Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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Feasting on Bones

Once every two months or so, I make a huge pot of beef stock, some to be used within a few days, some for freezing. If I’m ambitious, some gets cooked down even further with additional ingredients into a tiny amount of thick demi-glace. There’s sautéing of vegetables and roasting of bones involved. It’s kind of a pain. It’s not that it’s hard; it’s not at all. It’s just mindless work. Doing it correctly means we eat well.

So I bribe myself to get it done by sliding into the oven — while the bones for stock roast — an extra pan of sawed-off little leg bones. As the stock simmers, I end up with a few spoons of delicious roasted beef marrow: something to snack on, the sort of treat for cooks that never makes it past the kitchen door.

If you’re not into marrow, or offal, or “variety meats,” “the fifth quarter,” or whatever you care to call suspicious animal bits, I can understand skipping this little lagniappe. But you’d be missing out.

By the time I take the pan of sizzling marrowbones from the hot oven, I’ve drizzled a bit of olive oil on rough chunks of bread and lightly toasted them. With the end of a long wooden spoon, I’ll nudge plugs of softened, hot marrow from each bone and press them, crushing them just the slightest bit to make them stay in place, onto the toasted bread. A quick grind of coarse grey sea salt between my thumb and the side of my forefinger over the whole thing and it’s ready.

I'll spare you the infantile onomatopoeia of a degrading "nom nom nom," but forgive me if I wish you...bone appetit.


Keli D said...

Got it. And I have to get a copy of Moonshine, my man. Dying to see what my home-distillers in my home-state, Texas, are up to.

Matthew Rowley said...

In my experience, Texas home distillers have a thing for vodka and rum. Let me know what you find out!