Bone Marrow can be a very polarizing dish. Some people will drool at the mere mention, and others are repulsed at even the suggestion. While it is not something I get the chance to enjoy often, I definitely fall into the first category. Seeing how bone marrow is rather hard to come by if one doesn’t have a good butcher in town, I decided for the latest family get together to do a veggie-centric (though decidedly NOT vegetarian) representation of bone marrow.
The dish centers around daikon, cut into small cylinders and hollowed to resemble a cut of bone. These were then soaked in bacon fat and baked to al dente. I used pureed beets cooked with white wine vinegar and rendered beef fat for the (marrow) filling. This lent the richness and fatty mouthfeel of real marrow, while maintaining a fresh pop from the beets and tangy vinegar.
I can’t recall how the idea came to me , but there are a number of similar recipes floating around the net. This one however is my own creation, and resulted in a really colorful and eye-popping presentation. Find the recipe below, and try it out for your next dinner party. The animal products CAN be omitted, but where’s the fun in that?
- 2 medium daikon (~3 inches diameter), peeled
- 3 large beets, peeled
- 1 handful finely cubed beef fat
- 1/2 cup rendered bacon fat
- 3 T chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 T sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Add cubed beef fat to a small, deep pot. Cook over low heat until rendered and light brown (30-40 minutes)
- Cut the daikon into 3-4 inch cylinders and hollow out the middles with an apple corer (a paring knife will work too). Rub with bacon fat until well covered, season with salt and pepper. Put in a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.
- Cube the beets and add the vinegar, cream and sugar to a pot, add water to just cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Blend well and keep warm for service.
- Check the daikon, it should retain some firmness, while developing some delicious browning on the edges. When done, sprinkle outside with parsley.
- Combine the rendered beef fat with the beet puree.
- Spoon and swipe puree onto small appetizer plates. Place daikon cylinders on top, and pipe or spoon in the puree.