Roasted Bone Marrow Salad
*This recipe is gluten-free, Paleo and SCD-friendly*
Have you heard of bulalo? Bulalo is a dish of beef shank and marrow soup from the southern Luzon province of the Philippines. As the fat and collagen from the bones melt into the water they are boiled in, this produces an unctuous and flavourful broth that immediately awakens the “umami” sense.
Although I am not posting about bone marrow soup today, by introducing you to bulalo, I am hoping to give marrow a grand entrance and, perhaps, qualify how good they taste! Yes, bone marrow is fatty and certainly not good for your cholesterol – according to your conventional family doctor, if that’s who you listen to. At this point, you are probably thinking, “oh no, that marrow is now coagulating and hardening inside my arteries! Quick, get me a Statin, stat!” Has anybody heard of the French Paradox? That might be a good thing to look up now.
But don’t panic. In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with eating fat, as long as it’s the good kind of fat (from nature, not manufactured in a laboratory) and it’s enjoyed in moderation. However, I am not a medical professional qualified to give advice, so what do I know? Here’s the caveat then: proceed with this Roasted Bone Marrow Salad at your own risk! Don’t say I didn’t warn you of its awesomeness!
This Roasted Bone Marrow Salad, which makes use of the same crosswise cut of beef bones as the aforementioned bulalo, is one heck of a dish. Not convinced? Just ask David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria. He has loads of information on bone marrow on his site that I won’t bother rehashing here. You can just head over there and read all the juicy details!
Meanwhile, part of my “job” is to convince you to try this recipe. See those chunks of collagenous stuff that look like teeny little baby brains in the photo above? Yes, those are the ones we’re talking about. Let me tell you how I reacted to my first hot, slick, and fluffy spoonful of marrow. It was an explosion in my mouth – a sudden high that blasted through – and all I could mutter was a “hellz, yeah!” It was like a hit of blue ice with 97% purity – not that I would know; I am a “Breaking Bad” fan, you see!
- 4 to 6 beef bone marrow pieces, cut cross-section, about 4" tall each (allow at least 1 piece per person)
- 6 teaspoons kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- ½ red onion, finely minced
- salad greens of your choice (I used micro greens: arugula, broccoli, and cress)
- 1 pint golden berries (also known as Cape gooseberries), halved
- a handful of honey- or apple juice-sweetened dried black currants
- To clean the bones, soak them in a large pot with enough cold water to submerge the 4 to 6 bones. Season the water with 6 teaspoons of salt. Refrigerate up from 3 hours up to 24 hours, changing the water when it becomes cloudy or every 3 to 4 hours.
- When ready to roast, drain the bones and dry then with paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C).
- Set the bone standing up on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and some minced garlic.
- Roast bone for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the marrow softens, bubbles, and melts. You can also test the marrow with a cake tester inserted into the middle. When it comes out hot to touch, the marrow inside is cooked.
- While the marrow cooks, prepare the salad by chopping the ingredients.
- When the marrow is done, serve immediately with a marrow spoon or any long, skinny spoon that can fit inside the bone.
- To eat, scoop some liquid fat and marrow out, then toss with salad. The marrow's fat becomes the dressing.