Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Posh Bone Marrow Halloween Appetizer
So while I was at my favorite Butcher Leach's Meats N Sweets picking up the flank, chicken breast and wine for our bash on Saturday, I got to talking to John one of the owners about different wines to compliment my menu, and he shared this fantastic recipe with me for marrow.... OK, I can almost see you wince and make that ewwwwwww sound as you shake your head.. but I must confess... I have seen it on several menu's at very quaint to very well known establishments over my time and have always been too sheepish and not willing to spend over $20 on an appetizer that I just couldn't tolerate.
So John shared with me the recipe that he has been using and thought it would be a HUGE hit at the party. The Roasted Marrow Bone Recipe is adapted from Fergus Henderson who is the leading guru on offal cooking and was posted in the New Your times a couple of years ago. So I headed home, bones in tow and a great bottle of Jade Mountain 2007 Syrah.
A little nervous on the technique, I decided to uncork the wine and let it breathe a bit, just a wee bit of course since I needed to relax a bit to dive into this new uncharted style of cooking and well, eating the finished product but eager for the final visual. As I poured the wine into my glass I must say, I have never in all of my years seen such a dark wine coat the inside of my glass like syrup. If you are having a Vampire themed party, this wine is a MUST. The nose on this wine is intoxicating with a woody-spice similar to that of a Turley. Side by side this wine would be hard to distinguish between many $50 bottles of wine. It can normally be found for between $18-$22 a bottle but in many places John shared with me the demand for wine in the economy has decreased so much that you can find this bottle for under $15! The flavor of this fruit bomb wine was amazing. It danced across my tongue like a ballerina gliding across the stage opening night. Full of confidence and promise. Within no time I was ready to dive into the uncharted territory of offal cooking. (note... I bet this wine will be even better tonite! I am going back today to buy a few bottles to cellar a few more years)
So I followed the recipe to a T with the exception I put my bones in a cast iron skillet to bake them off. I wasn't sure what the fallout for cleanup would be and liked the idea of being able to pick up a handle instead of a wobbly baking sheet with the weight of the bones on it, not to mention I just think food tastes better using my great grandmothers iron pieces vs. my shiny new stainless ones. Now, I will say the first round... I totally messed up and overcooked the bones and the marrow began to run out all over the skillet, UNgood for presentation purposes...the second time around I used a wooden skewer to continually check the marrow to make sure it was soft all the way through and promptly removed the bones once the desired texture was reached keeping in mind that the marrow would continue to cook inside the warm bone on the serving plate.
All in all, I am now super excited to offer this Saturday night at my party. Instead of making up the little bites ahead of time, for presentation purposes I am going to serve it on a platter like shown here as a "make your own". Especially since I know that capers are an acquired taste. I will also say this, if you brave the recipe like me ... DO NOT skimp on cheep salt. Go with a nice sea salt, spring for the more expensive one, it won't disappoint and you will find a new love for salt with you cooking skills. If you don't like the look of the upright bones, you could always have your butcher split them on the half as well... would also make it easier to scoop out with a small serving knife.