Don’t be afraid of bone marrow: it is one of the healthiest meals you can eat while you are under the weather. It also makes a great meal to serve to visiting friends. They may give you “a look” at first, but I guarantee their minds will be changed once they try this delicious and simple dish!
Let me tell you about my love affair with bone marrow. A few years ago I was sick…for like a month. I was flying across the country to visit my friend in DC and warned her about my illness. Of course, traveling didn’t do me any good and I arrived at her house feeling worse than I did before. I felt so bad and thought our time together would be ruined…
Fast forward 1 DAY and I was miraculously better. I felt like a rockstar and was ready to go see the sites (and drink all the beer, of course). Why? The night before, she served me bone marrow. To this day, if I’m feeling under the weather, I rush to the store and get some. Think about it–bones contain a ton of nutrients that our body needs. When we consume those nutrients in a superfood like bone marrow, our body is likely going to be happy and have extra power to kick an illness. It’s the same reason why chicken broth is so good for you. This is just way fancier.
Sometimes I actually feel a little guilty eating bone marrow when I’m sick! Like, why do I deserve such a fancy meal when I feel crappy?
Fear not, this meal is not limited to when you’re just under the weather. Bone Marrow is an excellent dish to serve as a first course or light meal when company comes over. It goes excellently with cheese and wine, and is a cinch to make. Speaking of wine…
Bone Marrow goes excellently with wine. Seriously. Any wine. I’m giving you the full spectrum here. If you have a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc open, enjoy it with this dish. Bubbly? Absolutely. Moscato? meh…but if you like sweet wines, you won’t mind this pairing. I was lucky enough to have a bottle of this beautiful Jean Luc Colombo Cornas opened up when we made this dish and it was FANTASTIC. Cornas is a region in the northern Rhone Valley in France famous for long-lived wines made from 100% Syrah. This bottle had some intense black pepper, dark red fruit, and plenty of earthy funk that melded perfectly with the spices we put on the marrow.
When it comes to bone marrow, I like to open up the biggest red wines because they stand up so nicely to the richness of the dish. Most big reds also have flavors that complement the herbs and spices in the marrow as well. Here are some of my favorites:
- Cabernet Sauvignon/Bordeaux Blend, especially from the homeland (Bordeaux)
- Syrah from the Rhone Valley, especially Cotes du Rhone or Crozes Hermitages (or Cornas, if you can find one!)
- Mourvedre, especially those from Southern France
- Brunello di Montalcino
- Nero d’Avola
The possibilities really are endless, so have fun with this pairing. If the regions or grapes I noted are scary to you, no worries…stick with your go-to’s and it’ll still be good!
Bone Marrow is incredibly easy to make. Actually, think about my recipe below as more of a guideline than anything. Is there an herb you think would be good on it that I didn’t list? Sprinkle some on! Don’t have parsley or something I put in the recipe? Just omit it! If anything, just sprinkle some salt on these bones and you’ll be good to go.
Where do you find bone marrow? At any grocery store that has a butcher! Sometimes you may need to ask for it, but they’ll always have it in the back. Marrow bones are cheap and often marketed as treats for dogs. Channel your inner caveman and you won’t feel weird eating it.
How do you eat bone marrow? Most are cut crosswise (like in my pictures), meaning you get to dig deep to get your food! Use the smallest spoon you can find or a little skewer or knife. Scrape the marrow out of the bone (it has the consistency of jelly) and spread onto pieces of bread or homemade croutons.
When you are done with your bones, don’t forget to make homemade bone broth!
- 4-6 Marrow Bones, cut crosswise or lengthwise
- ¼ tsp of kosher salt
- ¼ tsp fresh rosemary, minced
- ¼ tsp fresh thyme, minced
- ¼ tsp dried parsley, minced
- 1 baguette (for homemade croutes)
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- Preheat the oven to 400 F
- Pat the bones dry. They should be free of any exterior meat (they come this way from the butcher). Place them cut-side up (vertical if cut crosswise) in a small roasting pan and sprinkle the salt, minced rosemary, thyme, and parsley on top. (you may use whatever herbs you have on hand or think would taste good!)
- Place in the preheated oven, being careful that the bones do not topple over. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the marrow has started bubbling over.
- Meanwhile, make the croutes--cut a baguette into as many slices as desired. Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a cast-iron pan and place the baguette slices evenly along the bottom. Toast for a minute or two, then flip each slice over and repeat. Remove promptly when toasted to your liking.
- Serve the bone marrow cut-side up with tiny spoons and dig the marrow from the bones. There's always way more in there than you expect! Spoon the marrow onto the toast and enjoy.