Anchovy and Fennel Seed Butter (Compound Butter)

I love butter. I love it on hot toast, melted over veggies and steaks, mashed into fluffy potatoes and baked into buttery biscuits and cakes (including the buttercream frosting, naturally). One thing I like better than butter? Flavoured compound butter. Any type of flavoured butter is good butter in my opinion, but this one here with salty briny anchovies and aromatic fennel seeds has got to be my favourite and if you’re as much into butter and strong, pungent flavours as I am, I am sure it will be your favourite too.


Best combined with: crusty (hot) bread, soft boiled egg on toast, steak, lamb chops, pasta, green beans, steamed broccoli


Anchovy and Fennel Seed Butter

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  • GF
Flavourful compound butter with anchovies and fennel seeds
  • Difficulty:Easy
  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:5 mins
  • Freezable:Yes

Nutrition per portion

  • 200g butter, room-temperature
  • 30g salted oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Salt (optional)
  1. Allow butter to come to room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, toast the fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Once the seeds start to make popping sounds and start to become fragrant, remove from pan. Roughly ground the toasted fennel seeds with a pestle and mortar.
  3. Very finely mince the anchovy fillets and garlic clove. It’s best if the anchovies are almost turned into a paste, but tiny pieces is fine as well.
  4. Once the butter has softened, stir in toasted and ground fennel seeds, finely chopped anchovies, chopped garlic and some freshly cracked pepper. You can add some salt to taste as well, but remember that the anchovies are quite salty already, so taste the mixture before adding any extra.
  Technically the butter is ready to be used right now (though, it’s even tastier the day after making), but if you want to reshape the butter so that it’s easier to preserve and firm enough to be sliced into disks take the following steps:  
  1. Place the butter in the middle of a piece of cling film on a clean working surface. To help with rolling you can already slightly spread out the butter in a slightly-elongated shape. Tightly wrap the butter into a log-shape. Twist ends to tighten and seal well.
  2. Refrigerate at least an hour before slicing it into disks.
  3. To freeze, slice log into shorter lengths or disks and package and freeze separately.

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