1. Place the bones in a bowl of ice water with 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt per 1 cup water and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, changing the water every 4 hours and replacing the salt each time. Drain and refrigerate until you are ready to cook the marrow. This removes the blood from the marrow. Be sure to use it within 24 hours or freeze the drained bones for up to 3 months.
2. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
3. Drain the bones and pat them dry. Place them in a roasting pan. If the bones are cut crosswise, place them standing up; if the bones are cut lengthwise, place them cut side up. Roast for 15 to 25 minutes, until the marrow has puffed slightly and is warm in the center. To test for doneness, insert a metal skewer into the center of the bone, then touch it to your wrist to gauge the marrow’s temperature; the roasted bone marrow should be very hot. There should be no resistance when the skewer is inserted and some of the marrow will have started to leak from the bones. Serve the roasted bone marrow immediately with spoons.
Author Jennifer McLagan loves roasted bone marrow. And she finds it, in her words, “encouraging to know that this odd bit once consigned to the soup pot, tossed to the dog, or thrown in the garbage is now finally being appreciated as a dish in its own right.” Ain’t that the truth. Now that good fat is back on the table (though for some of us it was never off the table), marrow is seemingly everywhere. McLagan reminds us that “Many people avoid roasted bone marrow because it’s fat, but it should be remembered that marrow is 69 percent unsaturated fat. It’s also a very nutritious food, containing iron, phosphorus, vitamin A, and trace amounts of thiamin and niacin. There’s even more good news for marrow lovers: science has shown that the fat of ruminants contains substances that boost and maintain our body’s immune system. So the Victorians were right—it is a health food and definitely way too good for the dog.” Amen to all that. This recipe has been updated. Originally published January 17, 2013.–Renee Schettler Rossi