Sunday, January 6, 2008

Artichoke and bone marrow with shallot red wine reduction

Last night I made this bone marrow recipe from Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques. Mabel got it for me for my birthday.

I wanted to see how poaching bone marrow, rather than roasting it, would turn out.

Artichoke and bone marrow with shallot red wine reduction
Modified from Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques

2 marrow bones
4 fresh artichokes
red wine

I started two nights ago by breaking open the bones with a hammer.

Mabel thought it would be a good idea to use eye protection. Luckily we had safety goggles in the apartment.

The bones were more difficult to break open than I thought they would be. I mean, I'm using a hammer, you'd think they'd just crack. I initially tried breaking them while frozen, but figured that it might be easier once thawed a bit in the refrigerator, which it was. I think it's important that they're still cold.

I removed the marrow from the bones using a fillet knife, put them in salted cold water, and placed them in the fridge until the next day. I changed the water when I thought to, two or three times. The idea here is to remove the blood. One of the bones was pretty solid and mostly white throughout. The other bone was pretty bloody and had a few thick vessels in it. The soaking didn't really improve the color or texture of the bloody marrow and it didn't seem to affect the white marrow that much. I'm going to skip this step in the future. Also, all marrow is not created equal. The bloodier marrow had a stronger flavor. Definitely not for beginners. The white marrow was milder.

I prepared "artichoke cups" by isolating whole hearts with no petals or stem, and plonked them into a bowl of water with half a squeezed lemon.

I sweated a minced shallot in some butter, added wine, let it reduce, salted to taste, and mounted with butter.

I poached the marrow in water short of a simmer for 5 minutes. I was really paranoid about melting it all, so I took it out before it was done. After slicing up the big piece of marrow it was obvious it wasn't cooked through. I poached the slices for about a minute more, and they were fine.

I think the artichokes took about 15 minutes (in a pot of salted boiling water with half a lemon), but I wasn't sure so I reverted to the toothpick test. I placed the artichokes cup side up, distributed the marrow evenly...

and spooned the sauce all over.

It was delicious. The marrow and artichoke go extremely well together. Whoever first came up with this combination was a genius.


C(h)ristine said...

I loooooove marrow. I've always seen it as a by-product of osso bucco and such and scooped out the marrow from the bone. But to isolate it and cook marrow as the focus? (and then to use it coupled with artichoke) sounds SO delicious!

sarah said...

i kinda think you should ditch your original career plan and go into fine cuisine. i think it might be your calling . . .

i have to admit that i'm a little skeptical of this whole marrow thing but i would definitely give it a taste before passing judgment :)

David said...

Christine: It is delicious. It's like eating super-concentrated Sulung Tang.

I started really craving pure marrow after eating osso bucco at Babbo of all places. There they scoop it out for you and place the marrow by the bone. That was last March, so I've been looking forward to doing it myself for a long time.

Sarah: Don't think I haven't thought of it. Maybe if NIH funding gets cut in a few years I'll reconsider.