Meat and Bones

Firstly, let me wish everyone a very happy 2010!

Now that all the hotel Gala Dinners throughout the festive season are finally over, I can spend a week or so relaxing! :biggrin:

This past month has been busy, however with careful planning ahead, it was relatively easy. Once all the Gala Dinner menus were confirmed, it was all a case of getting things ready on time. The only obstacle that we faced were the deliveries of the ingredients. The working week is cut short when Christmas and New Years Eve fall on weekdays.

Talking about “planning ahead”, I have been making lots of Cured beef..


For some bizarre reason I decided to cure some beef in Orange Juice and Brandy.

I think that the idea came about one day after I had prepared a few plates of Bresaola (Italian air-dried salted beef) and later that week, one night at home I enjoyed a glass of Macallan Whisky, (a Single Malt that is matured in Sherry Casks from nearby Jerez de la Frontera). I had obviously written down this idea at some point during that evening, (okay, perhaps I had more than one glass! :angel: ), and found the slip of paper a few days later.

Bresaola is salt cured before being hung for 2-3 months. I am not really (that much of a) patient person, so that idea was out of the window even before I begun. I knew that I wanted a sweetish flavour, so I chose a nice Brandy from Jerez, which is also matured in Sherry Casks.



The Tenderloin (Fillet) is packed in to a bag with Orange Juice, Brandy, Spices, Salt and Sugar and left for 4 days.

On my first attempt I cured the meat for only 24 hours, but found that the resulting meat was still too raw and soft inside. After a few more tries, I worked out that the best texture to my liking appeared after 96 hours.

The meat is removed from the bag and washed before being pat dry. During its time in the bag, the meat has shrunk and become more compact and darker.


Brandy and Orange Cured Beef Tenderloin.


The flavour is very interesting, slightly sweet yet salty with a woody aroma. This is definitely a recipe that I will work on and add more ingredients to.


Back in the days when I was younger (and still had hair!) I would often find my way to a small restaurant called St. John in London. Years later it is almost impossible to get a reservation there. The restaurant and chefs fame is mainly due to a lot of hard work, and from this effort has come a Michelin Star and a second eatery. Wandering Chef/Author/Celeb Anthony Bourdain has called it his “Favourite restaurant in the world”.

The most notable dish from the restaurant is the Roasted Bone Marrow. Chef Fergus Henderson has kept this simple dish on the menu since the beginning. Anthony Bourdain even includes it as one of his final dishes in the book  “My Last Supper” by Melanie Dunea, and it even gets a nod in our online version.

This dish is now served in many restaurants around the world, and for one week it featured on mine.

The London restaurant didn’t “invent” this dish, it has been around for centuries, though it saw a huge decline during the BSE Years (Mad Cow Disease).

At St. John it is served with crusty grilled bread and a parsley and shallot salad. When it is presented in this form, many restaurants name it after Chef Fergus and/or the restaurant.

When it featured on my menu, I remained true to the recipe, but added a few small touches (Garlic Chips and Coriander).

The original recipe from the restaurant cookbook (Nose to Tail Eating) can be found on countless websites, but I will save you time and place it below.



  • 12 x 7-8 cm pieces middle veal marrow bones
  • 1 bunch flat leaf Parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • 2 Shallots, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small handful extra-fine capers
  • 1 Lemon, juice only
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin Olive oil
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • toast, to serve




1. Preheat the oven to 190C.

2. Put the marrow bones into an ovenproof frying pan or roasting dish. Roast the bones for 20 minutes, until the marrow is loose and giving, but not melting away.

3. Combine the parsley, shallots and capers in a small bowl.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil to make a dressing.

5. To serve, toss the parsley mixture with the dressing and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Scrape the marrow from the bones onto the toast and season with a little coarse sea salt. Top with a small spoonful of parsley salad.

Below are some photos from my version…



Beef Bones ready for the oven.



There is no need to season the bones before cooking, all the seasoning will be done just before eating.



My addition to this dish was in the form of Garlic Chips.



It doesn’t take long for the bones to cook, overcooking them will result in the lovely marrow turning mushy.



Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) is added to the Parsley Salad.



Once ready, the marrow is scooped out, spread on to a piece of crunchy toast, sprinkled with sea salt, topped with the salad and one or two garlic chips and enjoyed. :biggrin:


5 thoughts on “Meat and Bones

  1. I just stumbled across your website and man is it making me hungry.  All your food looks so good.  With your permission I would like to link your website to my blog site 

  2. Hi Umami and Jot,
    Marrow bone is a great, especially in winter!
    Jot, please feel free to link to the site, and welcome to Laocook. :biggrin:

  3. Recently, I’ve acquired over 1,000 water buffalo here in Boring, Oregon (USA). I sell them ass a whole or air-seal frozen meats. Do you have any recipes involving Water Buffalo? Thank you

  4. Hi and welcome to Laocook!
    WOW, 1000 Buffalo! thats quite a herd and a whole lot of Mozzarella!
    I have never tried Water Buffalo or Bison meat before, but have been told that it is quite tender and lean.
    I did see it on sale the last time I was in the States, it would be good to actually try it out someday to personally compare it to beef. The next time I am in the US, I will definately try some!

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