Friday, 23 March 2007

Roast bone marrow with parsley salad

This is always on the menu at St John in Smithfield. I have it whenever I go there and it never disappoints.

Experience suggests that it helps to give your butcher a bit of notice here. This morning I was charged a staggering £15 pounds for my marrowbone as when I requested it, the butcher ordered in the shins specially, and boned them for my pleasure. Alternatively avoid rip-off butchers. See previous post.


12 x 7-8cm pieces of middle veal marrowbone
1 bunch of flat-leafed parsley, picked from the stems and chopped
2 shallots, very thinly sliced
1 modest handful of capers, (extra-fine if possible)
juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground salt and black pepper
toast, to serve
coarse sea salt


Preheat the oven as hot as it goes. Place the bone marrow in an roasting tin or oven-proof frying pan and once the oven starts to burn the remains of your last week's dinners, put it in the oven. Getting the oven hot is important here. Roast the marrow for 20 minutes until the marrow is loose and giving, but not melting away.

Mix together the parsley, shallots and capers. Make the dressing by mixing together the lemon juice and olive oil.

Just before serving toss the parsley mixture with the dressing and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Scrape the marrow from the bone onto the toast and season with coarse sea salt. Serve with a pinch of parsley salad on top.

Notes for gluttons:

Really good toast is important here. I recommend pain de campagne or better still sourdough. I use Poilene sourdough and slice it quite thinly. You can butter it if required, but so much fat comes out of the bone that this is one of the few times my toast goes unbuttered.

You can buy marrow scoops but they cost a fortune. Lobster picks are easier to get hold of and cheaper. An essential tool in the offalman's quiver.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Steak Tartare

I had never eaten this famous dish until I cooked it last night. My interest was created by my recent ice swimming trip to Finland where I was served Reindeer Tartare.

For 2 as a starter.


About 150g fresh beef fillet
1 raw egg yolk
1 good teaspoon shallots, finely sliced
Half a teaspoon of salted capers
A couple of finely chopped cornichons
A good pinch of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
A small dollop of dijon mustard or quarter of a teaspoon of English mustard
3 good shakes of Worcester sauce
2-3 drops of Tabasco sauce
A pinch of salt
Ground black pepper


Trim the meat of all fat and sinew, then process it finely. Combine the ingredients trying to fluff-up the mixture as you do. Shape the meat mixture into neat patties, one per person, and place on serving plates.

Serve with toasted sourdough.