talk about an unctuous bite !
a nice crisp slice of lightly toasted baguette with a smear of walnut pesto and a seared medallion of beef bone marrow. this is a great opener as an appetizer, amuse bouche, or first course. it's rich and buttery, full of flavor and a great conversation starter. not many people have had bone marrow or they are just plain scared of it, but trust me, it's quite good...it's decadent...it's fabulous! i like to call it...
most restaurants serve the marrow roasted in the bone, standing upright with a few select sides and a special little marrow knife/scoop/spoon (marrow scoop shown in photo above), but i have never seen it seared "scallop style"...i thought it was a good idea...i find it makes the marrow a little less daunting and a guest who's not into digging for gold in a chunk of bone might find this presentation a little more appealing.
marrow is definitly not for the "pansey palette". i must admit, if i think about it too long it could give me the willies, but as you well know i like to try things that give my tastebuds a challenge. besides people are thinking more along the lines of "NOSE TO TAIL" these days...so let them put there money where there mouth is...right?
you can buy marrow bones most anywhere, but just use your best judgment that they are as fresh as possible. make friends with your butcher and he will cut them the right size for you.
i've posted about rendering bone marrow before so i won't write out the instructions just click here. as i stated in that post i quite often buy the bones and render out the marrow in big pieces to use in other recipes. you can add it to most anything to give your dish that extra layer of "yum" that boosts it past that rich cooked all day flavor.
i keep it in an airtight jar filled with fresh salted water and pull a piece out when ever i need some "bone butter"...i'm not kidding. just try adding it to some plain old hamburger meat and create some marrow burger patties for the grill...add it to one of your slow cooker stews or take your chili to another level.
so there's no real recipe here, but just an idea. once you have your marrow rendered it will resemble a small log. simply cut that (best to cut when chilled) and sear over high heat. you can use any pesto or get creative with your spread. the marrow is very rich and buttery so take that into consideration. something with fresh herbs and a little acid like fresh lemon, works well. Michael Ruhlman has a fabulous way of serving his marrow as seen HERE. a nice little salad, Gramolata, of fresh parsley, shallots, capers, olive oil and lemon is the classic addition. if you're interested in a classic way of serving it in the bone i found a great post at Cube Market Place that gives Anthony Bourdain's last supper recipe for Roasted Bone Marrow. the roasted method can be a very easy quick rich start to a light meal...the marrow being the star of the show in all it's unctuous, creamy, buttery goodness...
however you choose to serve marrow...your guests will leave with a carnivorous grin from ear to ear.