There are certain domestic achievements were you feel you are connected to a story. A beautiful story of food and how it used be.
Some of these domestic moments have become regulars in the kitchen, as we buy less products yet have a fridge and pantry overflowing with delicious staples all made from scratch.
Butter is the latest to the list, as an abundance of cream became cultured cream which then became cultured butter. (see the note below)
There is no comparison, NONE. Bought butter and your own homemade butter are two completely different experiences. Add a little culture in there and you are slipping back in time, when butter was the hug on the ancestral plate.
We are continually tweaking diets in search for the perfect way to get the most from our food but did you know that our vegetables need a little fat paired with them to help the body absorb valuable the nutrients found within? In a salad this could be some olive oil or avocado based addition, but for the greener veg such as kale or chard which benefit from a gentle steam, I am thinking BUTTER…….probably with a generous garlic note.
To make CULTURED BUTTER first you want to make cultured cream:
KEFIR SOUR CREAM
I love when you discover a shortcut in the kitchen and the precious ferment that you have been nurturing can perform another alchemic trick for you. Milk kefir is a living beverage teaming with good bacteria that can culture cream for you too, turning it into sour cream – it’s easy when you know how!
- 1 litre double cream
- 50ml milk kefir
1 Pour the cream into a clean 1-litre jar and inoculate with the kefir, mixing it well. Leave 2.5cm of headspace at the top of the jar. Close the lid and let this sit out and ferment overnight, then transfer to the fridge for up to one month. Then with your cultured cream you can make cultured butter:
- 500ml kefir sour cream
- 250ml ice-cold filtered water
1 Sour your cream. Put half of it in a food processor and blend until it separates, then pour off the liquid. This is buttermilk, so set it aside and use it wherever buttermilk is called for in a recipe. The yellow solids that remain are the butter.
2 Pour some cold filtered water in with the butter and process again. This is called washing the butter. Pour off the water and discard it. At this point you can scoop your butter into an airtight container and store it in the fridge, but I prefer to go rustic and make rolls of wax paper. Take a sheet of greaseproof paper and spread the butter lengthways on it in a rough cylinder shape. Use the paper to roll the butter into a cylinder, then wrap it up in the paper and twist the ends. Chill until firm. To use, just slice off a disc of butter. It will keep for one month in the fridge.
I have had fun playing with butters. We all know how to make garlic butter so why stop there?
I have added in kimchi.
I had added in avocado.
I have added in herbs
But this one has me.
It must appeal to my more “extravagant cook.” The flavour profile is touching off every sense, now that I am collecting ingredients to venture into the world of Cafe du Paris butter, I guess I better find something other than a steak to plate it up with!
I have managed to sneak Chimichurri into a lot of places it has never been, similarily a garnish served with a steak in Argentina, so I am confident I will not be wasting my time on this one!
- 1 pound, 5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ounce ketchup
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 ounce capers, rinsed
- 2 ounces shallots, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, snipped
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1 teaspoon dill, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon tarragon leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon brandy
- 1 tablespoon madeira
- 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne powder
- juice of one lemon
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- zest of 1/4 Orange
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
For the Cafe du Paris butter
- In a large bowl, beat the butter by hand or use an electric mixer set to slow speed, until it has a slightly creamy texture.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add this mixture to the butter and beat again until all the ingredients are completely combined.
- Place a double thickness of foil, about 12 inches long, on a flat surface and line with a similar-sized piece of silicone paper. Spread half the butter along one of the foil edges and roll up to form a long sausage shape — roll it with your hands like a rolling pin to get a tidy shape and eliminate any air pockets. Twist the ends to seal. Repeat this process with the remaining butter. Place in the fridge to chill before use.
- To use, slice a ½ inch thick disc of butter and place on top of a grilled steak (or a steamed spud). Traditionally, the steak is placed back under a hot grill (broiler) to soften and brown the butter, but I don’t reckon you need to do this, just let it melt from the heat of the steak.
- The butter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks or in the freezer for several months.
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