If you’re an unabashed carnivore like me, you just haven’t lived until you’ve had roasted marrow bones.
Roasted marrow bones are a simple, delicious treat that’s surprisingly easy to make at home. Just roast the bones, then scoop the marrow out, spread it on toast, and top it with a little parsley salad. Voila: Instant carnivorous bliss.
Roasted marrow Bones: Love ’em or hate ’em?
“Ew, Mouse. Scoop out the marrow? As in, the stuff INSIDE the bones? Gross.”
Yep, yep. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But if it’s yours, man oh man: The whole thing is a sumptuous, decadent, and unarguably meaty experience. I absolutely love the stuff.
Roasted marrow bones got a good mention on the recent Meat-Fest episode of Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate—which is what prompted me to beat a hasty path to the nearest meat counter.
Even if you don’t like the show, this episode is worth watching if you can catch it. They featured some absurdly mouthwatering stuff. (I’m talking whole roasted beasts, etc.)
Here’s my obligatory disclaimer, because I know someone is going to give me grief: Like many delicious things, this ain’t the healthiest thing in the world. So just don’t indulge every night, OK?
About marrow bones
Roasted marrow bones aren’t widely consumed in the States (though who knows, maybe that’s changing), but they’re considered a delicacy overseas. Mostly fat with a little bit of protein, the bones are most commonly roasted or poached.
I’ve had my eye on this book for a while. (Anyone have it? What do you think?)
If you’re committed to eating marrow like a pro, you could even get yourself a couple of marrow spoons—long, thin spoons that look like something a cheesemaker would use to take a core sample out of wheel of cheddar as it ages. (If you’d rather forgo the pomp and circumstance, a slender spoon or thin knife will totally do the job, as well.)
I know a lot of folks who have never done this, so here’s how to make Fergus Henderson’s roasted marrow bones.
Who is Fergus Henderson?
Wonder why? Have a look at Henderson roast some bones with Mark Bittman.
Henderson is also the author of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, a book which hinges on the philosophy of eating the whole animal—trotters, tripe, and all.
(Can you see why I loved him instantly? For further evidence, have a peek at his other book, Beyond Nose to Tail.)
Shopping for marrow bones
For this recipe, use beef marrow bones, or veal marrow bones if you can get your paws on them. A lot of major grocers will carry them. If you can’t find them, hit up a Whole Foods or butcher shop and talk to the folks behind the meat counter.
Here are the four I got.
Some bones may be dotted with a little blood. (Hey, they’re bones.) That’s just fine. If it bothers you, you can push the marrow out, and soak it overnight in cold water, changing the water a few times. Henderson didn’t mention doing this, so I didn’t bother.
What kind of bread is best for marrow on toast?
Use a good, crusty loaf of French bread.
Slice it on the thin side and toast it lightly.
The short version of this recipe
Roast. Spread. Inhale.
Read on for slightly more detailed instructions—with photos.
Roasted Marrow Bones
Adapted from Fergus Henderson’s recipe
4 center-cut beef or veal marrow bones, about 3 inches long (mine were about 5 inches long, so I roasted them a little longer)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tsp. capers
1 Tbls. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
kosher salt, to taste
Thick slices of crusty bread, toasted
Serves about 4
Roast about 20 minutes
Roast the marrow bones
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Grab your marrow bones.
Stand them up on end in a baking dish. They’re going to ooze a little from the bottom as they cook, so choose a dish that has a little depth to it. I used a glass 8 x 8 pan.
Most bones will have one end that’s a little wider. Put that end on the bottom, so they’re less likely to tip over when you move your pan.
When your oven’s up to temp, pop the pan in.
Roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, until the marrow is soft and the bones are brown.
Make the parsley salad
Chop up your parsley.
Peel your shallot and slice it thinly.
Toss the chopped parsley, shallot, and capers into a bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with kosher salt to taste.
Mix with a fork to combine the ingredients.
Take the marrow bones out of the oven
When the bones are done, they’ll look about like this.
Spread the marrow on the toast
At this point, your counter probably looks like this.
Have at it! Scoop out a little marrow.
Have you had roasted marrow bones?
Did you like them? If you haven’t, would you try them? Leave a comment and let me know!