09 Oct2009


Yesterday, I had my second blood test of the year, in the midst of a crazy schedule for the week, and my results were pretty good. Surprisingly, my cholesterol, HDL, LDL and other key measures are reasonably okay, given my previous history, so I thought I would splurge a little (a lot!) today with this outrageous appetizer unlike no other… roasted bone marrow on toast. Wow!


I have never done this dish at home. It was always something we ordered at restaurants, and in Makati, El Cirkulo usually has a pretty good version. But at the grocery a few days ago, I spied some beef bone marrow bones for sale at what seemed like incredibly reasonable prices, so I figured I would experiment, and if it failed, I would only be out PHP100 or roughly $2.


I purchased two bones, and had them saw them in half so I had four sections of marrow. Back at home, the cook scraped the bones of meat or muscle to ensure a clean bone surface when roasting…


Turns out one has to or should soak the cleaned bones/marrow in cold salted water in the fridge overnight or up to 24 hours, changing the brine solution 3-4 times over a 24-hour period. This step is to remove much of the blood and draw out other impurities, I gather from a book on fat and bone marrow. I soaked them overnight.


Next heat your oven to 400-450F, dry your marrow bones with paper towels, stick them on a pan and place them in the oven to roast for 20-25 minutes, depending on size of bones until the marrow is loose, but not melted.


Use a nice bone marrow spoon or other implement to remove the roasted marrow and shmear it on some toasted slices of baguette. Sprinkle with good sea salt, I used Maldon flakes. And enjoy in its purest form. It is tempting fate in the nicest sort of way. The texture and flavor of roasted bone marrow is unlike anything else. It’s rich, silky, fatty and sublime in flavor. And I suspect, folks either love it or hate it. If you want to cut the richness of the marrow, sprinkle with chopped Italian flat leaf parsley drizzled with lemon juice.


I was inspired to try roasted bone marrow at home after leafing through this book about the dishes many top chefs would consume at their proverbial “last supper”… Anthony Bourdain is buck naked in his two pages in the book and only holds a large bone, a bulalo bone, in front of his family jewels. How’s that for being ballsy? It’s an interesting read with some pretty cool photos. “My Last Supper” written by Melanie Dunea.



  1. junb says:

    Ohhh I had to do this …. I never had bone marrow for a year so I guess it is okay for me to indulge on this again although my cholesterol result on my last medical this year is not as good as MM…. but anyway they say bone marrow is good for you :) … although my doc disagree on this…anyway she always disagree in everything I eat anyway :)

    Oct 9, 2009 | 10:16 pm


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  3. Joey Pacheco says:

    oh my… delicious death :-) may ganyan sa gourmand @ the fort :-)

    Oct 9, 2009 | 10:27 pm

  4. APM says:

    Try serving it with gremolata on top. Minced lemon zest, garlic, flat leaf parsley, and maldon salt.

    Oct 9, 2009 | 11:06 pm

  5. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    WOW-WOW!! My jaw dropped and hit the floor twice!!! I want that too!! I can just imagine the soft, jelly feel contrast with the crunch of the crust of the bread. And the crumb absorbs the fat……SaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAARAP!!

    Oct 9, 2009 | 11:10 pm

  6. Vicky Go says:

    I’ve enjoyed bone marrow at Blue Ribbon Resto in lower Manhattan (TriBeCa – I think). Very good but pricey.

    At home, I usually buy beef soup bones to make beef stock for my beef & noodle soup. I don’t scrape off the meat or fat; I just wash everything in cool water; place in a baking pan & roast at 350 deg F until meat is cooked – ~ 30 min > 1 hr. I cool the bones then put in a pot w more water, scrape off all the pan drippings & add to pot – including all fat ( I remove fat fr pot after I refrigerate & I could take it off as solidified piece.

    I cut off the soft meat & tendons & take out the marrow – sautee these separately & add to the broth for the beef-noodle “mami”.

    Next time I make this soup, I’ll try & pick bones w a lot of marrow & after I roast them, will take marrow aside & eat it ALL on toast! F@#& cholesterol readings!

    Oct 9, 2009 | 11:22 pm

  7. Ed B. says:

    “…Use a nice bone marrow spoon or other implement to remove the roasted marrow and shmear it on some toasted slices of baguette. Sprinkle with good sea salt, I used Maldon flakes. And enjoy in its purest form…”

    Doesn’t the soak in salted water (especially if done for 24 hours) season the marrow?

