and seasonings commonly served with steak. It can be chilled, sliced, and placed over steak or served melted alongside it for dipping. There are some variations to the butter, as some, like mine, feature prepared horseradish. In addition, you’ll also see some deviation.

    Cowboy butter was invented at the now-closed restaurant Mr. Donahue’s in New York City, which featured Southern diner dishes. The butter can be served with pasta, veggies, chicken, pork, or fish. You can alter this recipe to your taste buds to make it your own.

    cowboy butter ingredients

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    • Butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking to control the sodium content.
    • Spices – I used a combination of regular paprika, ground cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. You can substitute the regular paprika with smoked or sweet.
    • Herbs – These are subjective, but I used fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary. You can substitute fresh for dry ingredients at a 1-to-1 ratio.
    • Lemon – Some freshly squeezed lemon juice will help balance out the spice in the butter.
    • Onions – I used shallots and whole garlic cloves. You can substitute the shallot for a red, white, or sweet onion.
    • Horseradish – Some freshly grated or prepared jarred horseradish adds a fresh punch of spice that perfectly complements.
    • Mustard – Dijon or spicy ground mustard is best to use.
    • Salt – I always use coarse salt in my cooking and baking.

    How to Make Cowboy Butter

    Add the softened butter to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and whip on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, which takes about 5 to 7 minutes.

    whipping butter in a stand mixer

    In the meantime, add the oil to a medium-sized frying pan and heat for 1 minute over low to medium heat.

    cooking garlic and shallots

    Add onions and garlic and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until softened and lightly browned.

    browned garlic and shallots in a pan

    Turn the stand mixer speed down to low, transfer the cooked onions and garlic to the stand mixer, and add them in.

    adding shallots and garlic to a stand mixer

    Next, add paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and horseradish.

    adding spices to a stand mixer

    Turn the speed back up to medium-high and mix until incorporated. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

    whipping cowboy butter

    Add it to a container and place it in the refrigerator or freezer. I added the whipped butter to a piece of parchment paper that I then rolled to form a cylinder. I like to do this by taking slices from it and using them in recipes.

    rolling up cowboy butter

    Store or use the butter. Try serving it on my Tomahawk Steak Recipe.

    cowboy butter on a steak

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to five days ahead of time. Keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until you need it.

    How to Store: Cover and keep the cowboy butter in the refrigerator for 7 days. Cover and freeze for up to 6 months.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • You can use this butter directly from the freezer in whatever you want to use it in.
    • Feel free to use electric hand beaters if that is all that’s available.
    • You can use other fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, chervil, or chives.
    • The butter should be intensely flavorful as it is used to enhance the flavor of whatever you add it to, you aren’t eating it by itself.
    • Cooking the garlic and onion removes the bite from the vegetables, so they are less intense when eaten in the butter.
    • A compound butter is creamed butter with other ingredients, such as spices and herbs. In France, it’s known as beurre compose.

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Cowboy Butter Recipe

    This full-flavored Cowboy Butter Recipe loaded with spices and herbs is the perfect finishing compliment to any steak dish.
    Servings: 2 cups
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 4 sticks softened unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 peeled and small diced shallot
    • 6 finely minced garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
    • 1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
    • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 ½ tablespoons prepared horseradish
    • coarse salt to taste

    Instructions

    • Add the softened butter to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and whip on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, which takes about 5 to 7 minutes.
    • In the meantime add the oil to a medium-sized frying pan and heat for 1 minute over low to medium heat.
    • Add in the onions and garlic and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until softened and very lightly browned.
    • Turn the stand mixer speed down to low and transfer the cooked onions and garlic to the stand mixer and add them in.
    • Next, add in the paprika, cayenne, red pepper flakes, thyme, parsley, rosemary, salt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and horseradish.
    • Turn the speed back up to medium-high and mix until incorporated. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
    • You can add it to a container and place it in the refrigerator or freezer. I added the whipped butter to a piece of parchment paper that I then rolled to form a cylinder. I like to do this so that I can take slices from it and use them in recipes.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to five days ahead of time. Keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until you need it.
    How to Store: Cover and keep the cowboy butter in the refrigerator for 7 days. Cover and freeze for up to 6 months.
    You can use this butter directly from the freezer in whatever you want to use it in.
    Feel free to use electric hand beaters if that is all that’s available.
    You can use other fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, chervil, or chives.
    The butter should be intensely flavorful as it is used to enhance the flavor of whatever you add it to, you aren’t eating it by itself.
    Cooking the garlic and onion removes the bite from the vegetables, so they are less intense when eaten in the butter.
    A compound butter is creamed butter with other ingredients, such as spices and herbs. In France, it’s known as beurre compose.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 3gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 313mgPotassium: 304mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 2851IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 3mg
    Course: accompaniment
    Cuisine: American