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Any Marrow Lovers??

I have never had roasted bone marrow. I am going to a restaurant in a few weeks and the pictures of this dish make me want to try it.

Can someone explain the texture and flavor?

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  1. I am a marrow lover. I still remember the first time I had it, about 20 years ago in a French restaurant in San Francisco. My dining companions weren't as fond of it as I was/am. It's usually served with toast to spread it on. The texture is soft, somewhat fatty, but not gelatinous or chewy like fat can sometimes be. The flavor is somewhere between blood and fat and perhaps some offal/organ meats--but nothing as strong as liver/kidney.

    I'm afraid my descriptions are making it sound very unappetizing, but I don't know how else to describe it!! If you're a meat-eater and you enjoy eating or at least trying all parts of an animal, you're bound to enjoy it. If you're more of a picky eater and only eat loin/breast meat, you might want to consider another appetizer! Anyway, have fun!

    5 Replies
    1. re: staughton

      Wow, your description of marrow's taste and texture doesn't not match any of my experiences at all! Ha! Of course I've only had beef and lamb marrow so perhaps that's why?

      I am a HUGE bone marrow lover and basically you have little forks and you scoop out the marrow which is somewhat gelatinous and you smear it on toasts, and then sometimes top it with onion marmalade. It is buttery, rich and oh so creamy - pure heaven. No taste of blood.

      1. re: lynnlato

        the blood reference kinda freaked me out

        1. re: doberlady

          @doberlady, That's what I figured. Let us know you're thoughts after you try it.

          And the creamy, buttery references seem to be what others have experienced too. As evidenced by other posts. If one likes fat, then marrow will appeal to them.

          @staughton, I wasn't criticizing you so there's no need for you to be rude. I pointed out that my marrow experiences have been limited to beef and lamb so perhaps that is why our experiences are different. In any case, welcome to CH I see that you're new around here.

        2. re: lynnlato

          And I've never gotten buttery/creamy. Were your marrow bones taken from the udder?

        3. re: staughton

          I love to make soup dumplings or matzoh balls with marrow. Delicious!

          I also really like marrow on crackers with a squeeze of lemon and salt.

        4. creamy,spreadable,UNCTUOUS ,rich,fatty (not greasy) and should be an over the top with umami

          The livery,offal aspect varies from animal to animal.Young animals,fresh bones,roasted properly make a difference.

          1. Yum. It is very rich and buttery, but not greasy. I love it.

            1. I am a marrow lover. Good roasted bone marrow should be creamy, smooth, fatty (but not off putting) and spreads easily on toast or crackers.

              That said the taste of marrow differs greatly depending on the specie of animal and the location of the bones in the animal, as well.

              A beef shin bone's marrow will taste very different than that from a chicken or turkey leg.

              The bones in the picture appear to be leg bones from a young beef that have been seasoned and roasted to be served as a meal.

              I prefer the marrow from bones(from a primal cut of roast) that are left after carving the meat away for serving. They have roasted in the animal's own juices and have a special flavor, and don't dry out if overroasted by two minutes (which can happen when a chef roasts marrow bones that have had the attached meat removed.

              That said, my favorite marrow bones are not roasted, but are beef shin bones that have been used to make a beef barley or similar soup. They are moist and rich with the flavor of the soup. If I have enough, I like to remove all the marrow and use it to mix in and flavor mashed potatoes, barley or kasha (instead of butter or cream) to serve as a starch with the main meat course.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bagelman01

                but are beef shin bones that have been used to make a beef barley or similar soup. They are moist and rich with the flavor of the soup
                Bagelman, this was my first introduction to marrow...watching my grandmother give my
                grandfather hell for fishing out the shin bone before the soup was done, so that he could scoop the marrow.

                he'd have a nice chunk of bread handy... finally I just HAD to try
                fatty, meaty... delicious I was soo hooked!
                I've roasted what they call "marrow bones" from the butcher at home and they're really good too
                (damn, now I am really craving beef marrow with bread!)

              2. I love bone marrow. My heart suffers for it. As noted by bagelman, bone marrow varies from animals. The bit in the lamb shank in a dish of osso bucco is a favorite. The picture you have is of beef/veal bones. Best prep of that I've had is a St John in London. Should have a fatty, unctuous flavor. Kind of like butter in the fatty mouth feel. Usually served with toast and something else that has a acidic or tart edge to offset the fat. St John serves it with a parsley salad. I've had it with tart fruit compotes too. Kind of like how foie gras is served. Enjoy.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bkeats

                  I am going to give it a whirl! I am sure my husband will like it.

                  Going to a restaurant that serves it in Boston.

                2. Marrow, roasted garlic, all smeared on some melba toast, garnished with some sea salt, and washed down with a shot of Talisker 15 might be my choice for a last bite of food before I go meet the great Chowhound up above.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Great description, and Talisker has to be one of my favorite single malts.

                  2. Unctuous. Very smooth, rich but not greasy. It's very high in cholesterol, so I rarely eat it.

                    1. Been eating marrow since I was a kid. Four inch long leg bones are incorporated into our beef soups, so it's boiled. My family will fight over it and split the portions up. We "tap" the entire marrow out like the way we tap ketchup out of the bottle---and out it comes in a cylinder form. It's super buttery/ creamy. I limit it so much now...actually starting in my teen years due to "fat" fear.
                      But now, when I see it on the menu, I have to order it. It is that good. I'll just pop a couple of fiber pills and run like hell the next day.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: trvlcrzy

                        Will let you know how the experience turns out. !! I do love to try new things. My 16 year old will give it a try too.

                        Thanks for all of the input!

