Cook Like: Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson at Chef Shack Ranch


photos by tj turner

Chef Shack Ranch is a place for serious barbecue—the kind of joint where beef and pork are smoked in Big Green Egg grills and served piled on big sheet trays. For owners Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson, the seemingly straightforward operation of smoking a brisket becomes a multi-day process of rubs, fuels, flavor-imparting wood chunks, and finishing flourishes of garlic cloves and olives.

Summer and Carlson’s secret weapon for adding extra richness and zing is an herby compound butter. Slathered on hot, grilled cuts, it’s the easiest way for a home cook to take backyard barbecue to the next level.

Herb-Compound Butter

Makes 1 lb.

   6    oz. scallions, trimmed and cleaned
   1    lb. unsalted butter, cut in pieces and
              warmed to room temperature
    ½    lemon, zested and juiced
           Salt and pepper to taste
           Thyme (optional)

1. Trim scallions and clean well under cold running water.
2. Blanch scallions for 30 seconds by dropping in large pot of salted, boiling water, and then place in bowl of ice water. Drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible, and slice thinly.
3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, scallions, salt, and pepper.
4. On sheets of parchment paper, form logs of butter roughly ½ lb. each, and wrap in parchment tightly. Store in large, sealed plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer.
5. To serve, slice butter and spread on grilled meat.

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