In burgers, boiled up and on pizza, marrow is having a moment
Squeamishness? So passé.
Forget boneless chicken breast, bloodless steak and sanitised, sealed fillets of pork neatly cling-filmed and ready to be cooked to death. Southern-style ribs, knowing exactly where the cow you're eating was slaughtered and making your own bone broth is all the rage.
Not heard of bone broth yet? You have: it's the artist formerly known as 'stock', which has been re-branded as a vitality-boosting must-eat by wellness-loving chefs and cookbook authors Hemsley + Hemsley among others.
Lauded for a richness of fats, vitamins, minerals and skin-plumping collagen, it's quickly become a go-to for the on-trend elite: Brodo, a bar dedicated to the stuff, was the hit of New York Fashion Week and, here, The Brighton Bone Broth Co sells cups at £2.99 a pop.
At new US-style Shoreditch restaurant Boneyard, bone marrow is a menu staple. "We put it in all our beefburger patties," says group executive chef John Pollard, also part of the team behind Pizza East (where a marrow-topped creation is on the menu) and Dirty Burger. "It adds this intense, savoury meatiness that makes it next level. We smoke the marrow for three hours before scooping it out, to really ramp up the flavour."
For Pollard, there's been a huge change in our collective attitude towards bones in the past decade. "When St John (the London restaurant with a focus on nose-to-tail dining) first opened, people were like 'whoa'. It was very different that they were serving all these things." But now? "People are getting more and more adventurous and sophisticated in their tastes. It's an old-hat ingredient, but now people want to eat it."
And there's no reason to wait until you eat out to enjoy the rich, intense depth of marrow and broth. Pollard suggests using marrow as a base flavour for risotto, whipping it into butter as a spread for toast and even as a butter or olive oil replacement for cooking steak.
Making broth yourself is simple – it just requires a little time. Ask your butcher for 2-3 kg beef or lamb bones or use a leftover carcass from a roast chicken. Add to a pot full of simmering water, pop in some bay leaves, peppercorns, sliced onion and carrot and a squeeze of lemon. Leave to work their magic for around six hours, before straining. Use as a base for stews or soups or simply add a handful of tortellini and fresh veg for a simple supper.
So, cheap, nourishing and brilliantly back-to-basics: we reckon it's time we got on board with all things bone-centric. Do you?