When I'm cooking lamb chops or grilling lamb kabobs for a quick meal, I like to consolidate my herbs into a fast, easy butter. The wonderful thing about herb butter is that you can make up a batch and freeze it. It'll keep a couple of months, and you'll have herbed butter whenever you need it. I prepare a chicken, beef and a few veggie butters to keep on hand to save time and make spicing up grilled fare easier on the BBQ guru of the household. If you love lamb but don't know how to give it the special treatment, or you'd like to get your feet wet with a lamb dish, add this butter to your grilled, broiled or fried lamb just before serving. It'll be perfection.
Herb Butter for Lamb
1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped oregano
1/2 teaspoon chives
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
*See note below about garlic
Soften butter and combine all the ingredients except the lemon juice. Add the lemon juice a couple of drops at a time. If you pour it all in at once, you may have problems getting the ingredients to combine well.
Place butter mixture on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log about five inches long. Secure the ends and refrigerate until firm or overnight.
If you plan on displaying slices as a garnish, you can sprinkle fresh herbs (my favorite is a little minced mint, some minced rosemary and a sprinkling of paprika) on the exterior of the log once it hardens. Just rewrap the log for a few minutes after you make it pretty.
Herbed Butter Tips
- This recipe calls for fresh herbs, but you can substitute dry; just cut the quantities in half. (Dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh herbs.)
- You can easily double the recipe.
- You can use margarine instead of butter.
- A half-inch slice of herb butter per serving should do it. Slices also look lovely served on a dish of ice at the sideboard or table.
- *If I don't intend to freeze the recipe, I add fresh minced garlic to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon). Frozen garlic can turn bitter. I also add black pepper to lamb before serving but don't include pepper in the (frozen) butter because it tends to lose flavor.