Grilled Steaks with Ramp Butter

I embrace the nourishing proprieties of high quality animal fats in our meals. We especially appreciate the French cooking technique of finishing nearly every dish on the table with a healthy pat of butter right before serving. Steaks, in my kitchen, are no exception. The ramp butter melts with the meat juices and lends a delicate flavor to the steak. For more punch make with green garlic, or skip the greens and follow the recipe with just butter. We used the extra butter to season our grilled potatoes and asparagus. Spring bliss.

Ramps are a native spring woodland flower in the Allium family – the same as onion and garlic. The small bulbs and stems of ramps have a unique subtle garlicy onion flavor that we only have the pleasure of enjoying for a few weeks each year. Get a few bundles from the farmers market this weekend!

Ramp butter

1 bunch ramps, washed and trimmed
2 sticks butter, preferably organic, softened

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, submerge ramps and blanch for 30 seconds, then immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Dry in a towel. Mince ramps finely on cutting board or process in a food processor. Then add butter and mash together.

Store in the fridge or freezer.

Grilled steaks

Sea salt
Steaks: ribeye, porterhouse, tbone, rib steak, New York strip all work well

Bring steaks out of the fridge at least a half hour before you want to cook them. Season with salt to taste and let rest on your counter.

Light your charcoal or heat your grill. You want a hot sear side and a cooler cook side, achieved by piling many hot coals in one corner of the grill and a thinner layer next to that. The sear area should be too hot to hold a hand one inch over, the cook zone cool enough to have your hand over for two or three seconds but not longer than that.

Twenty minutes before you want to serve the steaks, place them on the hot side to sear, about two minutes per side. Transfer to the cook area to continue to cook another five minutes or so depending on your preference. It’s a good idea to get used to testing for doneness by poking with your finger.  A medium rare steak feels like poking the space between your thumb and pointer finger when you’re making a fist.

Remove from the grill with tongs to a cutting board. Place a generous tablespoon of ramp butter on each steak and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest ten minutes, then serve.