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Devilled Butter

4 generous dabs.

Butter Cup

One of britishfoodinamerica’s favorite savory compound butters, from the great age of the East India Company, and a classic British permutation of the Indian palette. Devilled butter was traditionally spooned cold onto hot grilled chops of lamb, pork, veal or kidneys. The Editor devours devilled butter on grilled rare hanger steaks: The pungent butter rivals the gamey flavor of an aged hanger.
Devilled butter also may be served on toast or crackers as an austerely elegant canapé (drop a caper or shard of roast chili on top). Excellent with old fashioned cocktails at attitude adjustment time.

-4 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
-1 teaspoon English or Dijon mustard (English is hotter)
-heaped ½ teaspoon curry powder
-½ teaspoon malt vinegar
-¼ teaspoon or more cayenne, to taste
-¼ teaspoon paprika

  1. As usual, combine everything with a fork and chill.
  2. Alternatively, if you want a batch fast and only have cold butter, throw everything into a food processor just until blended.


- Recipes for devilled butter usually call for lemon juice but the Editor likes the robust depth of malt vinegar with the robust flavors of cayenne, curry and mustard.

- Proportions actually are up to you. Different curry blends have differing heat levels, and as noted English mustard (Colman’s) is hotter than most Dijon. Do what you like.

- Sometimes we add Worcestershire.