Lazy Ox Canteen
Appetizers. Jidori Hen. Marrow. Octopus. Short Rib. Tripe Stew.
Feast. Tapas style appetizers left four diners a bit peckish.
It’s not a usual deal for a restaurant to put marrow out on its menu, but there seemingly is a bigger movement of nose-to-tail eating nowadays, and everything in between. Muscle meat? Offal? Nah, not weird enough. Let’s eat the thymus glands, the eyeballs, and even the marrow inside the bones. That’d be eliminating waste for sure. What’s next? Bull’s penis and goat’s anus? (I believe those have been tried already as well…I have yet to see it deliciously prepared on a restaurant menu).
Bone marrow, to me, isn’t anything novel. The idea is hardly new, since at some point in our lives, when we eat lamb shanks or big ol’ pieces of bone-in-beef, we usually get a deliberate fat bomb at the end when we happily suck the fatty, runny marrow out of the bone. It’s almost like an additional pat of butter. The texture is almost liquidy, and it breaks apart superbly easily, even more so than soft, silky tofu. The scent is light, the taste is fatty, and it has a dense nutrient profile.
Scientifically, we know what bone marrow is. It’s that red stuff inside your bones (okay maybe not so much scientifically). Certain leukemia patients (for you medical science geeks) may have bone marrow that is unable to replenish red blood cells, or is the cause of an imbalanced red to white blood cell ratio. But I’m no doctor, and this isn’t a piece of writing on diseases that I know nothing about. This is about edible bone marrow (well technically all of it is edible…okay not a doctor, and not a cannibal). That ooey-gooey goodness. According to Wikipedia, there’s two types of marrow: red and yellow. Red is hematopoietic, which is basically the origin of millions of red blood cells, and yellow is mainly made of up of fat cells. This makes sense, as the marrow I’ve usually encountered during my meals is usually a chalky looking brown (mmm blood), or a dull-corn looking color (mmm fat). An example of red marrow would be the marrow inside the thigh bone of a chicken drumstick. It usually is brown or reddish colored, and can come out sandy and unappetizing. It does however, have more of a bite, and a solid feel in the mouth. Yellow marrow can be found in those big ol’ beef bones you ask your butcher for, since no one wants em’ (tip: go early in the morning ask your butcher for a huge bag of these; they contain awesomely delicious amounts of marrow, and come at a superbly cheap price, sometimes even FREE. Who doesn’t like free stuff?). Yellow marrow, since it’s comprised of mostly fat, is super buttery in texture, and has less of a solid feel in the mouth.
So what’s the best way to eat marrow?
You can use a marrow spoon (yeah they got em’), or you can just suck it out.
Marrow by itself?
Sure why not? From having a couple of bites of yellow marrow at Lazy Ox, I have a sense it would must be better suited if used in cooking, or at least mixed with a more solid type of texture. Red plus yellow marrow perhaps? I believe at Lazy Ox, there were a variety of accompaniments with the marrow: scallions, roe, and a horseradish cream. Texturally, it wasn’t very interesting. Kind of felt like eating butter whipped cream with fish eggs.
What can you do with marrow?
I personally feel that the amount of marrow from even a substantial amount of bones is not enough to comprise a meal. A topping perhaps? Next time, instead of your hollandaise on your eggs or béarnaise sauce on your steak, you could beat up some marrow with a little bit of egg yolk and make a marrow dressing. Tha’d be interesting, wouldn’t it? Drizzled over vegetables or even used as a flavoring agent when sautéing goodies is an option. Perhaps you could even use it as a cooking oil.
As a standalone dish, marrow has its positive qualities. However, it just ain’t filling enough for me. Not filling doesn’t mean not amazingly delicious, however.
Lazy Ox, you’re alright, not too lazy.
Update: For the 1.67 followers of my blog, I’ve just returned from an enlightening trip across Europe. Many food, and life adventures ahoy. Stay tuned, especially you, 0.67. I only have 2/3s of your attention. C’mon.