My fingers hit the keyboard today whilst I was still chewing on a mouthful of worthiness. Tahini has its place, which place should not be in my mouth as I start to write on the glory of the roasted marrow bone. Meat and me, at home or away, are not often seen together. We go together like a horse and carnage, like peaches and scream; we are not soul mates. I should also mention that I am contrary which is the only lucid reason that I can offer for my pleasure in eating roasted marrow bones. An inkling of an excuse was forming in my mind which involved comparing the wearing of leather shoes to the eating of animal bones, but it sounds lame, even in its gestation, so I shall abort the concept and return to declaring my inexcusable pleasure in the spooning of softly melting marrow from a plate of roasted beef bones.
I was first introduced to marrow bone at the St.John Restaurant in Clerkenwell, which one day will be recognised as the Eton of eating. There, in the late 90’s, I often ate Fergus Henderson’s celebrated roasted veal marrow bones with parsley salad – http://www.eater.com/2014/10/15/6926263/fergus-henderson-roast-bone-marrow-st-john-london – which must be one of the classic dishes for those who hold the pleasure of unadorned eating in high esteem. It is a dish that combines flavour, simplicity and integrity whilst, by its evident lack of wastage, accords a respect to the animal slaughtered for our benefit.
The last time I partook of the bone was in Lyon, at Le Potager, and the bone that was on offer was a bone of considerable size. Eating the inside of a large animal’s leg before heading out for a four course lunch elsewhere is a challenge in true Rabelaisian tradition and one that I would strongly advise against. Both the superb os à moelle and the trencherman’s lunch at La Meunière were exemplary….but not together. I should mention that we drunk a wonderful white wine with the os à moelle, a St. Pourçain, which I had not drunk before and which I can’t find locally…more’s the pity.