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Cowboy Butter

5 from 63 votes
Published on 12/25/2023 by Umamiology
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With savory garlic essence, notes of zesty lemon and a kick from the crushed red pepper flakes, this Cowboy Butter is the perfect finishing touch for your seared steaks or just a fantastic dipping sauce for other meats and seafood.

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Cowboy butter or cowboy butter sauce, is incredibly flavorful. Rumored to have originated a while back, in a southern style diner in New York called Mr. Donahue’s (now closed) – it has now become one of the trendiest food topics on social media. It’s a good thing too, because it is absolutely delicious!

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What is Cowboy Butter?

Cowboy butter is a compound butter sauce (butter with spices mixed in), similar to Garlic Compound Butter, Chipotle Butter, Jalapeno Lime Butter and Truffle Butter, that instantly adds depth and umami to your dishes.

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It’s rich and fatty consistency coats the main star of your dish and provides a moist and rich flavor that blankets your taste buds as soon as you take a bite with this delicious sauce.

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What does Cowboy Butter Go With?

The most common usage is to top a nicely seared steak with a pad of this butter, but you can also apply it to seafood, poultry – as well as use it as the main ingredient of garlic butter toast, homemade meat marinades or as an excellent dipping sauce for anything that needs a buttery and spicy kick. There are even pasta dishes out there, that utilize this amazing liquid gold sauce.

The Ingredients For Cowboy Butter

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The Equipment Needed

Craft Your Cowboy Butter

First, leave your stick of butter out at room temperature for about 2 hours for the butter to soften.

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Meanwhile, mince all of your herbs (thyme, chives, parsley). Additionally, express the juice from 1/2 a lemon and grate about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.

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Then in your mixing bowl, combine the butter, and all other ingredients and knead & mix with your hands (this is very satisfying) until all components are fully incorporated. You should see a good, even speckling of herbs and spices throughout the butter mixture.

Wrap & Roll Your Butter

Cut and lay flat a 10×10 sheet of plastic wrap onto the counter.

Pro Tip: Wipe your cutting board/counter top with a damp paper towel so that your plastic wrap adheres to the surface during this step.

Using a spatula, scoop up the butter mixture and try to place it as evenly as you can – in the bottom 1/3 of the wrap.

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Then, carefully roll the plastic wrap around the butter mixture and keep wrapping until you get to the end of the plastic wrap sheet.

Then grab the two ends of the plastic wrap at the end of the butter mixture (leaving about a 1 inch gap) and slowly roll the lump of butter back towards you to create a natural & even twist in the wrap.

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This should create the initial log shape. Then apply a little bit more downward force as you roll the butter to even out the log and create a nice and smooth cylinder shape.

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Then, gently tie the loose ends of the wrap to keep the log secure.

Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour for the butter to harden.

Serving Your Cowboy Butter

Cowboy Butter can be enjoyed in 3 different ways.

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  • As a spread: On breads, toasts, bagels…
  • As a dipping sauce: for chicken, seafood, even fries…
  • As a finishing topping: on seared steaks, brisket, turkey…
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Let me know, in what creative ways, you enjoy this Cowboy Butter!

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Cowboy Butter

5 from 63 votes
This Cowboy Butter is the ultimate finishing sauce. With savory garlic essence, notes of zesty lemon and a kick from the crushed red pepper flakes, this butter recipe will take any dish from bland to spicy in a blink of an eye.
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
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Ingredients 

Instructions 

Craft Your Cowboy Butter

  • First, leave your stick of butter out at room temperature for about 2 hours for the butter to soften.
  • Meanwhile, mince all of your herbs (thyme, chives, parsley). Additionally, express the juice from 1/2 a lemon and grate about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
  • Then in your mixing bowl, combine the butter, and all other ingredients and knead & mix with your hands (this is very satisfying) until all components are fully incorporated. You should see a good, even speckling of herbs and spices throughout the butter mixture.

Wrap & Roll Your Butter

  • Cut and lay flat a 10×10 sheet of plastic wrap onto the counter.
  • Pro Tip: Wipe your cutting board/counter top with a damp paper towel so that your plastic wrap adheres to the surface during this step.
  • Using a spatula, scoop up the compound butter mixture and try to place it as evenly as you can – in the bottom 1/3 of the wrap.
  • Then, carefully roll the plastic wrap around the butter mixture and keep wrapping until you get to the end of the plastic wrap sheet.
  • Then grab the two ends of the plastic wrap at the end of the butter mixture (leaving about a 1 inch gap) and slowly roll the lump of butter back towards you to create a natural & even twist in the wrap.
  • This should create the initial log shape. Then apply a little bit more downward force as you roll the butter to even out the log and create a nice and smooth cylinder shape.
  • Then, gently tie the loose ends of the wrap to keep the log secure.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour for the butter to harden.

Serving Your Cowboy Butter

  • This butter can be enjoyed in 3 different ways.
  • As a spread: On breads, toasts, bagels… As a dipping sauce: for chicken, seafood, even fries… As a finishing topping: on seared steaks, brisket, turkey…
  • Let me know, in what creative ways, you enjoy this Cowboy Butter!

Nutrition

Calories: 110kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 1gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 408mgPotassium: 48mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.2gVitamin A: 1023IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.4mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

Why is it called Cowboy Butter?

Not entirely sure. It might have to do with the fact that this compound butter pairs well with steak and barbecue meat that cowboys traditionally consumed. Or it could just be purely random.

Who invented Cowboy Butter?

Cowboy butter is rumored to have originated a while back, in a southern style diner in New York called Mr. Donahue’s (now closed).

What do you use Cowboy Butter on?

The most common usage is to top a nicely seared steak with a pad of this butter, but you can also apply it seafood, poultry – as well as use it as the main ingredient of garlic butter toast, homemade meat marinades or as an excellent dipping sauce for anything that needs a buttery and spicy kick. There are even pasta dishes out there, that utilize this amazing liquid gold sauce.

How long does Cowboy Butter last?

If stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, Cowboy Butter should last up to 2 weeks. To preserve longer, freeze the butter to keep it up to 3 months.

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