Roasted bone marrow 101

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The process of marrow extraction is pretty gross (at the first go-round), but well worth it.

Choose tubular beef bones about 2-3 inched high. Roast them in the oven at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. You’re looking for the marrow to change color and pull away from the bone, but not melt away entirely. Remove them and, if you’re a purist or feeling like a badass, cool and serve as-is by scraping the marrow onto a toast point. Sprinkle with salt, garnish with a slice of lemon and have at it.

I like to prep and stash some in the freezer. That way I can easily add little bits of marrow to all kinds of stuff. It melts quickly so it can be used in chunks straight from the freezer. Think of it as butter -- meat butter, if you will -- and use accordingly. I even put it in cream sauces or sauté vegetables in it. Try sauteing garlic in melted marrow and throw it on steak, the result is so good that it can’t be described in print, only through grunts and foot stomping.

Note: Bone marrow is certainly not something you'd eat every day, or try to eat too much of at once. It’s, like 1,000% fat. The good kind of fat. Meaning the delicious kind. Which by nutritional standards is the bad kind.

After hearing a lot about cooking with bone marrow, I decided to do some experimenting. The woman at the meat counter of my local Publix helped me pick out a gruesome-looking package of bone sections, but I had no idea what to do with them.

“Most people just give them to their dog,” she said.

Regardless, somewhere between chew toy and haute cuisine lies something truly remarkable. Bone marrow provides a rich, deep meat flavor with a thick, creamy texture that lets your whole mouth have a taste. And, lucky for us, bone marrow is simple to prepare, with marrow bones available in the freezer section at most grocery stores around town.

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