The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): Beurre Maître d’Hôtel

RECIPE: Beurre Maître d'Hôtel
Beurre Maître d'Hôtel, stuffed with parsley, on a juicy, charred sirloin steak

Beurre Maître d'Hôtel, stuffed with parsley, on a juicy, charred sirloin steak

Beurre Maître d’Hôtel, or the maitre d’s butter.  I’m not sure why it’s called that, but whoever the maitre d’ was, I’m glad he turned his hand to the kitchen.  Beurre Maître d’Hôtel is a simple French compound butter stuffed with chopped fresh parsley and a squidge of lemon juice.  Traditionally it is mixed, rolled, chilled, and sliced.  You set a pat of the freshly flavored butter on a seared steak as it rests, and the butter melts into the grains of the meat, and the parsley and lemon go with it, and the steak becomes moist and the fresh flavors of parsley and lemon cut through the heaviness of the butter and steak.  Quite ingenious, don’t you think?

In my version, I start with good sweet French butter at room temperature, and put in a lot of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley (two parts butter to one part parsley)–that’s more than usual.  Then just a little bit of lemon juice, sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper.  Instead of the old roll-and-slice method, I use a mini ice cream scoop to create little pretty balls of butter, which I refrigerate to set.  Here, I seared off a bone-in sirloin, but this parsley butter is traditional with tenderloin, and you could use it on whatever steak you like.  I also love it on grilled fish, like swordfish or giant prawns.  The best part is, make extra, set it in the fridge, and then freeze it.  You can use it whenever you want to add freshness and flavor to meats.

Excerpted from my weekly column The Secret Ingredient on Serious Eats.

Beurre Maître d'Hôtel
serves 4

Beurre Maître d'Hôtel, stuffed with parsley, on a juicy, charred sirloin steakINGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons good unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Good sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


In a small bowl, mash everything together thoroughly. Then, take a small ice cream scoop and place four perfect balls of butter onto a small plate. Refrigerate for one hour.

If you want to make a steak like the one pictured, buy 4 half-pound bone-in sirloins, and trim some of the excess fat. Rub them all over with olive or vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the steaks about 3 minutes on each side. Place a ball of beurre maître d’ on each steak as it rests. I like to slice the steaks, and serve them with the warm butter dripping down around them.

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Categories: Bread & Butter, Cheap, Dips, Spreads, Preserves, Easy, Eat, Fish, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian

6 Responses to The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): Beurre Maître d’Hôtel

  1. Blair says:

    Hello everyone!

    I just wanted to say that I love this blog! it ‘s always full of information, photos, ideas and recipes!
    Actually, this blog and the French Culture Guide website ( are my favorite as far as I’ am a fan of french gastronomy! I although recommend it! Enjoy :)

  2. Sarah says:

    Mmm, this looks awesome! The world would be a better place if everyone cooked like you!

  3. This looks so good. I can’t wait to try it! I recently went on a parsley kick, too, but in a . Love your site, I read it all the time :)