You've seen the images, Neanderthal man walking around with a bone ready to hit his selected mate over the head and drag her back to his man cave. Turns out that bone he was carrying around may have served another purpose… lunch!
Seriously, if you haven't yet indulged in the marrow of a roasted grass-fed bone, what. are. you. waiting. for?
Humans have relied on the marrow of bones as a key part of their nutrition for ages. See below for an excerpt from a WestonAPrice.org article on bone marrow:
Traditional peoples who consumed large animals did not ignore the marrow hidden away in the bones; in fact, they valued the marrow as an extremely nutritious food.
… It is important that skeletons are rarely found where large game animals have been slaughtered by the Indians of the North. The skeletal remains are found as piles of finely broken bone chips or splinters that have been cracked up to obtain as much as possible of the marrow and nutritive qualities of the bones. These Indians obtain their fat-soluble vitamins and also most of their minerals from the organs of the animals. An important part of the nutrition of the children consisted in various preparations of bone marrow, both as a substitute for milk and as a special dietary ration” (Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, 6th Edition, page 260).
Roasted marrow has a silky satisfying richness that is hard to beat. Some have called it meat butter.
In one article Mark Sisson called it, “the original primal brain food…”
Eating marrow straight from bones doesn't get any manlier, unless you just roasted them out in the wild, bushcraft style, open fire, cast iron roasting pan, after just having slain the beast yourself, in the field, dressed it and decided, "what the hell, lets saw these shanks and have a marrow snack, you know, cause were men! (Ladies, we know you can get down with some roasted marrow as well. We know, we know.)
A FEW TIPS
- Make sure that you are getting bones from animals that are ideally, grass-fed & finished. This way you ensure the maximum health benefits of an animal that was raised in a traditional way & not in a mass production factory farm.
- According to Jennifer McLagan, author of Bones – Recipe, History & Lore, the safest bone marrow is from leg bones because they’ve had no contact with brain tissue, as opposed to spinal marrow, which can be found in the bones of chops, ribs, the neck and tail of the animal.
- There are two basic cuts for beef marrow bones.
- The first is a cross section cut off an entire femur bone. This cut is usually referred to as, “canoed” because it looks like a canoe. The best part about this way of cutting is that marrow cooks in the shape without melting out, and it is much easier to get to.
- The second way is just the femur bone cut into horizontal cross sections giving you those stubby tubes of soon to be rich awesomeness in your mouth.
- The bones won’t come nice and bare the way you see them in the photos. You either have to ask your butcher to prepare them for you, or you have to scrape away that excess fat and sinew with the heel of a knife you don’t care too much for. DO NOT use your favorite knife for this task. That’s mostly for presentation, if you’re just cooking at home I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Your bones will just look a bit gnarly.
So for those of you who are on the bandwagon, this one is for you. And for you bone marrow virgins, this may or may not raise your IQ by a few points but it is going to be damn tasty nonetheless.
6 to 8 beef marrow bones or more if needed
A few slices of your favorite rustic bread
Two tablespoons of minced ginger
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
ROASTED BEEF MARROW
Cover the bones in a bowl of ice water with about 2 tablespoons or more of sea salt. Cover and refrigerate for between 12 to 24 hours. Change the water frequently. The salt in the water helps to leach any blood from the bones and will turn them a creamy, pale color. This also helps to firm up the marrow.
Preheat the oven to 450. Drain the bones and pat dry. Depending on the cut, spread a little oil over the exposed marrow of the bones to help the roasting process. Season generously with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the pan and place in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the bones) until the marrow has puffed up slightly. The cooked marrow should be jiggly or a little springy to the touch. If you insert a toothpick or skewer there should be no resistance.
While your bones are cooking begin preparing the ginger-parsley spread and start grilling the bread slices. You can either lightly oil the bread with some olive oil or you can sit them in the roasting pan (after you’ve removed the bones) so they absorb that meaty marrow flavor.
GINGER PARSLEY SPREAD
Peel and finely chop the ginger. Rinse and pat dry parsley and give it a rough chop. Combine the ginger and parsley. Add lemon juice and season with a pinch of sea salt.
Serving size is about two to four bones per person depending on appetite. Dig up the marrow with a small spoon or an actual marrow utensil. Spread on toast and top with the ginger-parsley spread.
There it is, a hearty bite that’s sure to impress your friends and family alike. Now go make this and let us know how it turns out.