Once a month I go to a wine dinner at Latin American Restaurant, where they pair wines with five different courses. One of my favourite dishes is ossobuco, a section of veal shank braised with vegetables, wine and broth, originally from Milan, Italy.
Ossobucco literately means ‘Bone with a hole’ or marrowbone, but I’ll get to that later. If veal is not to your liking, then lamb shank is a good alternative. The meat in ossobuco is so tender that it just falls off the bone and has a rich depth of flavour that comes from the long slow cooking.
At the end of the meal, most people have left the marrow bones on their plates, and I usually ask if I can have them in a ‘doggie-bag’ to take home. They aren’t necessarily for the dog, but a treat for me. I like to either heat the bones gently in an oven or just spread it cold, like butter onto some bread or toast. It maybe have been regarded as peasant food in the past, but to me it tastes as decadent as foie gras.
I only recently heard of the phrase ‘Gods Butter’, in relation to marrow, and it is spot on. I know some people are squeamish about these sort of things, but in reality it is no different to pate, and far better than what does into hot-dogs. I’m all for using every part of an animal, it’s just that I’d rather see what I’m eating, than it was hidden in some kind of processed food.
If you every get the chance to try marrow bone in a restaurant, go for it, you will be pleasantly surprised. Or even try and cooking it at home, by making ossobuco or roasting the marrow bones yourself.