Roasted bone marrow is one of those things that remind me of all things decadent. Everything that I love about beef is in this spreadable essence. Some of you reading this might be reluctant to take the plunge. But I promise, if you get a bit adventurous you’ll realize what you’ve been missing out on all along!
Whenever I have enjoyed this dish in a restaurant, it’s presented in an avant-garde way that may leave most cooks thinking that it should be left up to the pros to deal with. But I’ll let you in on a little secret…bone marrow is one of the easiest, most hands-off, and budget friendly dishes ($2.99/lb) that you can prepare in the comfort of your own kitchen. Plus, it makes for an impressive appetizer that might leave your guests thinking you spent months in France learning from the best.
When you see bone marrow on a restaurant menu, it usually refers to the femur (thigh bone) of a cow. It works well for this dish since the femur is a straight bone. Plus, since cows are such large animals you’re sure to get a has a good amount of marrow in that bone! If you can, ask your butcher to cut the bones “canoe-style” so it’s more of, well…a canoe shape, leaving it easier to spoon out onto a few toasted pieces of a baguette. If you’re a fellow Torontonian, there’s a butcher in the St. Lawrence market that always has “canoe-cut” marrow bones. Plus, it’s always a fun to just wander around and look of all of the amazing products!
Roasting it in the oven is certainly the best way to cook bone marrow. I like to roast it at 450F. The high temperature is guaranteed to give you that delicious caramelization on top! So good.
Because of its high fat content, I like to make a gremolata to compliment its creaminess. A little parsley, radishes, shallots, capers, and a squeeze off lemon juice does the trick to cut through the richness.
And as an added bonus… it can be a treat for both you and your furry friend (if you have one). After you’ve cleaned out all of the marrow, of course. Evidence below from my adorbale pup, Molly!
- 2 “canoe-cut” marrowbones
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 cup of curly parsley, stems removed
- 1 tbsp. finely diced shallot
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Thinly sliced baguette, toasted
- Salt & pepper
- Soak marrowbones in cold, salted water for 1-2 days. Change water every 8 hours. This will help remove visible blood from the bones so they will appear less brown when roasted.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Drain, rinse, and pat-dry bones with paper towel. Place marrow-side up on a baking sheet.
- Season bones with salt and pepper. Place one sprig of rosemary on top of each bone.
- Roast bones for 15-20 minutes, until the marrow just starts to pull away from the bone. The marrow should be white and no longer red in colour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the gremolata by combining the parsley, shallot, radishes, and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Toast the slices of bread according to your preference.
- Spread a teaspoon of hot marrow on a piece of toast and top with parsley gremolata.