Bon Appetit recently described beef bone marrow in the most accurate way possible:
"It's the spreadable essence of everything there is to love about beef; the kind of thing that takes a perfectly reasonable meal down a rabbit hole of decadence."
Sounds about right.
Last weekend on a rainy Saturday I pulled marrow bones out of my freezer and happily prepared for the "rabbit hole of decadence."
And the beautiful part about roasting bones? After you've enjoyed scooping the marrow out of them, you can boil them for bone broth! Brilliant!
Roasted Bone Marrow
Step 1 is to secure 3-5lbs of marrow bones. Make sure they are marrow bones. Most bones will make fantastic bone broth and smell incredible as they roast, but only bones coming from the femur of the animal will yield marrow. Any butcher will know the difference.
We have marrow bones available here, or if you can find a butcher who does nose-to-tail retail, call and ask if they have any available.
Once you've secured marrow bones, you're most of the way there. Preheat your oven to 425 or 430 F, and lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet. Give them a good dusting of coarse salt or sea salt on both sides.
At this point, chop up a few stalks of celery, quarter a couple of onions (leave the skin on), a few carrots, and a couple of cloves of garlic. Scatter all of these around the pan, and stick them into the oven.
Roast for 20 minutes, flip the bones and roast for 20 more minutes. It should sound something like this:
During the final 20 minutes, I put 1/4" baguette slices in the oven with the bones to give the bone marrow a good toasted base.
When your timer beeps, remove everything from the oven. Place bones on a serving surface and save back veggies to boil with bones for bone broth. If you're not making bone broth, veggies can just be discarded.
That's it! You didn't know something so fancy was actually so simple, did you? This is a wonderful appetizer for a dinner - it's unusual, a great talking point, and delicious.
Bone Broth Recipe
Now, once all of the marrow has been enjoyed, fill a large stock pot with 12 cups of water. Add 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp peppercorn, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, and roasted bones and veggies.
Let simmer for 8-24 hours with the lid mostly on (leave a little slit in the top). Drain through a fine-mesh sieve, discard veggies and bones, and store in refrigerator for up to 5 days (at which point it should become gelatinous until re-heated) or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Bone broth may be used as a base for a soup, or do it like the cool kids and drink it straight and warm.