one marrow is the stuff of French classic bordelaise
sauce and Italian osso buco—familiar to consumers
with fine taste, and maybe a bit remote to others. But
that hasn’t stopped chefs from carving the goods out
of beef bones (and those in chicken and fish) to add flavor depth
to more-common fare.
It is a frenzied fad ingredient that has evoked oohs and aahs
over the past decade, though it has quieted down a little. But
what bone marrow has lost in fad value it has gained in ethical
ethos and is a fit with rustic-food sensibilities, chefs say.
“Bone marrow is a great product available to us that is important
to our model and belief to use every part of the animal that’s
available,” says Joey Ward, executive chef at Gunshow, Atlanta.
“The animal gave its life for us to eat. Don’t let any of it go to waste.”
Consumers are hooked on bacon and pork fat—richer
foods, says John Tesar, chef/owner of Dallas restaurants Knife,
Oak and El Bolero. “Millennials like rich food in crude form,
as in making charcuterie and roasting pigs.” Bone marrow fits
that artisanal landscape.
For many American chefs, bone marrow might have remained
encased in the classics were it not for one dish on one New York
menu. In 1992, Blue Ribbon opened in downtown Manhattan
with Beef Marrow Bones with Oxtail Marmalade as an appetizer.
According to Bromberg Bros. Blue Ribbon Cookbook: Better
Home Cooking (Crown Publishing Group, 2010), it quickly
became the late-night dish most requested by the restaurant’s
The Blue Ribbon dish caught Tesar’s eye when he was
learning classic French history, preparations and applications.
“That Blue Ribbon dish was an aha moment for me,” he says.
“I saw you could mix bone marrow with other things.”
He carved his own way with the ingredient, and on his menu
offers Bacon Crusted Bone Marrow & Caviar. He places cleaned
bones filled with a mixture of bone marrow, browned bacon, salt
and pepper on a sheet tray, and tops each bone with a toasted
breadcrumbs mixture (that also includes bacon) until the bones
are fully coated. Then, he lightly browns them under a broiler
or in a toaster oven about six inches from the heating element to
avoid overheating the marrow mixture. He removes the bones
from the heat and plates them with a mixture of celery leaves
tossed with olive oil and a pinch of Maldon salt. He finishes by
placing a small amount of caviar between the leaves on top of the
marrow bones, and suggests serving with lightly toasted bread
to spread the marrow and caviar mixture.
bone marrow on the half bone topped with bright pickled-vegetable giardiniera
and shallot marmalade served with housemade grilled focaccia at Graze.
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