Roasted Marrow Bones

Roasted marrow bones could not be an easier starter—one that also happens to be incredibly impressive and rich. Just add some good bread.

Overhead view of roasted bone marrow on a plate with toasted baguettes mustard and parsely

Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Why It Works

  • Roasting at a high temperature browns bones quickly without melting too much marrow. 
  • Toasted bread is the perfect vessel for serving warm marrow, while a bright herb salad and pickled mustard seeds add needed contrast.

I have never been able to eat bone marrow in a civilized manner. I start by sitting down at the table with my plate of roasted bone marrow, a parsley salad or bitter greens of some sort, and a loaf of crusty bread. I use a little spoon to transfer the jiggly, fatty marrow from the bone to a slice of bread, the surface toasted so that the fat from the marrow doesn't soak all the way through. But somewhere in between my first bite and my last, I've tossed aside the spoon and my fingers are covered in marrow fat. I'm tearing the bread into pieces small enough to drag across the interior of the bone, if it is halved lengthwise, or to slip into the tube of a bone if it is cut crosswise.

Trawling for marrow with bits of crusty bread is the last stage. It is as if whatever learned habits get overridden by the carnivorous urge for marrow, which is like the essence of the animal concentrated in one all-too-brief rush of fatty pleasure.

Do you ever eat marrow on toast and think that it is the best thing you have ever eaten and will ever eat? I get that feeling every time I eat roasted marrow. As a kid I would gnaw away at a stewed pork bone for the better part of the meal, using the tip of my chopsticks to extract the bit of marrow left in the bone after hours of simmering in soup. It was never quite enough marrow, just a slip of spongy, fatty tissue that clung precariously to the bone. It made me wonder what it would be like to have all the marrow I could eat; if that would be nice, or too much of a good thing.

Uncooked cross-cut marrow bones.

Serious Eats

Roasting marrow bones could not be an easier trick. You get your oven nice and hot, you slip in your pieces of bone for twenty or so minutes until the ivory-white bones have browned. Then you serve the bones with bread worthy of the marrow. Bread soaked with meat juices and fat is a classic combination, which is perhaps why my favorite part of Thanksgiving is stuffing. A salad on the side, dressed in a sharp vinaigrette, is not mandatory, but it's a good way to prolong your feast of marrow. Eating something sour and refreshing between the bites of fatty bread will remind you how rich the marrow really is.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Active: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serves: 6 servings

Rate & Comment

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds (907g to 1360g) beef marrow bones, split lengthwise or cut crosswise into 2-inch segments

  • 1 cup (28g) pickled flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) champagne vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Flaky sea salt

  • Cracked black pepper

  • Toasted slices of bread

  • Pickled Mustard Seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (232ºC). Place marrow bones, marrow side up, on a tray or in an ovenproof skillet. Roast until bones are lightly browned, about 20 minutes. (Some fat will render from the marrow, but majority of marrow should stay in the bone.)

    Overhead view of bones on a baking tray

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss parsley with vinegar and olive oil.

    Overhead view of parsley tossed with vingear

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

  3. Sprinkle bones with salt and pepper. Serve bones immediately, with toasts, pickled mustard seeds, and parsley salad.

    Roasted bone marrow on a blue tray

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

June 7, 2011

This recipe was cross-tested in 2022 and lightly updated to guarantee best results. It was first published as part of the series that explored recipes for offal and other under-utilized ingredients.