Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
7 Apr

Bone Marrow: Delicious, Nutritious and Underappreciated

If you’re truly interested in consuming the original Primal brain food, look no further than bone marrow: perhaps the first reliable source of large, fatty animal products our scrappy ancestors were able to procure. Yes, before we became spear-using cunning tacticians surrounding, stalking, and out-maneuvering large prehistoric ungulates, we feasted on the bones of fallen prey. Or, more accurately, we feasted on what lurked inside the bones (and the skulls, for that matter). Animal fat and protein improved the quality of our diet by making digestion less energy intensive. Bone marrow, especially, was highly caloric and nutrient dense, allowing early human ancestors to divert metabolic resources away from the costly digestion of roughage and toward bigger, costlier brains. This spurred the increase in hominid brain size that we still enjoy today.

That was around two million years ago, when Homo habilis used rudimentary stone tools to strip and smash bones. He was small and relatively diminutive – too small to take down big game – but he could hoist a big smashing stone overhead once the apex predators had gone. And he could probably fend off the hyenas, the vultures, and any other scavengers dead set on sucking the marrow. In fact, we may have learned about the delicious, nourishing paste by watching vultures drop femurs from the sky and pick out the marrow.

There’s clearly something special (nutritionally) about bone marrow. Animals go for the marrow, instinctively, for example. Wolves given access to full deer carcasses gravitated toward those bones with “high marrow yields,” taking care to “destroy the epiphyses” where the marrow was most plentiful. When I toss my dog a big smorgasbord of raw bones, organs, and muscle meat, he heads straight for the marrow before anything else, every single time. It goes marrow, liver, heart, muscle meat. It’s interesting to see what the high-powered, raw senses of a nearly obligate carnivore chooses when determining which animal product is best to eat.

As for the nutritional content, consider this data (PDF) on standard “African ruminant marrow”, courtesy of Loren Cordain. Three and a half ounces of the stuff contain 488 calories, 51 grams of fat (mostly monounsaturated, as I understand), and 7 grams of protein – extremely dense. I can understand why we were driven to come up with new methods of obtaining it. The way wild animals and traditional cultures prized it as much or more so than other fatty, rich cuts suggests that there’s more to marrow than just the fat.

As we all know, meat, especially fatty meat, contains more than just a lopsided macronutrient ratio. Meat, or any animal product, really, is the best, densest source of fat-soluble vitamins around. Liver, heart, brains, ribeye are all prize cuts for their taste, their nutrition, and the various bioavailable micronutrients that come loaded in every delicious bite. Plus, marrow isn’t just static stuff inside the bones. It fulfills a role. It fulfills many roles, actually. It’s made of osteoblasts (which form bone cells using minerals), adipocytes (fat cells), fibroblasts (which form connective tissue), and osteoclasts (which are responsible for bone resorption). I was unable to obtain detailed info regarding the mineral/vitamin content of bone marrow, but if it’s involved in bone and connective tissue formation/resorption, there are probably some choice components that make consumption particularly advantageous.

There’s another reason – a big reason, actually – why animals of all stripes are drawn toward bone marrow and why you should head down to the butcher for some bones: the taste. A subtle, creamy nuttiness, sometimes a bit sweet, always extremely rich, is not to be casually disregarded. The taste is incredible, either eaten straight up with a touch of sea salt or as part of a rich, hearty stew. Its high quality fuel imbued with vitamins and minerals, but it’s delicious fuel that’d be worth eating even if it were devoid of nutrition. Luckily for us, though (and counter to what we’re taught about nutrition), what appeals to our taste buds on a basic level usually also nourishes. Marrow may be a “sinful treat” for most, but it deserves to be a kitchen staple for Primal eaters.

Bones are cheap, and most people that buy them buy them for their dogs. You’ll even see marrow bones marked as “dog bones” in shops. Personally, I’m glad they’re an underappreciated food. If people think of them as dog food, they stay inexpensive. Dogs crave them, love them, but they can’t really spur demand and constrain supply. They alone can’t drive the prices up. So, for the time being, marrow bones, even the grass-fed stuff, remain highly affordable.

