Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bone Marrow Mashed Potatoes

One of my favorite ingredients to cook with is bone marrow.  It is the soft, flexible material inside of bones that, when raw, is relatively firm, but when cooked, is soft, oily, fatty, and buttery in texture.  When I make bone marrow, it often does not last long enough to be used in a recipe.  I just pull out a small spoon, scoop out the marrow and eat it right on the spot.  In my moments of greater discipline, I am able to use that incredible delicious ingredient in dishes such as those that I made as part of my incredibly rare Iron Chef Event.

Sometimes, it is not necessary to come up with a bunch of  different recipes for bone marrow.  Instead, it is better to go with something simple.  And there is nothing simpler than making bone marrow mashed potatoes.  It is just mashed potatoes with some bone marrow added just after you add the milk and butter.  That one ingredient does more to add flavor to the mashed potatoes than either the milk or the butter.  (Let's face it, those two ingredients are more about getting the right texture for the potatoes.  They have little or nothing to do with the flavor of the potatoes.)  Bone marrow adds a beefy undertone to the potatoes, which is especially good when those potatoes are served alongside ... a ribeye or strip steak.

While some may think that using bone marrow just adds another step to the already simple process of making mashed potatoes, I think it is definitely worth it.  In fact, bone marrow makes every dish definitely worth the effort. 

Recipe from John Whalen, 
Prime: The Complete Prime Rib Cookbook, pg. 172
Serves 6 to 8

8 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
4-6 large beef marrow bones, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
Coarsely ground black pepper
Fresh sea salt

1.  Roast the marrow bones.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, placing the rack in the center of the oven.  Place the marrow bones on a baking sheet, transfer to the oven, and then cook for about 15 minutes, until the marrow is nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and let stand.

2.  Prepare the potatoes.  While the marrow bones are roasting, place the potatoes in a large stockpot and fill with water so that it covers the potatoes by 1 inch.  Place the stockpot on the stove and bring to a boil.  Cook the potatoes by boiling for about 20 minutes until you can pierce the potatoes with a fork.  Remove the pot from the heat and drain the water, leaving the potatoes in it.

3.  Mash the potatoes.  Using a potato masher or fork, start mashing the potatoes so they begin to break apart.  Gradually mash in the half-and-half and butter, tasting the potatoes as you go along, until you arrive at the perfect blend of creamy butter, mashed potatoes. 

4.  Add the marrow.  Scoop the marrow from the bones and add to the potatoes, along with the rosemary.  Mix thoroughly, and then the season with the coarsely ground black pepper and fresh sea salt.


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