Fergus Henderson's Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad

marrowbones

At a cooking class I attended at the Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, Chef Fergus Henderson made his signature roast marrow bones with parsley salad. This is the recipe from his book The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating, in his own words. Its dry humour and vivid imagery is a refreshing change from traditional recipe writing.

 

 

12 3-inch pieces of veal marrow bone

A healthy bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked from the stems (about 3 cups)

2 shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)

1 modest handful of capers (extra-fine if possible, about 2 tablespoons)

Dressing

Juice of 1 lemon (we used 2 teaspoons)

Extra-virgin olive oil (we used 2 tablespoons)

A pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper

A good supply of toast

Coarse salt

 

Stand the marrowbone pieces in an ovenproof frying pan and place in a hot 450 F oven. The roasting process should take about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the bone. You are looking for the marrow to be loose and giving, but not melted away, which it will do if left too long (traditionally the ends would be covered to prevent any seepage, but I like the colouring and crispness at the ends).

Lightly chop your parsley, just enough to discipline it, mix it with the shallots and capers, and at the last moment, dress the salad.

Here is a dish that should be completely seasoned before leaving the kitchen, rendering a last-minute seasoning unnecessary by the actual eater; this, especially in the case of coarse sea salt, gives texture and uplift at the moment of eating. My approach is to scrape the marrow from the bone onto the toast and season with coarse sea salt. Then a pinch of parsley salad on top of this and eat. Of course, once you have your pile of bones, salad, toast, and salt, it is diner's choice.