(A guest post by the mysterious AD)
Unctuous. Almost everything you need to know about the method of preparing bone marrow we touch on below can be found at Michael Ruhlman’s blog (here)… except for the definition of unctuous (though the word is used). Here goes:
1 a : fatty, oily b : smooth and greasy in texture or appearance
And that’s the rap marrow typically has. Just in case we’re unclear: this is a good thing. But it can be a bit much… contrasting textures and flavors are ideal for rounding out the experience. The marrow appetizer at Lola does this in spades, and Ruhlman, knowing a good thing when he sees it, posted Lola’s recipe on his blog.
Since Ruhlman’s recipe description is solid, think of the below as more of a companion to it – elaborating primarily whenever we encountered something that threw us a bit as amateur home cooks.
Buying marrow bones: for this preparation, we found that the biggest hurdle was getting the marrow out of the bone in one piece. The key here is to source ‘pipe cut’ marrow bones. These are the sections of bone that are cut from areas away from the joint. Bluescreek in the North Market was our supplier.
Soak the bones in warm-ish tap water for 15 minutes, take ’em out, look for the end with the smaller diameter of exposed marrow. Apply pressure to that end with a finger, and they should push right through. This will leave you with pieces that look like the first photo in this post.
Next, the marrow needs to be soaked in brine for a couple of days to draw the blood out. Per Ruhlman, we used 3tbsp of salt for every liter of water, and changed it twice – when you see the solution turn pink, it’s probably time to replace it.
Once they’ve soaked, you’re in the home stretch. Dry the marrow.
Coat each piece in flour.
Pan fry in canola oil, turning to brown on all sides. When they were almost done, we finished them in a separate pan with butter.
Drain on a paper towel. Add accoutrement…
Enjoy! We placed the marrow atop toasted baguette slices, added cabbage sprout microgreens, parsley, some salt, and a squirt of lemon to brighten things up. The first bite gives you the crunch of the baguette, the snap of the flour crust, hits of lemon and greens, and then… mmm, pure unctuousness.
This is a beautiful dish, big thanks to Michael Ruhlman for bringing it to our attention.
March 19, 2010
Oh. my. goodness. I’m having a severe case of marrow envy here – although my favorite preparation so far has been Lolita’s treatment with sawed in half lengthwise bones topped with olive oil and pistou….
If you’re willing to try another preparation for marrow a try, I wholeheartedly recommend this approximation of my grandmother’s bone marrow dumpling soup: http://www.columbusfoodie.com/2008/07/31/markklosschen-suppe-mit-fladle/ – it was definitely a childhood favorite of mine.