More than meat

Don’t let bones get the best of you. They can be easy to cook with, and economical. Check out the story in today’s LENS, then try these recipes.

Beef Marrow Crostini with Gremolata

Roasted beef marrow has been described as “meat butter“ and “poor man’s foie gras.“ These nicknames will give you an idea of how rich and delicious it is. This recipe is the exception to the slow cooking rule. If you roast marrow bones at a high heat for just 20 minutes, the heat will melt the marrow to a spreadable consistency, perfect for spreading onto toasted slices of baguette.


• 1/2 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

• 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

• 2 cloves garlic, peeled, divided

• 4 (3- to 4-inch-long) center-cut beef marrow bones (about 2 1/2 pounds)

• Salt

• Ground black pepper

• 1 teaspoon lemon zest

• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

• Lemon wedges for serving


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette rounds on a baking sheet, lightly brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and bake until light golden, about 12 minutes. Rub lightly with 1 clove garlic and set aside.

Turn heat to 450 degrees. Line another baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Place bones on sheet, cut sides up. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until marrow is softened but not yet running out of bones, about 20 minutes.

While bones are roasting, combine lemon zest, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

Scoop marrow out of bones and spread onto toasts. Sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Makes four appetizer servings.


Osso Buco with White Beans

Place the shanks bone-side up so the marrow will stay put, and you can enjoy it along with the meat at dinner.


• 4 (10-ounce) crosscut veal shanks, tied with butcher’s twine

• Salt

• Ground black pepper

• 1/2 cup flour

• 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

• 2 yellow onions, finely chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

• 1 cup dry white wine

• 1 cup water

• 2 bay leaves

• 1 sprig fresh rosemary

• 2 (14-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sprinkle veal shanks with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown shanks until golden on both sides, about eight minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Lower heat to medium. Put remaining olive oil in pan. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about three minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in tomatoes, wine, water, bay leaves and rosemary and bring to a boil, stirring up brown bits from bottom of pot. Place veal shanks on top of liquid, making sure bone is facing up so marrow doesn’t drain out during cooking. Cover and place in oven until tender and falling off bone, about 2 1/2 hours.

Remove shanks from pot and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir beans into sauce and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon bean mixture into four shallow soup bowls. Place a veal shank on top of each portion. Sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.

Makes four servings.


Oxtail and Barley Soup


• 2 pounds oxtails, cut into 1-inch pieces, rinsed and patted dry

• Salt

• Ground black pepper

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 1 onion, finely chopped

• 2 ribs celery, finely chopped

• 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon tomato paste

• 1 cup red wine

• 10 cups water

• 1 cup pearl barley

• 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

• 1 bay leaf

• 3 sprigs thyme


Sprinkle oxtails with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven and brown oxtails on all sides, eight minutes total. Transfer to a plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat.

Add onion, celery and garlic to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, two to three minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook another minute. Add wine to pot, bring to a boil and scrape up any browned bits.

Return oxtails to pan along with water, bring to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to surface. Add barley, carrots, bay leaf and thyme, cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and barley are tender, about one hour. Remove meat from bones and return to soup. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes eight servings.

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  • Blog Author

    Kory Hansen

    Kory Hansen, a graduate of California State University, Fresno, began work at The Record in 2004 as a page designer and Graphics Editor. Kory currently lives in Brentwood with his wife and two sons, and spends entirely too much time chasing peacocks ... Read Full
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