This is the dish that started me on my bones journey. Scooping out the soft, warm marrow and spreading it on crisp toast is a sensual delight. A touch of salt, and all is right with the world. I suggest two marrow bones per person, since it is a very rich dish–but I could easily eat all eight. Marrow bones are cut from the shank bones of beef and veal; ask your butcher for bones cut from the center of the shank so the portion of marrow to bone will be higher and the marrow easier to extract.

Serve the bones French style, with only fleur de sel, or English style with Parsley Salad. Use good rustic bread for the toast. Plan ahead, as the bones must be soaked for 12-24 hours to remove any traces of blood.


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Roasted Marrow Bones

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  • Author: Jill Baker
  • Yield: Serves 4 As An Appetizer 1x



8 Veal or Beef Marrow Bones, about 3 inches long

Kosher Salt

Vegetable Oil

Parsley Salad (found here)

8 Slices Rustic Bread

Fleur de Sel


  1. Place the bones in a bowl of ice water to cover, add 2 Tbsp. salt, and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, changing the water 4-6 times and adding 2 more Tbsp. salt to the water each time.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450º F. Drain the bones and pat dry. Stand them up in a lightly oiled roasting pan, and roast for 15-25 minutes, or until the marrow has puffed slightly and is warm in the venter. To test, insert a metal skewer into the venter of marrow, then touch it to your wrist to see if it is warm. There should be no resistance when the skewer is inserted, and a little of the marrow should have melted and started to leak from the bones.
  3. While the bones are roasting, prepare the parsley salad, if serving it, and toast the bread.
  4. Divide the bones among four plates and serve hot, with the optional salad, toast, and fleur de sel. Each diner scoops out the marrow and spreads it on the toast, sprinkling it with salt.


Poached Marrow Bones
ºYou can poach marrow bones in simmering salted water instead of roasting them, but they must still be soaked in advance. Poach them for 15 minutes or so, depending on the thickness of the bones; drain well before serving.

The information and recipe, contained within, is excerpted from Bones by Jennifer McLagan and can be purchased here.