Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bone Marrow -- No, really!

My daughter is an anthropologist and tried bone marrow as part of a Paleolithic archaeology seminar.  Of course she wanted me to try it, too!  I was dubious.  My imagination said this was going to be weird, maybe slimy or with some other unwelcome texture.  And I thought the flavor would be... off....

But I am a foodie and I felt I would lose credibility if she offered it and I refused.

Her recipe is not historical.  But the idea of eating bone marrow certainly is and I have seen many recipes in the old books.  So here is her take on it with my reactions.

Roasted Bone Marrow with Lemon Parsley Sauce

From New York Times via High/Low Food Drink 

  • 8 to 12 center-cut beef or veal marrow bones, 3 inches long, 3 to 4 pounds total
  • 1 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • 4 1-inch thick slices of country bread
The olive oil avoided having its picture taken

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put bones, cut side up, on foil-lined baking sheet or in ovenproof skillet. Cook until marrow is soft and has begun to separate from the bone, about 15 minutes. (Stop before marrow begins to drizzle out.)
  2. Meanwhile, combine parsley, shallots and capers in small bowl. Just before bones are ready, whisk together olive oil and lemon juice and drizzle dressing over parsley mixture until leaves are just coated. Put roasted bones, parsley salad, salt and toast on a large plate. To serve, scoop out marrow, spread on toast, sprinkle with salt and top with parsley salad.
Serves 4.

Credit Where It Is Due

My daughter did all the shopping, preparations, and cooking here.  : )


I guess there was a run on bone marrow that day because she went to two different sources and could only find the two bones -- and that was after asking the butcher to cut some for her.  We made do with what was available.

She made a little tray out of foil to hold the marrow and placed it all on a cookie sheet.

While the marrow was roasting, she put together the parsley salad.

During the 15 minutes of roasting, the kitchen began to smell like the best meaty roast you have ever smelled.  My tastebuds began to water!

The bones were sitting in a puddle of yellow oil that people have described as "meat butter".  We scraped out the little bit of brown marrow we could get, spread some of it on the bread as well as dipping the bread into the oil.  

There was more marrow in the bones than just this!
The Verdict:  I tasted it without any of the parsley salad.  Oh.  My.  The flavor was rich, meaty, buttery.  I had no problems with the texture:  it was just like eating garlic bread, but much, much better.  Marrow is perfect to put on bread.  The only thing it needed, really, was a bit of salt.  I could have eaten it all just as it was.  Success!

Here it is with the salad.
This tasted excellent, too.  The parsley, capers, and shallots blended well together with the olive oil and lemon dressing.  They complimented the meaty marrow flavor and had just enough acid bite to make it sparkle.  I sprinkled a little salt over the top of it all.
I think the only thing I would do differently would be to chop the parsley and shallots finer, so they sat easily on the bread. 

I feel I have successfully retained my Foodie title while getting to know an historical food source that was much tastier than my imagination allowed for.  This is definitely a repeater and a fun way to challenge my dinner guests' sense of adventure!

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