Tonight at 8:45 p.m., I found myself savagely digging the marrow out of my third and final roasted beef bone with a grapefruit spoon. All because the Human Vacuum is out of town. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
I thought the absence of the H.V. would be a good opportunity to load up the sort of food he tends to shun. Thus my impulse buy of three fat beef bones at the grocery store last night. I had the vague idea that people in British novels did something with marrow, and that it was considered a treat by small children. Fueled by that single blurry thought, I tossed them in my mini-cart at Whole Foods. Tonight, after fiddling around waiting for the Falcon 1 launch (aborted, again. sigh.), I cranked up the oven and tossed them in.
In the sprirt of the novels that inspired this dinner, I must tell you, Dear Reader, that the resulting dinner was scrumptious. Crunchy lemony salad, rich unctuous marrow, warm buttery toast. It was just what I dreamed it would be, and it was precisely the sort of thing best eaten alone, away from prying eyes--even of those who love us most. While eating, I descended into savagery, rasping my spoon around the inside of the bones to retrieve the last tasty morsels.
Hey, at least I was still using utensils, right?
Roasted Marrow on Toast
(Despite the rarity and seeming fancy-pantsness of this meal, it was quite easy to make. Rachel Ray could do a 30 Minute Meal of marrow bones and still have time left over to make a box cake. And it's a one-pan meal, so clean up is quick, too.)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place on a foil-lined pan:
3 beef or veal bones, cut into 3 inch pieces
Arrange the bones cut sides down so that they stand like a tiny, meaty Stonehenge in the pan. Stick them in the oven for about 20 minutes. They'll be done when they bleed a little fat and the marrow is soft all the way through, which you can check by poking them with a skewer or thin knife.
While the bones are a-roastin', make a tiny salad. All the recipes I found online call for a parsely salad, which I'm sure would be lovely. But when you've impulse-bought beef bones, it's unlikely that you've also coincidentally impulse-bought two handfuls of parsely. So, I just used:
1 handful salad greens, torn small
Dress with the following, whisked together:
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or microplaned (I used a squeeze of the preprocessed stuff--no one was looking, so I figured I could get away with lazy man's garlic)
Salt and pepper
2 pieces plain white bread
Yank the bones out of the oven, arrange everything on a plate and serve with a small spoon for savage digging. To eat: scrape out the marrow, smoosh it onto triangle of toast, and (this step is very important) sprinkle with salt. Alternate with bites of salad.