Cowboy Butter for Steak


Here I’ll show you how to make the dreamiest steak sauce imaginable!

I’ve been seeing cowboy butter flying around the internet for a little while now and I’ve been dying to give it a go. I’ve tweaked this recipe more times than I can count, but I’m incredibly excited to share the final result with you! Follow me…

close up shot of silver spoon stirring cowboy butter in small bowl

Cowboy Butter Ingredients

The ingredients in cowboy butter all marry together to make the most glorious butter in the world. Your steak is going to thank you! Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:

  • Butter – I use unsalted butter to gain more control over the overall saltiness.
  • Herbs – I go for parsley, chives and a small amount of thyme. I find thyme to be quite loud, especially in this context, so there’s significantly less than the other two herbs. Make sure they’re all fresh and finely diced. Don’t sub dry herbs!
  • Dijon Mustard – This gives a lovely bit of heat. I see some recipes using 1 tbsp+ but after testing around I find a tsp offers more than enough flavour. Too much and it just completely overpowers the butter.
  • Garlic – I started this recipe with 3 cloves, but quite frankly it blew my socks off. I now go for 1 clove, but you could go for 2 if you love garlic.
  • Worcestershire sauce – This adds a lovely depth of flavour.
  • Seasoning – Smoked paprika is a must for its lovely colour and gorgeous smokiness. I also go in with some chilli flakes for a kick of spice, alongside the usual salt and black pepper.
  • Lemon Juice – This brings the butter to life and cuts through the richness.

overhead shot of cowboy butter ingredients with text labels

Cowboy Butter Sauce

You can make cowboy butter and serve it in two different contexts:

  • Firm Compound – You could mix the ingredients using softened butter, then roll it into a log and store it in the fridge to firm it up. From there you’d usually slice into wedges to use as and when you need it.
  • Sauce – I like to just about melt the butter so it’s nice and creamy, then use the butter as more of a sauce/dip.

How do I soften the butter?

You’ll want to dice it into small pieces then microwave in very short bursts (4-5 seconds). Whilst you could, I personally don’t like completely melting the butter because the ingredients separate. Having the butter a little creamy keeps every well-distributed.

Process shots: dice butter (photo 1), partially melt (photo 2), add ingredients (photo 3), mix (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make cowboy butter

Cowboy Butter for Steak

Whilst I imagine this butter would be great in many different dishes, there’s no better pairing than steak. The butter has such bold flavours that only a juicy steak can tame.

What kind of steak should I use?

Use your favourite cut! Here I’ve gone for Sirloin as that’s my usual on a weeknight at home.

Preparing the steak

Whichever steak you choose, here’s some tips to getting the best out of it:

  1. Room Temp – I know there is some dispute over this, but I do find that getting the steak out of the fridge 30 minutes or so before frying is helpful in relaxing the meat and preventing it from seizing up/going chewy.
  2. Dry – Patting the steak dry will remove moisture, which prevents the steak from steaming and in turn, helps the steak caramelise more efficiently in the pan.
  3. Seasoning – A generous seasoning of salt and pepper is all you need to bring out the best flavour in the meat. There’s plenty of flavour in the butter, so no need for extra seasoning on the meat.
  4. Hot pan – Make sure your pan is absolutely smoking hot (literally). This will ensure you get a gorgeous crust on the steak without the inside overcooking.
  5. Rest – Really important you rest the steak after you’ve cooked it so it can retain its moisture. If you slice into it straight away all the juices will pour out.

I typically baste steak in butter as I fry it, but here I’m actually just going to fry the steak in oil and pour over the butter at the end. Reason is that you risk the herbs burning in the hot pan.

Process shots: pat steaks dry (photo 1), season (photo 2), add to hot pan (photo 3), fry both sides (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make steak

Cowboy Butter FAQ

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes! In fact this will help the flavours marry together. Just tightly cover in the fridge until needed then loosen up with short bursts in the microwave (stirring in between).

What else could I serve this with?

I’ve only tried steak but I imagine chicken, prawns/shrimp and even veggies would be awesome!

Can I tweak the ingredients?

I’d keep the base the same the first time around and just do minor tweaks (chilli flakes, salt and pepper) then branch out after and go wild.

Will this freeze?

Yes! Just thaw in the fridge then use as needed.

close up shot of hand dunking slice of steak into small pot of cowboy butter

Serving Steak and Cowboy Butter

Here I’ve served with oven fries (no shame) and a simple side salad. Check out my Side Dishes for more inspo (Mashed Potatoes would be awesome).

Looking for more steak sauces? Check out these beauties:

Steak Sauce Recipes

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this cowboy butter and steak shall we?!

close up shot of steak and cowboy butter with fries on small white plate

How to make Cowboy Butter for Steak (Full Recipe & Video)

close up shot of hand dunking slice of steak into small pot of cowboy butter


Cowboy Butter for Steak

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Here I'll show you how to make the dreamiest steak sauce imaginable!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 – 6
Calories 105kcal
Cost £2 / $2.50


  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Kitchen Roll/Paper Towels (for drying steak)
  • Large Heavy-Based Pan & Tongs


Cowboy Butter

  • 8 tbsp / 120g Unsalted Butter, softened (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp very finely diced Fresh Parsley
  • 1 tbsp very finely diced Fresh Chives
  • 1/2 tsp (not tbsp!) very finely diced Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 1 clove Garlic, finely grated/minced
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 3/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes, or to spice preference
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste


  • 2x 220g/8oz Sirloin Steaks, at room temp
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt & Black Pepper, as needed


  • Combine all of the cowboy butter ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
  • Pat the steaks dry then generously season both sides with salt and pepper. Add a large cast-iron or heavy-based pan over high heat. Once the pan is very hot, add the oil and leave for 5-10 seconds. For medium-rare, add the steaks and leave undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip them over and fry for 2 minutes, then remove and rest them to one side for 5 minutes.
  • Serve the steak with your desired amount of butter and enjoy!



a) ButterI like the butter to be soft enough to spoon over the steak, but not quite fully melted where the ingredients separate. A little creamy if you will. Just pop the butter in the microwave for 5 second blasts until you reach this consistency (careful – it’ll melt quickly!).

b) Storage – The butter will definitely serve more than two steaks, so just tightly cover the rest in the fridge for 4-5 days (can also freeze long-term). Making this ahead of time will give time for the flavours to marry together!

c) Steaks – You can use any steaks you like and cook to your preference, here I’ve just used what I normally go for. It’s really difficult to offer exact timings, but I find an 8oz/220g steak typically takes around 2 minutes on each side in a piping hot pan to offer a medium-rare finish with a nice crust.

d) Serving – Here I’ve served with oven fries (no shame) and a simple side salad. Check out my Side Dishes for more inspo!

e) Calories – For 1 tbsp of the butter.


Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.71g | Protein: 0.28g | Fat: 11.59g | Saturated Fat: 7.305g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.459g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.006g | Trans Fat: 0.466g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 24mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.13g | Vitamin A: 560IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.17mg

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