Bone Marrow – I Can’t Believe it’s God’s Butter
My reaction to seeing the phrase ‘God’s Butter’ is to imagine a particularly gruff billy goat aiming its weighty horns at the backside of a sleeping messiah who has purloined its favourite shady spot whilst wandering the desert regions of the holy land for forty days and forty nights. A wonderful image worthy of its own scene in the Life of Brian for sure but not even close to bone marrow, which is what it’s supposed to describe. Also, if bone marrow is God’s Butter then whose butter is butter? Nope, this whole God’s Butter analogy thing just doesn’t work. Please append any suggestions for a better name for bone marrow in the comments below.
Bone marrow is the succulent ooze of deliciousness found in the middle of .. well .. bones obviously and generally beef bones at that although other large ruminants are also available. Anatomically it is really useful stuff making blood cells throughout our whole life but this is not the blog to be discussing that sort of thing. Here we are interested in other matters like: can we eat it?, does it taste good? and how do you prepare it?
Can we Eat It?
Yes, absolutely. People have eaten it for ever and it has great nutritional properties too numerous for me to mention here but read this if you want to know more. Sadly there probably needs to be a warning that not all cows are equal and you’ll derive a lot more benefit from a healthy grass munching bovine than a hormone injected, steroid pumped, corn fed beast.
Post BSE for a while we got jumpy about eating any skeletal material because of concerns about contracting CJD. Thankfully it seems there is no concern with marrow on that score though so it is definitely in the safe-to- eat zone.
Dogs of course go crazy for it and that may be a good sign because they are ace at sniffing out the nutrition they need. Having said that they also like eating poo, discarded McDonald’s wrappers and rotting fish at the beach so they are not my go-to source for culinary advice.
Does it Taste Good?:
If meaty, sweet, rich, nutty, savoury, soft, unctuous, buttery and melting are words which make your mouth water then you are going to love bone marrow.
How Do You Prepare It?
Some butchers now offer prepared bones and Waitrose sells them. Failing that talk to your butcher and ask them to cut you some marrow bones.
Boil them: To add richness and flavour to soups and sauces add marrow bones to your stock pot. Long slow cooking will melt the marrow into your stock.
Roast Them: 190c for 20 minutes or so and the marrow in your bones will be soft and bubbly. That’s what I did with these bones which I then served with a little topping made with cooked shallots, chopped onion, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Serve with bread or toast.
The dogs enjoyed gnawing the remnants of meat and fat off the bones and it’s got to be good for their teeth.