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!
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.
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.
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.