This is the one dish that does not change on the menu at St. John. The marrowbone comes from a calf’s leg; ask your butcher to keep some for you. You will need teaspoons or long thin implements to scrape your marrow out of the bone at the table.
Do you recall eating Raisin Bran for breakfast? The raisin-to-bran-flake ratio was always a huge anxiety, to a point, sometimes, that one was tempted to add extra raisins, which inevitably resulted in too many raisins, and one lost that pleasure of discovering the occasional sweet chewiness in contrast to the branny crunch. When administering such things as capers, it is very good to remember Raisin Bran.
I wanted to post a quick link to my friend Laura William’s foodie/cartoon/artistic/blog. I think I could add a few more descriptive words, but I suppose you’ve already gotten the gist. She’s just as crazy about food as I am, if not more. Now that I think about it, I’d go with more. Here’s a link to her Flickr page to prove my point. I’m hoping to have her help me with some of the dessert recipes from the cookbook in the future. I’m going to need her expertise with pastries to make up for my sad lack of ability.
So, here we are–Anthony Bourdain’s death row meal. I had actively been looking for marrow bones to make this recipe for quite a while now. I should have been paying attention the multiple times I walked through the Asian market, because sure enough, they have big bags of beef bones for purchase.
What I needed to do to the bone marrow can be summed up in a haiku:
marrow on the pan
into a nice hot oven
crusty top means done
Okay, that’s not a very good haiku. I won’t inflict that on you again, I promise, but it is accurate. After twenty minutes in the oven all of the bone segments had nice crusty tops. Mr. Henderson mentions that if the marrow is left in the oven too long, it can all melt away, which made me peek in the oven pretty much every 3 minutes.
In between peeks, I made a quick salad of parsley leaves, very thin sliced shallots, and capers. Keeping to the Raisin Bran advice above, I made sure to use the capers sparingly. Right before I served the marrow, I added a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing.
With some toasted bread, the dish was finished. I’ll let Mr. Henderson explain the eating process.
My approach is to scrape the marrow from the bone onto the toast and season with coarse sea salt. Then a pinch of parsley salad on top of this and eat.
The first bite after following these instructions was just… wow. Fatty, salty, briney, peppery goodness all on a piece of toast. This is supposed to be a starter, right? Well, it ended up being dinner instead. A very large dinner. We used a half a loaf of french bread. And all of the marrow.
Don’t judge me.
One down, ninety three to go.