Shallot butter is one of my favorite types of compound butter, which is nothing but butter that's been flavored with some additional ingredient like herbs, garlic, or whatever.
But what I really like about shallot butter is that it doesn't pull any punches. The pungency of the shallots is what you're after, and this recipe really delivers.
Typically compound butter is rolled into cylinders and chilled or even frozen, and then slices or pats are served on steaks, fish or vegetables. That's the technique I describe below. But you could also pack the butter into ramekins, smooth the tops, cover with plastic and then store in the refrigerator or freezer.
I like to use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment for softening up the butter and incorporating the shallots. But you could also use a potato masher or even just squish it all up by hand. All you're trying to do is soften up the butter so that you can incorporate the other ingredients.
Or you could just leave the butter out at room temperature to soften up.
In addition to shallots, there's no reason you couldn't add some chopped fresh herbs as well, like parsley or chives. But it would mainly be for color. It's really the shallots you want to highlight here.
- 1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot (or 2 medium shallots)
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (about one lemon's worth)
- Peel and finely chop the shallot. You should end up with about 3 Tbsp in total.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, soften up the butter for a couple of minutes on low speed.
- Add the lemon juice and chopped shallot to the butter and continue mixing until the shallots are fully incorporated.
- Spread out a large (1-foot or bigger) square of plastic wrap across your work surface, then scoop the mixed butter onto the plastic. You are now going to roll the butter into a cylinder inside the plastic wrap.
- Tie the excess plastic wrap at the ends of the cylinder into a knot, or just use little pieces of string to tie off the ends. You can even make a string out of a short section of plastic wrap and roll it into a little rope.
- Chill or freeze until needed.