If creamy salty butter and a beautiful steak made a baby — that baby would be bone marrow. Something that maybe you’ve only seen at a snazzy gastropup is impossibly easy to make at home. The hardest part is finding good quality bones (vital!) –which a quick heads-up to your local butcher should solve.
This appetizer is a stunner: it’s beautiful, surprising, delicious. Bone marrow has a velvety butter texture just begging to be put on all the toast, tasting like condensed beef essence (in the best of ways). The herb salad is so simple(!), preserved lemon is the perfect condiment that adds an exotic perfume to the whole thing and brightens up the rich suety marrow.
Feel free to completely customize the toppings! Think fresh, think acid. Arugula and a fun vinegar would be a perfect pairing. What’s nonnegotiable is good bread, good wine and good friends to share it all with.
Roasted Bone Marrow with Herb Salad
- 4 bone marrow halves (from beef femur bones) 24-30 ounces
- large handful parsley chopped
- 3 scallions diced
- 1 preserved lemon
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- baguette (sourdough!)
- sliced radishes, pickled onions, capers, sumac, flaky sea salt and fresh pepper for toppings
The day before: To prep the bones, place in a large bowl with 1 TB kosher salt and cover bones with cold water. Refrigerate, covered, for 12-24 hours. Try to change the water and salt 2-3 times.
The day of: Drain and dry off the marrow. PREHEAT OVEN 450* with rack in upper third section.
Place the marrow halves on a sturdy cookie sheet, marrow side up. Liberally season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until the marrow is soft and pierces easily.
Meanwhile, prep the herb salad: Deseed the preserved lemon and finely chop. On a cutting board dump the scallions, parsley and lemon. Chop everything together to really blend and pulverize the lemon into everything.
Place the tomatoes in a small bowl and stir in the herb mix. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and tweak. Set aside and finish prepping the rest of your toppings: toast up the bread, slice radishes, etc.
Once the marrow is done -- plate and serve with the bread, herb salad and toppings. Let everyone dig in and make their own marrow-y toasts!
- If you can't get your hands on preserved lemons: substitute 1 small lemon zested and juiced and a tsp or so chopped capers. This won't give you the same flavor because it's pretty impossible to duplicate, but still good.
- For any leftovers: scrape out the marrow from the bones and store covered in the fridge. Good for several days. You should probably scrape some onto toast to have with soft scrambled eggs...just saying.
This recipe is part of a series called “The Uglies.” It’s about taking the odd and forgotten bits and giving them some sunshine.