Roast bone marrow re-emerged onto London’s food scene in 1994 when chef Fergus Henderson started serving it at his Clerkenwell restaurant, St John, where it’s remained on the menu ever since. It’s no surprise this umami, melt-in-your-mouth, buttery goodness still draws the crowds and is a fine-dining hit this summer.
In Italy, the secret of bone marrow has long since been out. ‘Osso buco’, ‘bones with holes’, or ‘hollow bones’ is served nestled in golden risotto Milanese at restaurants like Milan’s Ratana, where Stanley Tucci learnt to cook the iconic dish during Searching for Italy. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, at Diego Rossi‘s Trippa, unctuous, buttery, flavoursome ‘midollo alla brace’ is a sell-out signature on most nights.
More recently, Matias Perdamo from Contraste in Milan has been getting creative with bananas and bone marrow, as posted on Instagram, while Recipe Bible’s grilled-marow-with-chimichurri topped steak has also got a crowd hungry for more.
Bone marrow is cheap, easy to cook, and yields amazing results with just a liberal pinch of seasoning, so it’s no wonder it’s so popular. Put bone marrow on the BBQ and you add all sorts of extra smoky flavours – just be sure to cook up enough, as they’re guaranteed to go.
Which bones to use?
Long, straight femur bones of beef or younger veal are best – they contain the most marrow.
What to serve with bone marrow?
The butteriness of bone marrow is best cut through with fresh, sharp flavours, like chimichurri, or big umami flavours that enhance the bone marrow’s savouriness, like miso or anchovy.
Bone marrow with chimichurri and steak
Check out this AMSR-rich and delicious take on grilled bone marrow in a punchy chimichurri served on steak, deep in the snow.
Grilled bone marrow
Pitmaster Roel shows how to cook up a whole lot of magic with a tray full of BBQ’d bone marrow with pancetta and onions. Here’s the smoked bone marrow and pancetta recipe.
Roasted bone marrow with oxtail marmalade
Ken Oringer demystifies bone marrow in this geat video, where he starts by soaking the marrow in brine overnight, for even more delicious results.
Master chef Fergus Henderson’s iconic roast bone marrow and parsley salad, where he still serves his ever-popular dish of roast veal bones on toast with an accompanying sharp and fresh parsley, shallot, caper and lemon salad to cut through the richness of the unctuous marrow.
Restaurants like Kol in london are also putting marrow on the menu. Discover the Mexican restaurant’s recipe for lobster tacos with bone marrow salsa.
Photo> Maureen Evans