    Oct 10, 2009 | 12:40 am

  8. Ernie says:

    This looks so good… cholesterol heaven! It’s high up there with bacon, butter and cream. Mmmm…

    I gotta have to try this!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 1:27 am

  9. Muzzy says:

    This is just too decadent.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 2:34 am

  10. Vanessa says:

    Coronary in waiting! The steps look so simple, the end result so rich.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 3:33 am

  11. thelma says:

    sometimes, i add bone marrows when i cook pork adobo…delicious!!!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 5:00 am

  12. ted says:

    I had a taste of these bone marrow butter in late 2008 at Poleng Lounge in SF’s Nopa district, the menu was Beef Salpicao around one roasted bone marrow and some wheat crackers i think, amazingly good. The chef at the resto was chinese but grew up in PI. His daily menu consists of mostly filipino fusion food. Very interesting, bay area’ns you should try that place.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 5:10 am

  13. Roland says:

    Oh Man! I will be doing this soon — I will trade a week of Salads to try this — I have seen this as an appetizer in a couple of restaurants here in Dallas, but just have not had the courage, because I was about to have an overly fatty (usually steak) meal — but now this so easy — go time!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 5:32 am

  14. JR says:


    It’s to die for! :)


    Oct 10, 2009 | 5:37 am

  15. natie says:

    WOW indeed! that would be in my list for “last meals”—along with a pack of crispy bacon, a big plateful of lechon skin, and warm, homebaked bread with thick pats of Plugra..

    Oct 10, 2009 | 6:14 am

  16. jean says:

    The word unctuous exists to describe this. Must make this on Sunday. Quivering with anticipation!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 6:28 am

  17. Gracie says:

    Perfect timing on this post. I will be roasting bone marrow this weekend. Thank you for sharing!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 7:20 am

  18. Ging says:

    Reading this is not doing my weight loss plan any favors. Sigh…

    Oct 10, 2009 | 8:16 am

  19. fortuitous faery says:

    that looks sinful and divine at the same time! :P

    Oct 10, 2009 | 8:17 am

  20. Ging says:

    I want to roast this over wood fire and give the marrow a woodsy, smoky flavor.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 8:17 am

  21. millet says:

    why would i want to cut the richness with some vegetable? :-)
    but, yes…a sprinkling of dayap would be nice, same way i like patis and calamansi on the marrow in bulalo.
    love this post, and the very appropriate…… ah….uhm……..ending.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 8:34 am

  22. Susan D. says:

    Haha, “shmear” “ballsy” I like that. I wish they sold those here. I would put extras in my nilaga.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 8:42 am

  23. mrs lavendula says:

    i love bulalo!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 11:54 am

  24. Lava Bien says:

    Looks good MM.

    Bulalo is one of my “I can eat anything today ticket” as I don’t eat much meat. But when I do I try to eat the good stuff one of which is the marrow, as rare as I can get Prime Rib ummmm……

    If you folks ever swing by Tagaytay, try Antonio’s (need about a week or 2 though for reservation as they do not take walk ins) you won’t regret it. Romantic!!!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 1:19 pm

  25. Mom-Friday says:

    Missed by a day! hi MM, if you only posted this earlier…we just had bulalo soup last night! I really love bone marrow in all it’s “fatty glory”! So i guess I have to buy another batch of bones next week ;) Is it OK to soak overnight without changing the brine? How much salt in the brine for 2 or 3 bone cuts?

    Oct 10, 2009 | 2:35 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    Mom-Friday, change the water 2-3 times in the elapsed 24 hour period, but no need to get up in the middle of the night. For three bone cuts, cover with water and add about 1-1.5 tablespoons of sea salt. No iodized salt please. And no, it does not seem to make the marrow salty, in answer to an earlier question above.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 3:23 pm

  27. Gener says:

    Ghee, Bone marrow! I used to suck those after the soup of bulalo is over,,,i dont realized that they could be good for sandwiches…..

    Oct 10, 2009 | 5:37 pm

  28. rpgteemd says:

    As a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood and HUMAN bone marrow) I seldom touch the stuff… Heehee I guess I’m not for mixing work with pleasure. Hehehe

    Keep ’em coming Mr. MarketMan sir!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 6:00 pm

  29. Marketman says:

    rpgteemd, trust me, “mad cow” did cross my mind… and at most, this is a once a year indulgence. :)

    Oct 10, 2009 | 7:48 pm

  30. paolo says:

    who hates bone marrow? i think nobody does!
    i love it to the bone!!! good tip about soaking it overnight with brine MarketMan!
    the bone marrow that i sometimes have is from the broth of batchoy so its is delicious on its own! the cartilages from the bones are also da best!!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 7:58 pm

  31. Divina says:

    We used to fight over these bone marrows. Dad normally cooks them as a soup but never tried roasting them. I would like to try spreading that on bread, just like butter. That’s awesome.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 9:05 pm

  32. Gener says:

    rpgteemd i guess has strong imagination! It can affect your appetite indeed? better not to mixed up imagining work while eating, you will surely devastated… har-har-har!

    Oct 10, 2009 | 10:19 pm

  33. Tok says:

    Hmmmmm namit gid! i will try this weekend. Thanks for the post MM.

    Oct 10, 2009 | 10:35 pm

  34. betty q. says:

    Paolo: to answer your question….Yes, I am the 1 (oddball) among millions of people who doesn’t like bone marrow.

