Roasted bone marrow is probably one of those things that you will either love or hate.  It has been a prized ingredient in french cooking and other cuisines for many years.  Roasted bone marrow is like a fat custard that you can spread on bread with accompaniments.  It is like the foie gras for beef, well maybe not as good as foie gras, but definitely good. There are conflicting sides as to how healthy bone marrow is for you.  It is high in protein and nutrients but probably high in cholesterol too.  When you make stocks for sauce and soups you use the bones because of the flavor and because of the marrow inside that gives you a gelatinous stock when cooked properly.   I know the broth from beef marrow and chicken broth is some of the healthiest thing you can consume.  I'm not here to argue the health benefits or lack there of marrow, but more merely to share a recipe.   Most marrow you will find comes from the shank of the cow or veal, center cut is what you want if you can get it.  I got center cut marrow bones and had the split down the middle.  This can only be done with an electrical saw and it is something that your butcher needs to do for you.   If you can't get them split in half then you will have to roast them whole (there is nothing wrong that).

I have had marrow with a simple herb salad and capers with toast but wanted to do something a little different.  I still had some nectarines from the tree this year and needed to do something with them because they were starting to go bad.  I decided to make a mostarda which is normally an Italian candied fruit condiment with the addition of mustard oil.  I think of mostarda for this recipe like a chutney with mustard flavoring.  The result was spectacular!  You have a sweet, sour, mustard flavor apricots to pair with custard like roasted beef fat on top of toasted sourdough.  My bosses Jp and Eloise believe it or not love bone marrow.  Anytime I made soup or stocks with marrow bones JP always wants to suck out the marrow.  I let Eloise try this dish and she loved it.  This recipe couldn't be more straight forward.

3 center cut beef marrow bones cut in half (ask butcher)

1 sprig of thyme

1 sprig of rosemary

2 garlic cloves

fluer de sel

chives choopped

Nectarine Mostarda

2 shallots minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup of raisins

3 cups of diced nectarines

1 cup of sugar

1 1/3 cup of champagne vinegar

3 tbsp of mustard powder

3 tbsp of each brown and yellow mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of chili flakes

1 tsp of salt

(fresh herbs optional ex.. basil, mint, cilantro, etc...)

6 pieces of sourdough bread sliced

3 tbsp of butter

4 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven 350

For the mostarda,

In a large sauce pot on medium high heat add olive oil, shallots, chili flakes, raisins, and mustard seeds. Cook for3 minutes and then add mustard powder and nectarines.  Cook for 2 more minutes and then add sugar and vinegar.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes.  My nectarines were tender and not hard like an apple before I added them to the mostarda.  So after 20 to 25 minutes the nectarines were cooked through and tender but still retained their shape.  This gives a little difference in texture to the marrow because it is like hot butter.  Set aside to cool and if you want to add herbs to give it another depth of flavor now would be the time.  I did not.  Set aside until ready to use.

For the Sourdough,

In a large saute pan on medium heat add oil and butter.  Then add the bread slices and toast  for 3 to 4 mins until golden brown on each side.   Season with salt and pepper and set aside.  I trimmed the sides and ends to make perfect rectangular toast.

For the Roasted Marrow

I like to roast the marrow bones slow on a temperature not too hot so that the marrow cooks slowly and you don't loose a lot of the marrow.  If you cook to hot too fast the marrow will tend to melt away before it is cooked all the way through.  Roast the marrow bones for roughly 30-35 minutes.  The marrow should tender and cooked all the way through.  It should almost be soft like a custard.   Take a blow torch and toast the top of the marrow just to give it a little natural crust (think of brulee) and extra done-ness.  Season flue de sel and chives.  Serve with sourdough toast and nectarine mostarda.

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