When I first started selling Rancho San Julian Beef at the Farmers Markets, in 2008, bones were a hard sell. I always had them at the market, because I have always sold the whole animal, but they did not sell well—at the time, customers were more interested in the “fancy cuts” like filet mignon. Thankfully, times have changed. People now see the benefits of bones, and they buy a lot of them, mostly to make bone broth.
Today’s focus on the benefits of bone broth may look like a trend, but it’s really a return to our cooking roots. Bones and bone marrow have been eaten for as long as humans have been eating meat. I absolutely love bone broth, but if you wants something super special, try this extremely easy recipe for Roasted Marrow Bones, which are a classic French appetizer—they’re really good for your health, and, more importantly, they’re absolutely delicious.
4 pieces of marrow bones (about 1 lb)
a few sprigs of fresh herbs, like thyme or parsley
whole grain bread
1 onion (optional)
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Heat the oven to 450. Put the marrow bones in a cast iron pan, and set them in the oven to roast until they are golden on top, 15-20 minutes. Transfer the hot marrow bones to a serving plate, scatter sea salt and a few pinches of herbs on top, and serve with pieces of toasted whole grain bread and small spoons to scoop out the marrow.
If you’d like to serve the marrow bones with caramelized onions, use the time the oven is heating to cut the onion into very thin slices, and while the marrow bones are baking, cook the onion slices in the olive oil over med-high heat, stirring constantly. By the time the marrow is ready, the onion should be soft and golden and starting to crisp just a little. Arrange the cooked onions around the marrow bones before adding the salt and herbs.