How to cook and eat bone marrow: the poor man’s foie gras

Are you a fan of bone marrow? Let's take a closer look at this delicacy: its health benefits and how to serve and eat bone marrow.

Do you eat bone marrow?

We often talk about underrated or forgotten vegetables. But this also applies to a whole range of less popular pieces of meat. If you are a fan of offal, you know exactly what we are talking about.

Kidneys, liver, marrow bones, tripes, sweetbreads, brains or veal tongue: we think that they are all highly delicious, if they are prepared perfectly of course!

Bone marrow is often hard to find nowadays, both at the butcher’s and on a restaurant’s menu. What a shame that it, because eating bone marrow is such an old fashioned and tasty classic.

Here at home marrow bones often end up in the oven, especially as an appetizer or tasty lunch with crusty bread and coarse salt.

We always buy this delicacy in the Criée supermarket in Antwerp, the Mecca for meat lovers.

Oven roasted marrow bones, what a delicious feast!

But did you know that you can also prepare and eat bone marrow in differen ways?

Here are 4 fun ideas!


Do you want to give that (winter) vegetable soup an extra touch?

Add not only soup meat but also a marrow bone to the cooking water. The cooked marrow will give the soup a lovely velvety texture, whether you keep it rustic chunky or blend it finely. Vegetables such as leek, savoy, carrot and parsnip go very well with the rich taste of bone marrow.

Not a huge fan of vegetables, but you still want to make a savory meal soup with bone marrow? Make a winter white bean soup with it.


Stews with bone marrow?

You immediately think of a classic Italian ossobucco or a savory French pot au feu, right. Bone marrow really adds a difference to many stews. Not only tomato sauce based stews taste great with marrow in it, we also like to add marrow bones to vegetable stews, beef stews or pork cheek stew.


You thicken sauces and make them glossy by stirring in a cold bit of butter.

But did you know that you can also use marrow instead? Bone marrow goes into a classic bordelaise sauce for example. You can add marrow to sauces in different ways: raw in small pieces or slices, poached or pan fried.

Bone marrow sauce is best mates with red meat, like steak bordelaise!

Marrow butter

You should definitely try this!

Soak the marrow in lightly salted cold water for several hours. Then roast the bones in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the warm soft bone marrow and add soft butter, or blend them. Season with pepper and salt to taste.

Make a nice roll like you do with herb or garlic butter and let the marrow butter set further in the fridge. Place a slice of marrow butter on a warm steak or spread it on some crunchy grilled bread.

And how about some crispy baked porcini mushrooms, al dente pasta and a chunk of marrow butter? Our favorite way to eat bone marrow!

What are bone marrows?

You can find marrow in the center of most bones.

It is the soft, spongy tissue that contains many blood vessels. There are two types of bone marrow: red and yellow.

Is bone marrow beef or pork? What bone marrow is edible?

Every living animal with bones als has bone marrow.

For cooking beef or veal bones are mainly used because these bones are large. The femur or thighbone is the longest and strongest bone and contains a lot of marrow.

Osso buco for instance is a sliced shank with the bone and bone marrow of the femur in the middle.

Can you cook and eat bone marrow? What can I do with marrow bones?

Once cooked, you can eat bone marrow straight out of the bone, use it as a bread spread or add it to sauces to make it extra rich.

You can also use marrow bones to make a nutritious bone broth.

Or how about scrambled eggs with bone marrow?

Is it healthy to eat bone marrow? Is animal bone marrow good for you?

Bone marrow offers a wide variety of health benefits.

It is packed with collagen and that has a huge impact on the health and strength of your bones and skin.

Bone marrow also contains a high amount of glucosamine which helps against osteoarthritis, reduces joint pain and inflammation in your joints.

So yes, it is healthy to eat bone marrow!

Medicinal bone marrow usually comes from cows, lambs and buffaloes. The stem cells in bone marrow can help your own body produce both red and white blood cells.

Is bone marrow fat or protein? Is beef bone marrow high in cholesterol?

Bone marrow is high in calories and fat, its cholesterol content is quite high.

It also contains protein, vitamin B12 and collagen.

A tablespoon of bone marrow is approximately 126 calories.

Is marrow high in iron?

You won’t find a bunch of other essential vitamins and minerals in bone marrow, however it is high in iron.

Is bone marrow a superfood?

Now that we know the health benefits of bone marrow, can we consider bone marrow as a superfood?

Yes, it contains a bunch of nutrients that are good for us.

What does bone marrow taste like? Does bone marrow taste good?

Why eat bone marrow?

Because it is so rich and gooey.

If you ask people why they love to eat bone marrow, the words you will hear the most are creamy, nutty, buttery, beefy, umami, slightly sweet.

Why is bone marrow so tasty?

Not sure about you but we eat bone marrow and love it!

Why do we like it so much?

Because of all the flavors we mentioned above. It is also very rich and creamy.

A real treat, so easy to make and cook with.

Is bone marrow an acquired taste?

Do you eat bone marrow?

Its special mix of flavors and texture isn’t for anyone.

We can imagine that lots of people don’t like the taste of bone marrow. And on the other side people are often appalled by the thought of eating the inside of beef bones, let alone stand the sight of bones on a plate.

