Hello everyone, Jess here, again!
Like fellow locavore Henry David Thoreau, I strive to “suck out all the marrow of life”. I try to live my life like I cook- let no part go unloved. However I’ll have to admit that this is my first time cooking bone marrow on it’s own. I did some research to try to see how I wanted to tackle this.
The first thing I came across what that Anthony Bourdain apparently listed bone marrow as the meal he’d want as his final meal – Fergus Henderson’s roasted bone marrow with parsley salad, to be exact. For those that don’t know Chef Henderson, he is renowned for his “Nose to Tail” philosophy of enjoying the less popular cuts, and his bone marrow is apparently to die for. His marrow is roasted right in the bone and then enjoyed, however some Chefs such as Michael Ruhlman remove the marrow from the bone before cooking. Given my other bones were going into bone broth, I opted for this approach as well.
Marrow itself is high in protein (and yes, fat, but it’s the mono-UN-saturated kind, so there it some solace).
Like oxtail and other not-as-common cuts, I would not want to try this dish willy nilly. I’m most grateful to the cows of Gibbet Hill and the Gibbet Hill Cattle Company who provide my family with a trustworthy source of beef. I feel an obligation to these animals that no part be neglected, that each part be honored. So, here goes!
According to Ruhlman, once you pop the marrow out of the bone (a soak in warm water can make the marrow easier to remove), you soak the marrow in salt water for a day or two (in the fridge). The brine ratio that Ruhlman uses is 3 tablespoons of kosher salt per quart. This soaking process takes a while but draws out the blood and impurities from the marrow. I would not skip this process as the smell of the marrow was not the most appetizing before the soaking process, but much better following the soak.
Compared to the soaking, the cooking part went quite quick. A quick roll in flour and pan fry in coconut oil over medium-high heat was all it took, watching the heat to make sure the marrow didn’t melt along the way. Ruhlman suggests to finish the marrow in butter, so I whipped some Amish Roll Butter into the pan at the end and these golden babies were ready to plate. Chef Ferguson serves his marrow with a parsley salad, however there is a lack of fresh parsley on hand here at the house at the moment. I improvised, going with fresh baby spinach, spaghetti squash strands and a few cranberries. Here is the final product:
Let’s taste it and see what all the hubbub’s about!
Wow. I instantly felt like I was being naughty eating this stuff. It was crisp on the outside, and the crispness held the structure of the medallion together just long enough to get it into my mouth. Then, a moment of carnivorous heaven. I can only equate it to eating a delicate hunk of fried steak flavored butter. I see why many folks serve it on or with a good piece of crusty bread. The richness was incredible, and made me want to grab the other fresh veggies on the plate as a counter. I think I’ll have to do this again, soon.