5.05.2011

roasted bone marrow with parsley salad



Stay with me now. The jiggly buttery innards of roasted bones spread on crisp toasted bread might be on my death row meal, but I get that it might not be everyone's cup of tea. To which I say - it should be.  


There was a time where I cringed at the thought of spooning out meat butter from a big bone. Those were some dark days. It all changed the first time I went to Montreal, and I saw hot, fashionable women everywhere greedily mining for every last bit of the stuff and eating it straight, no toast needed. When I closed my eyes and tried it, it changed my world - it was fatty, beefy, and unctuous. 


If a restaurant has bone marrow on the menu, I have to order it. It's a compulsion. But I realized that making it at home is laughably easy and cheap. I got these bones in the meat section of my grocery store for $3. If you can't find them, ask the butcher counter if they've got some in the back...most of them time they're trying to get rid of them. The tragedy. 


A simple salad of parsley, shallots, capers, lemon zest, juice, and olive oil. So bright and acidic that it cuts right through the richness of the marrow - which means you can fool your body into letting you have double the amount of bones.


After only 20 minutes in the oven, your bones are transformed from something you might toss to your dog to bubbling pots of decadence. The fat that leaks out of the bones will cover the bottom of your roasting pan, and that stuff is gold. I kept it to oil the baguette slices, but it would be awesome mixed in with butter to top a steak, or even as an addition to pasta sauce. 


There is something so amazingly carnal about scraping out the insides of a bone and slathering it on a hot piece of bread. This was part of a date night dinner, and there's nothing that bonds a couple more than connecting with your caveman and cavewoman roots together. Sprinkled with some coarse grains of sea salt and garnished with that herbaceous salad...it's just glorious. 

roasted bone marrow with parsley salad - recipe from Fergus Henderson
serves 4 (I halved the recipe - even I can't eat 6 bones myself. My thighs would never forgive me.)
12 3-inch pieces of veal/beef marrowbone
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked from stems
2 shallots, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
coarse sea salt
baguette, sliced on a bias and toasted (either in toaster or on a sheet pan in the broiler)

Put the bones in a roasting pan or ovenproof frying pan in a 450 degree oven. Depending on the thickness of your bone, it should take about 20 minutes. You're looking for the insides to be loose, but keep an eye on the moistness. If you leave them in for too long, all the fat will have melted away, which makes the marrow tough and rubbery.

While bones are roasting, chop the parsley and mix it in a bowl with the shallots and capers. Just before serving, toss the salad with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

I served my bones on a bed of salt because it keeps them standing in place and soaks up any juices that might muddy your plate. The tradition is to allow the diner to do the last-minute seasoning, so this way people can pick up the salt from the plate and season their marrow-slathered toast accordingly.    


6 comments:

jill said...

a very long time ago, when people had very little money for meat, these bones were golden! as a matter of fact, the photographer's great-grandfather used to fish them out of his wife's soup, and dig out the marrow to put on fresh pumpernickel! what a delight to read this recipe today!

Gavin said...

It looks gross, but it is good.

saltandlove said...

if by gross you mean sexy as hell, then agreed.

Eliza said...

mmmm...i love bone marrow! i am done with finals so I can finally catch up on your blog. I will have to send you this fabulous short story that Anna wrote about our first experience with bone marrow...very funny.
love you lady

Christopher said...

Awesome. Just awesome.

Isabelle said...

Shhh... let's keep this whole roasted bone marrow thing secret. My butcher currently throws in a bag of marrow bones for free if I ask nicely, but that'll all come to an end if he realises that people actually are willing to pay for them! :)
BTW, roasted bone marrow is absolutely lovely with smoked salt, if you happen to have any kicking around. Just a teensy pinch adds a whole new dimension of flavour.

Hypersmash