Bone Marrow. For years now, nutritionists have been touting the benefits of consuming bone marrow in our diets. Claims have been made that it builds immunity, aids in digestion and wound repair, and even helps fight cancer.
It’s considered a culinary delicacy, but it’s been around long enough that it no longer has vogue status. It’s becoming more and more common to find bone marrow listed on menus, usually as an appetizer.
And when you see it, it’s not terribly appetizing. It’s a soft and mushy gelatin-like tissue which is mostly fat that fills the cavity of bones. After it’s baked, it is scooped out and can be eaten in a variety of ways. The marrow will be tinged with blood if not baked long enough. I like mine well done.
The presentation will depend on how the bone has been cut. If the long bone is cut horizontally, it’s easier to eat with the marrow being exposed. Extracting the marrow is a bit more difficult and messy if the bone is cut vertically into 3-4″ pieces. Because of its consistency, it’s difficult to control and keep on a spoon. Either way makes a remarkable presentation.
From Bone To Mouth
Once on the spoon you can eat it or transfer it to a cracker or toast point. My preferred way is to transfer a bit of the marrow to a toast point and mash it so it doesn’t slide off. Then I like to add a bit of parsley salad I’ve prepared for the occasion.
I like to serve with a side of risotto. Its texture and tastes are a great accompaniment to the plate. For our recipe click on Risotto.
I like to pair it with a white wine, especially a bubbly. Champagne is great, but I prefer an Italian Prosecco. The bubbles are smaller, and I seem to handle this better.
Rather than getting down to the marrow of ourselves and other human beings, in this recipe we’re preying on the marrow of the bones of our not-too-distant cousins. We certainly need the beneficial quality of proteins, and this seems to be a great way to get our Paleo on. And bone marrow really is delicious…
so Bon Appétit.
Bone Marrow Roasted
8 BonesBeef or veal bones 3-4" long vertical cut
1 cupFlat-leaf parsley fresh
2Shallots, finely sliced
1 TbspLemon juice fresh
To tasteSea salt and ground black pepper
To tasteOils and vinegar
4 SlicesBread rustic white thick toasted
About 24 hours ahead of time:
Place the bones in a bowl of ice water with 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt per 1 cup water and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water every 4 hours and replacing salt each time. Drain and refrigerate until you are ready to cook the marrow. This removes the blood from the marrow. Be sure to use it within 24 hours or freeze the drained bones for up to 3 months.
As the bone marrow is cooking:
Prepare the toast points.
Prepare the salad (see below step #4)
Time: 45 Minutes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Drain the bones and pat them dry. Place them in a roasting pan. It the bones are cut crosswise, place them standing up; if cut lengthwise, place them cut side up.
Roast for at least 25 minutes, until the marrow has puffed slightly and is warm in the center. To test for doneness, insert a metal skewer into the center of the bone, then touch it to your wrist to gauge, the marrow’s temperature; the roasted bone marrow should be very hot, and no blood should be evident. There should be no resistance when the skewer is inserted and some of the marrow may have started to leak from the bones.
Toss parsley, shallots, oil, lemon juice, and capers in a medium bowl to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and perhaps a bit of vinegar to taste.
Divide the marrow bones and salad among plates. Serve with toast and sea salt. Using a long, thin spoon, scoop marrow into toast and smear with a knife. Top with a bit of salad, and garnish with a pinch or two of salt.
This pairs really well with Champagne. The addition of risotto as a side dish is also an excellent choice.