January 22, 2012

Beef Marrow with Parsley Salad

It has been a goal here at the Evening Oven to blog more savories. It has been a tough habit to get into. For whatever reason, it just doesn't occur to me to go for my camera when I start dinner. Perhaps because making dinner is so routine. I plan dinner less than I plan baking. Most of the time, I get home from work, I go into the kitchen to see what's there, and I start cooking. It isn't until I have finished eating something that I realize I should have blogged about it.

This one you have my roommate to thank for. I was only a few steps in, when she asked if I would blog about this meal. I ran for my camera. I'm sorry not to have gotten some pictures of the marrow bones in the bowl before I put them in the oven. The bowl was full of five or six bones, all of which I thought were marrow bones until closer inspection revealed that several of them were unidentifiable other things (I used those other things to make a beef broth, which smells a bit funny). These marrow bones came from a cow share I bought into last spring. For eight dollars a pound, I got twenty pounds of a variety of cuts from a grass-fed happy cow. Lessons learned from the cow share experience: one, when you get a random assortment of cuts from the whole cow, you get a lot of random cuts; two, grass-fed beef is very lean: add extra fat at every stage along the way (except to the marrow bones, which are basically pure fat already!).

I have never cooked marrow bones at home before and have only eaten them a few times, so I didn't want to get too experimental. The recipe is actually extremely easy, and the whole process took about twenty minutes. When I pulled the marrow out of the oven and extracted it from the bones,

I thought it looked truly disgusting. More gelatinous and varied in color than the marrow I had had in restaurants. But spread on the warm toast with the parsley salad it was truly divine.

Side note: the leftover parsley salad was fantastic with melted cheese on a bagel at work for lunch the next day. In fact, I would recommend this parsley salad as an accompaniment to many things and on any sandwich.

- Franklin

Roasted Beef Marrow with Yummy Parsley Salad
Adapted from The Hungry Mouse
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Sweetness Factor: 2; Indulgence Factor:9; Difficulty Factor: 3; Chance I'll Make it Again: 5. Note: the low chance I'll make it again is only because I very rarely cook meat at home and not any reflection on the perfection of this meal.

Marrow bones (check out the Hungry Mouse post linked about for guide pointers on buying the bones, since mine came with the cow share, I didn't have to figure this out)
1 shallot, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon of capers (or more)
Juice of half a lemon
One loaf of french bread

Preheat the oven to 450. Stand the bones on end on in an 8 * 8 baking pan. Roast for 20 minutes. When it is done, you can either serve the bones one per person with some kind of long very skinny spoon for removing the marrow or you can remove the marrow yourself and serve it in a bowl. I did the latter only because I had no appropriate sized spoon and removing the marrow was a messy adventure with a chop stick.

In the meantime, lightly saute the shallots in the olive oil for five minutes or so. Rinse, remove the stems from, and chop the parsley. Toss the parsley with the shallots (making sure to get all the oil from the pan too), capers, and lemon.

Toast and slice the french bread. Slather bread with a dollop of marrow and a few forkfuls of the parsley salad. If you have more salad and bread than you do marrow, you can replace the marrow with a generous slathering of butter. Not divine in the same kind of way, but also yummy.

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