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Bone Marrow: What is it, Benefits and How to Cook

Bone Marrow

Bone marrow might not be the most glamorous ingredient, but this decadent treat has been making a comeback for good reason. Not only is it incredibly flavorful, but it’s also packed with nutrients that can benefit your health.

What is Bone Marrow?

Bone marrow is the soft tissue found in the center of bones. It’s responsible for producing red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. But for adventurous eaters, bone marrow is also a delicious food source.

Benefits of Bone Marrow

Bone marrow boasts a unique nutritional profile. While high in fat (mostly the good kind!), it’s also rich in:

  • Collagen: Great for skin and bone health
  • Glucosamine: Supports joint health and may reduce inflammation
  • Glycine and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): Both have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Essential vitamins and minerals: Including iron, vitamin A, and B vitamins

These components contribute to a range of potential health benefits, including:

  • Improved joint function
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Boosted immunity
  • Cellular repair and growth
  • Healthy blood sugar control
Bone Marrow
Bone Marrow

How to Cook Bone Marrow

Ready to give bone marrow a try? Here’s the basic rundown:

  1. Find your bones: Beef and veal bones are most common, but lamb and bison work too. Ask your butcher to cut them lengthwise for easier access to the marrow.
  2. Roasting: Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Roast the bones for 20-30 minutes, until the fat starts to render out.
  3. Scooping the goodness: Once roasted, the marrow should be soft and spoonable. You can enjoy it straight from the bone or spread it on toast for a decadent treat.

Bone Marrow Broth

For a more subtle way to enjoy the benefits of bone marrow, try making bone broth. Simply simmer the bones with water, vegetables, and herbs for several hours. The marrow infuses the broth with a rich flavor and nutrients.

You can try this recipe:

Bone Marrow Soup with Bok Choy
Craving a comforting soup? This Bone Marrow Soup with Bok Choy is easy to make & packed with flavor. Roasted bone marrow adds depth to the broth, while bok choy offers vitamins & a pop of color. Vegetarian option included!
Get the recipe
Bone Marrow Soup with Bok Choy

Types of Bone Marrow for Cooking

While there are two main types of bone marrow in the body, red and yellow, neither type is considered for consumption due to their location and function within the body. For cooking purposes, we focus on the type of animal the bone comes from.

Beef marrow is the most common type used in cooking because the bones are large and have a good amount of marrow. Veal marrow is another option, with a slightly milder flavor than beef. Lamb and bison marrow are also used, though less frequently. These bones tend to be smaller and have less marrow, but can still be delicious.

Bone Marrow
Bone Marrow

Seasoning Up Your Bone Marrow: Simple and Delicious Options

Bone marrow boasts a rich, buttery flavor on its own, but a touch of seasoning can really elevate it. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Classic Seasoning:

  • Salt and Pepper: This simple duo is a foolproof way to enhance the natural flavor of the marrow. Opt for flaky sea salt for a nice textural contrast.
  • Garlic and Herbs: Minced garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary, or parsley add a touch of earthiness and fragrance.

Global Twists:

  • French: For a French bistro vibe, try a sprinkle of Herbes de Provence, a blend of dried herbs like lavender, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Asian: A drizzle of soy sauce, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and some scallions add an Asian flair.
  • Indian: Cumin, coriander, and a touch of garam masala will add warmth and depth of flavor.

Other Ideas:

  • Lemon or Lime: A squeeze of fresh citrus adds a touch of brightness and acidity.
  • Shallots or Red Onion: Finely chopped shallots or red onion add a bit of sharpness and complexity.
  • Spicy: For those who like it hot, a pinch of cayenne pepper or a sprinkle of chili flakes will add a kick.

Pro Tip: Seasoning bone marrow can be done at different stages depending on your preference. Here are two options:

  • Pre-Roasting: Rub the marrow bones with your chosen seasonings before placing them in the oven. This allows the flavors to infuse into the marrow as it cooks.
  • Post-Roasting: Once roasted, simply sprinkle your desired seasonings on top of the marrow for a quick and easy flavor boost.

Remember: Start with a light hand and adjust the seasonings to your taste. The key is to complement the natural richness of the bone marrow without overpowering it.

Bone Marrow – More Than Just Broth

Bone marrow is a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet. So, next time you’re at the butcher shop, consider going beyond the usual cuts and explore the world of bone marrow!

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