Marrowbones 3

When I was younger and had more energy, my cousin Jay (who also took me to eat ossobucco) and I would go to the Bromberg brothers’ Blue Ribbon at the end of a long night and eat their marrowbones. This was before marrow was really hot in New York, and so it was a revelation. Three pale, ivory bones on a plate – because Bruce and Eric Bromberg poach their bone, rather than roast it, as most people do nowadays  – served with challah toast and an oxtail marmalade. The oxtail marmalade was the kicker, slippery, unctuous, sweet, and sour.

Blue Ribbon’s marrow was three o’clock in the morning nursery food; it is bread and jam, only extremely wicked, not only bad for you, and also rife with the fact that something has had to die in order for the plate to happen. Saveur has published Eric Bromberg’s technique on how to poach the marrowbones, in Hilary Merzbacher’s article “Bare Bones.” While I love bones roasted, poached they are soft and pure, carnivore butter. http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Beef-Marrow-Bones-with-Fried-Parsley.

The recipe for the marmalade, you can find here, from seriouseats.com, from Bruce and Eric Brombergs’ The Bromberg Brothers’ Blue Ribbon Cookbook. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/04/beef-marrow-bones-with-oxtail-marmalade-recipe.html. It is painstaking and you will use so much booze that – if you are on a budget — it might make you cry. I have since halved the recipe, with success. It is so, so worth it, I cannot stress this enough, especially if you cannot wander into Blue Ribbon right before dawn. My mother said that the marmalade was one of the best things that I had ever made, and I have been cooking, with some success, since I was seven years old. Still, a little goes a long way. If you eat too much, you begin to feel like Caligula. Even half the recipe leaves you with enough marmalade to freeze for your next marrow bender.

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