How To Make Tarragon Compound Butter

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Steak is definitely one of the staples of outdoor cooking, but it’s easy to fall in a rut of preparing the same dish over and over again. If you’ve been looking for an easy way to really kick up the flavor of your grilled steaks, forget the marinades, rubs, and smokes for just a moment – not all flavor layering always happen there. Compound butters can be a great and simple way to step up your steaks and are a nice alternative to rich sauces. They really allow you to get creative with ingredients that add complex flavor profiles to different cuts of meat, and this tarragon compound butter recipe is no exception.

But what is a compound butter, anyway? Quite simply, it’s a butter that has been mixed with various herbs, seasonings, and even wine (yes, please!). Typically, it is rolled into logs and chilled or frozen before being sliced; then served with steak, seafood, or vegetables as an alternative to sauce. It can be made either sweet or savory, depending on your preference. Using a compound butter adds a little sophistication to your menu, but requires very little effort (the perfect combination).

Ready to learn how to make compound butter? Our tarragon compound butter recipe will be a great introduction to upping your culinary skills. You’ll need the following ingredients: oil, garlic, shallots, red wine, tarragon, butter, salt, and pepper.

Ingredients for tarragon compound butter

First, sauté the shallots and garlic in olive oil, add red wine, and reduce until almost all of the wine is gone. We used the side burner on our Commercial Series™ 4 Burner Gas Grill to do this.

tarragon compound butter reduction

Add the tarragon and remove from heat.

Tarragon added to compound butter reduction

Add a stick of butter to the cooled mixture and sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

Butter for tarragon compound butter recipe

Mix it all together.

Mix tarragon compound butter ingredients

Spoon the mixture onto parchment paper and form a nice, even log with a spatula leaving two inches of paper all around. Then, start rolling.

Rolling tarragon compound butter

Rolling tarragon compound butter

Twist the paper ends to secure once the roll is complete.

Twist ends of tarragon compound butter roll

Wrap the whole rolled log in tinfoil and then place in the freezer.

tarragon compound butter wrapped in tinfoil

After the butter has hardened, cut a 1-inch thick round for each steak you’ll be grilling. The compound butter should have a beautiful, rich purple color from the red wine. If you have leftover butter, just refreeze for another time.

Bon Appétit!

Steak with tarragon compound butter on top

Tarragon Compound Butter

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: I log

Serving Size: 8 servings

Calories per serving: -

Fat per serving: -

Compound butters are great way to add some elegance to any grilled steak recipe.This tarragon butter with red wine reduction will complement any steak you toss on the grill.


  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 12 x 16 inches parchment paper
  • Tin foil


  1. Sauté garlic and shallots in one tablespoon of oil. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add red wine and reduce until almost dry. Very little wine should remain.
  3. Add tarragon and remove from heat. Let cool.
  4. Add mixture into mixing bowl and add 1 stick of softened butter. Mix together thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place 12” x 16” inch piece of parchment paper on counter. (Shorter side should face.)
  6. With a rubber spatula, place butter in log shape onto parchment paper keeping a 2-inch border around on all sides.
  7. Roll lengthwise to form a log. Twist off ends to secure.
  8. Wrap the log in tin foil.
  9. Place into freezer until hard. About 20 minutes.
  10. While the butter is freezing, prep your grill for medium-high heat and grill steaks to desired temperature: Medium rare (145°F) or Medium (160°F).
  11. Cut compound butter into rounds (about 1” thick for each serving).
  12. Once cut, allow the rounds to warm to room temperature before placing on steak.
  13. Place compound butter round onto steaks. Butter will melt and flavor steak perfectly.
  14. Rewrap and refreeze remaining compound butter for future use.


This compound butter can be made ahead of time and frozen till ready for use.

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