Bone Marrow

bone marrow

February 17th, 2012

There seemed to be quite some enthusiasm for bone marrow after I mentioned Marek’s sausages last week and the next time I went in to the butchers the discussion continued in that vein – more sausages, Fergus Henderson, etc. I found myself buying Osso Buco for dinner (see my recipe here) – shin of veal, with a bone and marrow in the center. This week I continued with the theme and bought some bones to roast in order to eat the marrow on toast. Having seen Chica Andaluza’s Osso Buco post yesterday, I’m beginning to think that bone marrow could be the new food thing!

marrow bones

Bone marrow is the flexible tissue, found inside bones. It produces new blood cells, lymphocytes, supports the immune system and acts as a conduit for the body’s systemic circulation.

Marrow has a lovely rich creamy taste and texture, it’s almost sweet and infinitely better than butter as a spread. It has a high calorie, fat, nutrient and vitamin content and it’s easy to digest – it could cause weight gain (if you eat large quantities), but it’s very good for you. Apparently, when wild animals kill, they like to eat the bone marrow first before starting on the meat.

cooked marrow

To cook: Put some marrow bones onto an oiled baking tray (extra virgin olive oil is my choice) and cook in a preheated oven at the maximum setting for 20 – 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the bones and don’t let them burn.

beef marrow on toast

When cooked, rub raw garlic into a slice of sourdough toast (I recommend St. John sourdough bread), drizzle on some olive oil, spoon the bone marrow onto the bread and sprinkle with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper.

This makes a great starter for a dinner party – allow 2 -3 bones per person. There seems to be a fairly universal salad accompaniment recipe, see here for the one by Fergus Henderson. Anthony Bourdain says he’d like roasted bone marrow for his last meal.

Marrow bones are very cheap – don’t tell your friends or they will become as expensive as pig cheeks and oxtail! If your bones have any bits of meat and fat left on them, you could use them in making stock.

Fergus Henderson explains St. John’s roast bone marrow.

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19 Responses to Bone Marrow

  1. ChgoJohn says:

    This is a great post, very informative. Since you mentioned the sausages with marrow in that post of a few weeks ago, I’ve done some web surfing looking for a recipe. I’ve not really found anything and think I’ll just have a go at it. The worst that could happen is that my dog gets a couple gourmet meals. On the other hand, there could be some mighty fine sausage in my future. I’ll let you know which of us lucks out. 🙂

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks John. I mentioned the sausages to Fergus Henderson and he was very enthusiastic – he said he’d been thinking of making steamed dumplings (Chinese Dim Sum) filled with bone marrow.
      I believe Marek is planning to make a new variety of sausage this week…

  2. Wow these look seriosly tempting. I’ve seen a bone marrow burger recipe from Hawksmoor too with the marrow adding some lovely unctuous flavour.

  3. Ah, sweet memories of quick lunches at the St.John in Smithfield. Nice one.

  4. Wonderful, and you´re right, this could become the next “Big thing”. I could eat this now for breakfast 😉

  5. peasepudding says:

    Perfect, I can see me chilling on a Friday after work with this spread on toast and a cold beer in hand.

  6. ceciliag says:

    Hmm, not something i have ever tasted, marrow on toast! But maybe i shall give it a go! Hmm.. c

    • Mad Dog says:

      I suppose one could regard it as luxury butter, once you get over what it is. Personally, I think it tastes amazing when eaten from the Osso Buco bone, having been cooked in sauce for several hours – I’m always amazed that it stays in the bone!

      It’s a very cheap thing to try and your dogs will love it if you decide it’s not for you 😉

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  9. maria says:

    can you cook marrow bones and make the marrow hard for dogs? if so how?

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