Butteraise or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Saturated Fat

20 Mar

I love mayonnaise, but I hate that if I want to buy mayonnaise I have to settle for something made from non-paleo fats. I’ve tried my hand at making mayo a couple of times and been semi-successful. I made a nice walnut oil mayonnaise a few years ago, but that quickly becomes prohibitively expensive, even if you mix the walnut oil with olive oil. A pure olive oil mayo is bitter and weird. So what’s a cavegirl to do? How do we make cavemanaise? (Eh? Eh? Pretty good, huh?) I settled on a solution the other morning after I mixed up a batch of hollandaise — why not make mayonnaise from butter?

So I did.

And it is GREAT. Like, “Uh I think I ate three sticks of butter today” great. I don’t care. I regret nothing. Butter is not a strictly paleo food, but to quote Mark Sisson: “…grain-fed butter is still a better option than conventional cooking fats, like vegetable oil or margarine.” Plus, butter is goddamn delicious. Butteraise is the perfect sauce for vegetables and meats — I ate it with artichokes, put it over my wilted kale, mixed a little hot sauce into it and smeared it on chicken breast, and I’ll probably use some as a base for a chicken salad. I also want to try butteraise on steak tartare — I think that would be a perfect combination.

I used a stick blender (aka immersion blender) to make this. I’ve tried the immersion blender method before and this is the first time I’ve gotten it to work. I’m not positive I know what I did differently this time, but the basic idea is you use a narrow container (it should be almost exactly the same diameter as the end of your stick blender), layer the ingredients, and, starting at the bottom, slowly and carefully pulse until it all emulsifies. Here’s a video.

Here’s the recipe:


  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered mustard


  1. Put the egg yolks into your narrow container. Add the liquids and spices.
  2. Very slowly, pour the butter in, trying as much as possible to get it to float in a single layer above the other ingredients.
  3. Let stand for 15 seconds.
  4. Submerge the head of the blender until it rests on the bottom of the container.
  5. Pulse several times until you can see a distinctive white layer on the bottom around the stick blender blades.
  6. Slowly draw the blender up through the rest of the butter, continuing to blend. I felt like I was using the blender like a plunger, slowly going up and down.
  7. When the emulsion is complete, transfer your butteraise to a container and refrigerate it.

All homemade mayonnaise should be eaten within at most a week of making it, and be mindful of the fact that it contains raw egg.


4 Responses to “Butteraise or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Saturated Fat”

  1. Sharon Rose March 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM #


  2. Flidais April 9, 2013 at 5:00 PM #

    Why didn’t I think of this? Thanks for doing it for me 🙂


  1. A wonderful way for carpaccio | The Cave Hedonist - April 9, 2013

    […] a particularly lovely combination: thinly sliced beef over a bed of arugula topped with butteraise, salt and pepper, and finely minced […]

  2. Crepinettes: Caul-Wrapped Goodness | The Cave Hedonist - June 18, 2013

    […] picture of my walnut-cranberry-sage crepinettes, complete with ridiculous garnish (and flourish of butteraise — I’ve started storing it in squeeze bottles, which is possibly the best idea […]

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