So yes, eating bone marrow is an acquired taste.

What is the consistency of cooked bone marrow?

Uncooked bone marrow looks very firm when it sits in the bone.

It is often hard to remove it in one piece.

But once the marrow is cooked, it turns into a very soft and creamy greyish treat. Its consistency is quite similar to a sticky and tacky mayo or soft butter.

How is marrow removed from bones?

Gently boil the bones in salted water for about 8 minutes.

Strain the bones and let them cool a little or you will burn your fingers.

Pry the boiled marrow out of the bones with a knife.

Cut it up and use it in your cooking.

Is beef bone marrow kosher?

We couldn’t really find a unanimous answer to this question.

Some say eating bone marrow is prohibited. Other claimed that if the animal is kosher and is killed in a kosher manner, then eating bone marrow is kosher as well.

Do you know which one is right?

Leave a comment below in the comment section!

Can you get sick from eating raw bone marrow? Can you eat marrow raw?

We have never eaten raw bone marrow, however it is safe to do.

Some even say that raw bone marrow is a delicacy, highly enjoyable, creamy and excellent with a little salt.

How much does beef bone marrow cost? Is bone marrow expensive to eat?

No, not at all.

On the contrary. It is almost mind-blowing why such a tasty and nourishing treat is so cheap.

Here in Antwerp in the Crime supermarket we pay about 1 euro per person for a portion large enough as a starter. That is roughly about 5 euros for half a kilo (1 lb).

How much do you pay?

We once heard someone call bone marrow the poor man’s foie gras.

What cultures eat bone marrow?

Quite a few cultures eat bone marrow and use it in cooking, even without you knowing.

In Asia eating bone marrow is not only popular because it is tasty, also for its medical benefits.

Do you like Vietnamese pho soup? Its base is a bone broth.

Japanese ramen soups are also made with roasted beef or pork marrow bones that have been simmering for hours and hours on end with other tasty ingredients.

Bulalo is a classic beef stew from the Philippines for which beef shanks with marrow are used.

In Europe there are a few dishes that are famous but wouldn’t be the same without bone marrow.

Italian osso buco for instance, or a succulent French pot-au-feu stew.

Do you like German knödel bread dumplings? There is one that goes by the name of Markklößchen, a bone marrow dumpling.

Or how about another German classic: Tafelspitz or boiled sirloin with beef bone marrow. The cooking broth is served separated as a starter first before the beef is sliced and plated up.

In England chef Fergus Henderson serves the best oven roast marrow bones with a simple parsley salad, epic!

Is bone marrow keto friendly?

Yes, you can eat bone marrow when you are on a keto diet.

Even though it is rich in fats, bone marrow contains very little carbs.

How often should you eat bone marrow?

You can eat bone marrow often, but with moderation of course.

Bone marrow still is high in calories. You body will definitely benefit from eating it once a week.

Adding bone broth to soups and stews a few times a week is also a way to increase your weekly marrow intake.

Can you suck the bone marrow? How to eat bone marrow? How do you eat a roasted bone marrow?

Most restaurants serve bone marrow as a starter before a main course.

Or as a side with steak.

How to eat bone marrow? You can suck the bone marrow right out of the bone or scoop it out and spread it on some bread. Or a slice of steak.

Sprinkle with a little salt, and enjoy!

Do I have to soak marrow bones?

Yes, you have to soak marrow bones for 12 to 24 hours before cooking them.

Soaking them in salted water will remove any blood that is still present. Keep the bones in the fridge to soak, not at room temperature. We usually change the water halfway through.

Does bone marrow melt when cooked? How long do you boil marrow bones?

Part of the marrow fat will become liquid.

Don’t overcook it, or there will be no bone marrow left to eat.

Boil or roast marrow bones for 20 minutes.

If you want the marrow to become loose from the bone and use it for cooking later on, you only need to boil it for about 8 minutes.

If you are making a bone broth, you can boil it for much longer. The marrow needs to be totally dissolved to add flavor to it.

What can you eat bone marrow with?

A classic way to eat bone marrow is with grilled bread, coarse salt and a fresh and zippy green salad with vinaigrette to complement the richness and creaminess of the bone marrow.

What wine goes with bone marrow?

Red wines such as a French cabernet sauvignon, Cotes du Rhone or Crozes Hermitages.

Italian reds that go with bone marrow are Brunello di Montalcino and Nero d’Avola.

How about you?

Do you like to eat bone marrow?

What is your favorite way to eat bone marrow?

Let us know in the comments below.

We’d love to hear from you!

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I Remember eating them as a youngster at home with my parents
I still eat them the same way
Boiled and spread on Italian bread with some salt. Yummy


so good for Pho broth and I’ll eat the marrow too yummy!


I used to eat this with my father. He put it on toast with a little salt. Mmm Mmm good.


I’m an Orthodox Jew so I can just chime in that bone marrow is definitely kosher (when from a kosher animal killed in a kosher way). (the concern is eating blood, but the kind of blood in marrow is not considered halachically forbidden blood)


I bought some from the butcher’s this morning! I look forwards to trying them.

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