A wonderful new food magazine, Saffron, acted as a timely reminder for me to stop procrastinating and to get on and write this post. Published for the first time last week, Saffron is a meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated journal that promises much for the future. It caught my eye for many reasons, not least of which was a eulogy to those fantastic ‘forgotten’ fats, lard and dripping.
If you’ve visited my blog (and my Twitter account) before, you’ll know that I’m an enthusiastic advocate of those very fats, as well as of suet. I only wish I could readily get hold of flead to cook with, too, but that’s a mission for another time.
But here’s another glorious source of fat which is too often overlooked and discarded – bone marrow.
Rich, slightly sweet, and as melt-in-the-mouth as you could possibly wish for, marrow is a highly nutritious treat that every self-declared food lover should try. I particularly love these fritters, in which the simple addition of lemon zest both counters and elevates the fatty marrow into something quite sublime. Do try.
50g marrow from veal marrow bones (see below)
20g fresh white bread crumbs
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
1 tsp lemon zest
salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
Take a handful of marrow bones (cut across the bone – ask your butcher to do this) and cover with hot water. Bring to a bare simmer and cook the bones for no more than 5 minutes.
Remove the bones from the pan and leave to cool slightly on a plate. After a couple of minutes, push the marrow out of the bones using a teaspoon or other blunt cutlery. It will be a bit messy, but you should be left with some decent lumps of usable marrow.
Combine the marrow with all the other ingredients until they come together and you can shape the resultant mix. Roll into fritters about the length of your little finger.
In a heavy-based frying pan, heat a little vegetable oil (not olive oil). Put the fritter into the hot pan, and fry briskly, watching all the time, until the fritter is golden brown all over – this will take seconds, rather than minutes. Do not over fry!
Serve with a salad of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped shallots, dressed with olive or rapeseed oil.