My friend Pancho has a habit of closing his eyes when he eats something he really, really enjoys. When I first witnessed this habit, he was eating uni at an all-you-can-eat sushi place. (How much does Pancho love uni? To quote him, “Uni-quivocably, uni-laterally, uni-nanimously!!!”) The second time I saw him closing his eyes while eating, he was savoring a tripe soup. It was like the whole world needed to be dialed down so he could enjoy that fleeting moment of pleasure.
I think it’s an awesome habit. Pancho is a cool cat.
If I had to pick one dish that gives me a Pancho moment, it would be roasted bone marrow on toast. Describing roasted marrow to someone who’s never had it before is difficult. Every description I come up with sounds questionable: It tastes like meat-flavored butter. It’s like jello made out of beef. Think of jam and toast, now imagine that the jam is filet mignon.
If the taste (which is rich and heavenly) isn’t selling you, perhaps the nutritional benefits of marrow will. High in iron, phosphorous and vitamin A, marrow also contains high amounts of unsaturated fat - the type of fat that’s actually good for you.
Buying marrow bones from your local supermarket or butcher is easy. Ask for beef bones cut from the center of the legs. The bones should be clean of most meat (a little bit of meat clinging to the bone is okay) and the marrow should be a pinky white. The recipe itself is a simple one.
You will need:
- Marrow bones
- salt & pepper
Begin by rinsing the bones in cold water and patting dry. You may see some spots of blood, which is fine.
Place in a nonstick or foil-lined roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the marrow begins to separate from the sides of the bone and puff up a bit, and some of the clear fat starts to drip from the bottom of the bones.
Once cooled, insert a knife to dig out the buttery goodness, spread on toast, sprinkle with a little salt, close your eyes and take it in.