Crack open the bones for the good stuff…
I want to discuss bone marrow for three simple reasons:
- It’s really, really good for you
- If you cook it yourself (versus getting it at a gourmet restaurant), it is pretty inexpensive
- It’s extraordinarily delicious
Bone marrow: A primal superfood
What do our hunter-gatherer ancestors and wolves have in common? Both immediately feasted on the marrow inside the bones of their fresh prey, intuitively consuming one of the most nutrient-dense portions first.
Considered a delicacy in many regions of the world, bone marrow is the rich substance found in the center of bones. Many ancient and traditional cultures revered marrow as a medicinal food, and gave it special emphasis as nourishment for children.
Weston A. Price, a nutrition pioneer who studied the diets of traditional cultures, found a special emphasis on bone marrow in the Indians living in the Rocky Mountain Range. He wrote in his landmark book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,
An important part of the nutrition of the children consisted in various preparations of bone marrow, both as a substitute for milk and as a special dietary ration.
In his practice, Dr. Price used marrow as an important nutritional supplement for undernourished children.
Marrow also provides an exceptional source of the omega-3s required for healthy brain development and anti-inflammation.
Getting the most out of bone marrow
- The toxins are stored in the fat of animals, and marrow is highly fatty. So, prioritize bones from healthy animals. That means “grassfed” or “pasture-raised” beef. “Organic” does not necessarily mean grassfed, but it is acceptable if you cannot find a higher quality.
- Trouble finding marrow in your health food store? Talk to a butcher at your grocery store, they can usually order grassfed marrow bones for you. Or, talk someone who sells grassfed beef at your farmer’s market.
- Once you enjoy the marrow, save the bones to make nutrient-dense bone broth. Toss the bones in your slow cooker, cover with filtered water, add a spoonful of apple cider vinegar (it helps draw the minerals into the broth) and cook for 24 hours.
- You can incorporate marrow into other dishes. Toss the silky marrow with vegetables, incorporate into a soup, or add to a sauce. I’ve even made this sweet bone marrow custard, which is absolutely delicious.
- Marrow bones from grassfed/pasture-raised beef, 1-2 per person
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Unrefined salt and blak pepper
- Marrow is rich, decadent and luxurious. The marrow from one or two bone pieces is enough for one person.
- If the bones are frozen, thaw them completely in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bones in a baking dish (I baked mine in that mini cast iron pan). Spacing doesn't matter - it can be spaced tightly or loosely.
- Finely chop equal parts of fresh rosemary and thyme. I used ½ tsp. of chopped herbs for the four marrow bones. Sprinkle the herbs over the marrow bones.
- Roast for about 15 minutes, until no longer pink inside. You want to catch them before the marrow begins to "cook out" of the bones.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. Use a spoon to scoop out the marrow.
- Save any drippings, as well as leftover marrow, in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. I finely chop leftover marrow and toss it with hot, cooked vegetables for a flavor and nutrient boost.