Bone marrow is easy to make and incredibly versatile to use! It’s an ingredient in several of my Paleo recipes as well as the secret ingredient in two of my most popular and eye catching desserts!
- 5 lbs marrow bones
- 1 tbsp salt
- Enough water to cover the bones
- 1 large bruised sprig of thyme or 12 fresh sage leaves, bruised
Start by putting your marrow bones in a small soup pot and filling it with water until it’s about 1 inch above the top of the bones. Remove the bones and add 1 tbsp of salt. Now bring the water to a boil.
The goal here is to soften the marrow enough to scoop it out without actually melting it completely. If you leave the bones in the water while it comes to a boil you’re going to lose a bunch of that precious marrow.
Once the water is boiling, use your tongs to place the bones back into it, cut side down.
Let it bubble away for around 10 minutes.
When the marrow has softened, grab your least favorite chopstick, a sturdy skillet, and a pair of tongs. The bones will be hot, so lift them out of the water with the tongs, position them over the skillet, and enjoy feeling like a sexy neanderthal as you jam the chopstick into the softened marrow, forcing it from the bones.
When it comes out, it’ll look an awful lot like brains.
That’s all about to change, though. Dump the marrow into a skillet and melt it over a medium heat, whisking constantly. The fat will literally melt into a puddle while the trace solids sizzle up. Within five minutes or so it’ll look like you just made bacon.
There are a bunch of tiny random solid bits in there, so pour your liquid marrow through a fine mesh strainer or a couple layers of cheesecloth.
Congratulations! You’ve now rendered fat! It’s now room temperature stable and can be used in a ton of tasty recipes!
INFUSING YOUR BONE MARROW WITH HERBS
Once you’ve extracted the marrow, use a rolling pin or side of a can to crush and bruise your herbs without slicing them or removing them from their stem. This releases the oils, enhancing the flavor.
Whisk 2 tbsp of water into the bone marrow along with a scant pinch of salt. Then add the bruised herbs, put a lid on the pot, and let it simmer over medium-low for 30 minutes while the oil absorbs flavor from the herbs.
When you remove the herbs, try to strain as much oil away from them as possible. This is the good stuff.
Toss the bruised, oily herbs into your freezer’s scraps bag. They’ll add a ton of flavor to your future broth! If you don’t keep bones, veggies, and herb stems as scraps for broth, then you should still set the marrow infused herbs aside. Freeze and use in any future recipes asking for fresh thyme or sage. The extra marrow adds an unexpected but subtle punch of flavor that will impress your guests.
If you can get ahold of it, venison bone marrow is just as wonderfully rich as beef but with a distinct yet not gamey flavor of its own. I recommend setting aside a couple tbsp to use for a special occasion then flavoring the rest for this amazing dessert!
You can use bone marrow a ton of ways, but my favorite is including it in desserts! Check out my recipes for Venison Bone Marrow Creme Brulee and Bone Marrow Mini Cheesecakes!