                        1. re: trvlcrzy

                          My mother always used a soup bone when making her vegetable soup, and eating the marrow from that bone is one of my fondest childhood memories. I would spread the marrow on a plain saltine cracker (ours was definitely not a sophisticated household when it came to foods -- this was in the 50's) and eat it up. I love marrow today, which I roast, but it never tastes as good as that memory.

                        2. I have always wanted to try roasted bone marrow at a fancy restaurant. It sounds amazing!

                          I have eaten lots of bone marrow in Indo-Pak Muslim dishes. Part of the fun of bone-in goat and beef curries is sucking the unctuous marrow out of the bones once you have eaten the meat off of them. There are also some curry-stews based on marrow, like nalli nihari. Marrow scooped up in a piece of naan is just delectable. I guess it is a similar concept to spreading it on toast.

                          1. Taste and texture have already been described. I've eaten it a handful of times in restaurants. Best experience was a spoonful served on top of a steak, in a place in Calais, Northern France. Really excellent.

                            1. Thanks for bringing this up! I've been wanting to try marrow, but I've never seen a restaurant in town that serves it, so I've been looking around for marrow bones that I can do up myself. There's a butcher shop in a town about 45 minutes away that lists them for $.99/lb. One of these days when I have the energy, I'll drive up there (I'll call ahead to make sure they have them in stock) and get some and probably some of their sausage, too.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: tracylee

                                Doesn't your local supermarket have marrow/soup bones in the meat department? All the ones near me do. (Westchester County, NY, a NYC suburb.) Usually right next to the osso bucco cuts and ox tail.

                                1. re: JMF

                                  Nope, and I've looked at every grocery store I've been to. Oh, there are some in the freezer at the Asian grocery, but they aren't packaged very well and look freezer burned. I need to start checking the Mexican carnicerias.

                                  Things are pretty limited here in Salem, OR.

                                  ETA: I keep bypassing the ones with meat on them since I'm not that fond of beef unless it's ground. I suppose I could cut it small and flavor it up in something.....now I'm pondering another kitchen project, LOL

                              2. I roast them n my Breville for a little over twenty minutes and sprinkle smoked salt on top. If I can get my hands on very fresh Maine or Cali uni, I'll spread butter on toast, then the marrow and uni on top. I am going to try it with raw scallop roe next.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: David11238

                                  JMF- I live in Westchester too. I have seen marrow bones at my local store but definately want to try it in a restaurant first.

                                  WholeFoods might be a better choice for buying them then my local store

                                  1. re: doberlady

                                    Marrow bones are marrow bones. Why pay Whole Foods prices? Also it is MUCH cheaper doing it yourself. I make them several times a year.
                                    Here's the St. John recipe including the parsley salad. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/201...

                                    1. re: JMF

                                      Thanks!!! I think I will go to Turcos. My A&P's meat dept stinks.

                                2. I'm a lover, but when I was young I lived up in ND and had 'buffalo butter' that is very different than the beef or pork marrow I scavenge from soup bones or roasts. I do remember liking but can't really remember it's flavor. It was much darker than beef marrow and you would scoop it out and spread it on bread.

                                  I can find beefalo meat and suposely 'bison' meat here in OH, but never the bones.

                                  1. I know you're talking about the marrow in large bones, but I love ALL marrow. You should see the chicken bones left on my plate-all sucked dry.

                                    1. Marrow is soft and juicey, sweet and buttery. It is an experiance like no other. My favorite marrow is veal shank then beef then lamb. I do not like any fowl. I wish I could find a restaurant that sered bones.

                                      1. I've never actually had roasted marrow bones, but often have sucked the rich, creamy goodness out of soup and stew bones. Mostly pork, but beef is good too. I always thought of it as very soft, liquidy fat.

                                        1. I would think that anyone who has made meat stocks have had marrow. :-)

                                          Others here have described making soups, stews, etc with bones in it or meats on-the-bone and sucking out the marrow left in the bones afterwards or tapping out the residual marrow afterwards. So do I, especially when making nice phở stock with 6-8 pounds of beef bones which should have a good proportion of shin/&equivalent bones with nice marrow in them (that's where much of the flavor is!).

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: huiray

                                            When I make mutton pilaf (yakhni pullao) I use the meat for the pilaf but also ask for extra goat bones and after I strain the stock and the bones are cook enough I poke left over marrow out of the bones and into the stock. This stock is what I use for boiling the rice. The rice tastes so very rich! That is one of the dishes I make the best.

                                            1. re: huiray

                                              Hi Ray, how do you get the marrow out of the bones? I have found that a plastic straw works best. It is remarkably easy to suck the marrow out with a a straw and well worth the little work.

                                              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                                                Hey there, CTG.

                                                Heh. I've never used a straw myself. I simply "shake" it out ("flinging it out" might be another way of describing it with the "fling" concentrated on a forceful downward motion of the suitably-positioned bone) or dig it out with a chopstick. :-) That "plop" of the plug of marrow on the plate or into the bowl - or back into the stock - is somehow very satisfying.

                                                1. re: huiray

                                                  ok. Back from Boston and had the roasted marrow. We all (me, hubby and 16yo dd) deemed it delish. Order came with 3 bones and we ordered another 3. I will definately order that again

                                                  1. re: doberlady

                                                    above was pic from restaurant website. This is the pic that I took

                                                    1. re: doberlady

                                                      Glad you like it. The trick now is limiting your intake because the stuff is high in calories and fat which is why it tastes so good.

                                                      1. re: Bkeats

                                                        Yes, can be a yearly treat :)

                                                        I am glad that we tried it. Love new things