    Oct 11, 2009 | 2:46 am

  35. bagito says:

    betty q, hindi ka nag-iisa. hehehe. ;-)

    Oct 11, 2009 | 4:59 am

  36. Trisha says:

    I’m pretty sure Bourdain is referring to the dish by Fergus Henderson at St johns in London, roasted bone marrow and parsley salad. This is indeed one of my faves also.

    And funny enough, a dream came true for me this week as I got to cook twice with the GOD himself, Fergus. The way he approaches pig and offal is totally inspiring. His method for perfect crispy pigs skin is something you should really test out!

    Oct 11, 2009 | 2:33 pm

  37. Cristina Gray says:

    Yum, yum, yum.

    Oct 12, 2009 | 9:02 am

  38. Marketman says:

    Trisha, yes, he is, and St Johns is a restaurant I would love to try. Care to share tips on how he gets his pig skin crispy? :)

    Oct 12, 2009 | 9:32 am

  39. Cris Jose says:

    Wow… ang sarap naman!!! I think Maita Fores also serves this in one of her restaurants… The first time I saw this on TV parang nagshoot-up ang blood pressure ko.. pero nevertheless, I want to try it. :)

    Oct 12, 2009 | 11:41 am

  40. ifoodtrip.com says:

    Thanks for this post. I never knew about the process of soaking them in salted cold water and thanks for the tip as I’m a big fan of bone marrow and use it extensively when i cook. A great topping for your bone marrow toast would be truffle sauce (available at Bacchus) and Margarita Fores serves this on the side of her roasted bone marrow at Pepato.

    Maybe you would want to try a truffled marrowed burger. http://www.ifoodtrip.com/2009/09/truffled-marrowed-burger-with-white.html

    Oct 12, 2009 | 7:49 pm

  41. joey says:

    This is indeed a sublime dish! I love roasted bone marrow (Je Suis Gourmand has a great one as well)! You are right, it’s dead cheap and easy to make so I will be indulging soon :) As for the health benefits…does “putting oneself in a good mood” count for a health benefit? ;)

    Oct 13, 2009 | 9:12 pm

  42. Lilibeth says:

    Goodness Marketman, I read this post right after I got my own blood test results with over-all cholesterol at 161 (used to be 180) so I think I can also indulge in this. IMO, if you eat healthy food most of the time, a few binge here and there will not affect your cholesterol, even your weight. I have proven this to be true when I tried out buttery cake recipes 3x/week and my cholesterol shot up from 120 to 180 whereas in the past, when I would binge on a rich dessert and would wait sometime before doing it again, it did not affect my cholesterol level nor my weight. It also helps to stay longer in the gym (I have read somewhere that you can burn it with exercise) and eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday which is what I do, and trust me, it works.

    Oct 14, 2009 | 5:15 am

  43. Trisha says:

    First salt the skin with Gris salt. Over night. Rinse. Then slow cook submerged in duck fat in oven for hours, up to 3 depending on your oven, low heat. Then remove from fat, pat dry, rest and then deep fry. (You really cant go wrong, it turns out like perfect PIG butter puff pastry). We served this tossed in a salad of bitter greens and a verjuice and evo dressing. Season well of course.

    Cooking a pig with Fergus, head to toe, was beyond a dream. If you don’t have his book, get it. Your in pig heaven and his approach to head to toe eating is witty, smart, simple, old school and just F*** off good.

    Oct 14, 2009 | 5:56 pm

  44. Marketman says:

    Trisha, will buy the book ASAP. Of course that means the next time I have access to a good bookstore! Thanks. :)

    Oct 14, 2009 | 6:22 pm

  45. woogie82 says:

    Wow! This is like a bruschetta gone crazy! Looks awesome, though. I have a copy of the book and it has many inspiring stories and recipes from the world’s greatest chefs.

    Oct 14, 2009 | 9:17 pm

  46. jun b says:

    just got the book from nose to tail by fergus and watch some posting in you tube. he is really an amazing guy with a real passion for cooking even though he has parkinson

    Oct 18, 2009 | 1:13 am

  47. hungry mike says:

    @ trisha – wow! except for the duck fat, just like bagnet from ilocos!!! for the win!!!

    Apr 27, 2010 | 10:05 pm

  48. JohnD says:

    Marketman you have this pic of cut bones in plastic with price tag I just wonder from what grocery you bought these nice looking bones from. Thanks a lot keep those recipes coming.

    Aug 31, 2010 | 12:38 am

  49. Marketman says:

    JohnD, if I am not mistaken, I bought these at Rustan’s Rockwell. If they aren’t on display, check with the butcher if they have them in the chillers.

    Aug 31, 2010 | 7:37 am

  50. JohnD says:

    Thanks a lot Marketman. Cheers!

    Sep 1, 2010 | 2:54 am


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