Look for broad bones with big thick tubes of marrow. The bones themselves are great fun for making stock afterwards, but you’re paying for the marrow, so make sure you pick some meaty ones. I’d skip Whole Foods. They charge about four bucks a pound for marrow bones, and they’re from conventional, grain-fed cows. If you’re buying grain-fed, you might as well buy them from a local grocer for a couple bucks or, better yet, from an Asian grocer for less than a dollar per pound. Grass-fed is best, of course, and the best way to get quality grass-fed bone marrow bones is from local or online farmers. Try Eat Wild if your farmers’ market meat guy doesn’t carry any. A few of the bone-in cuts will also have a nice shot of marrow, so keep that in mind.

The simplest, best way to prepare marrow is to roast the bones upright at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Fat will leak out the bottom, and you want to eat it all, so use a pan, or at least catch the drippings with molded foil. When the marrow begins to slightly bubble, it’s ready to be eaten. Thicker bones may need a bit more time in the oven, or you could do what I do and eat it slightly pink. Buy from a trustworthy, reputable source and you’ll be fine. Use a narrow spoon or fork to scrape out the marrow (you can even use a dedicated marrow spoon, if you can find one) and top with a bit of coarse sea salt. Serve with a small parsley, shallot, and lemon juice salad to cut through the creaminess of the marrow.

Getting every last bit of marrow out can be hard for beginners. The interior of the bone isn’t smooth, but rather rutted and uneven. If your spoon or fork isn’t fulfilling its duty to your satisfaction, use a combination of applied suction and probing tongue. The suction will loosen any stubborn bits, allowing the tongue to snap ‘em right up. Another option entirely is to forgo the cutlery and apply suction directly to the loaded bone. It’s a tricky move, because you’ve got to strike a balance between warm enough to slide out and hot enough to burn your mouth, but if you’re able to master the preemptive slurp, nothing compares to a mouthful of gelatinous marrow.

If you haven’t tried it yet, get out there and buy some marrow bones. Beef is standard, but any other large mammals will work. And the next time you do a big bone-in roast, whether it’s beef, veal, random African ruminant, or lamb leg, treasure the bone. Don’t dump it into the stock pot right away. Instead, lay it out lovingly on a flat, sturdy surface. Slice it lengthwise if you’ve got the means; otherwise, take a sledgehammer or a big rock and reduce the bone to pieces. Pick the shards clean and suck them dry. Then, and only then, may you toss them in the stockpot (although seeing as how those shards went spelunking in your mouth, you may want to limit the resultant soup’s ultimate audience).

Sucking on marrow bones seems to unlock latent primal (small “p”) urges in all of us, but that’s okay (as long as you avoid it as a first date meal). If you find yourself turning progressively more feral as the marrow disappears from the bone, don’t worry. Even vegetarians have been observed scrounging, slurping, and gnawing at the remains of a bone marrow meal. When it comes to getting the last delicious bits of bone marrow, total paleo reenactment is the only justifiable course of action.

Are you a fan of bone marrow? Never tried it? Share your thoughts in the comment board. Thanks, everyone!

Sifu Renka Flickr Photo (CC)

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Something i have yet to try, will get right on that! 😀

    SNMNY wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I roasted big beef marrow bones and veggies for broth and so decided to be brave and try the marrow. It was white and grey and gelatinous….and greasy as all get out. I am not queasy in general but this was one ugly food…and not particularly tasty. I put it into my broth pot with everything else because I am sure it’s nutritious but appetizing? …nope.

      Jenny wrote on August 6th, 2016
  2. my 92 year old grandfather always sucks the marrow out of chicken bones after he’s done eating the meat. my chinese friends also make sure to eat all the cartilage. but my husband wins the prize- while getting ready to make soup from the neck bones of a pig, he plucked out the spinal cord and ate it without even cooking it. he said chinese cooks always do that. he got sick with something later- don’t know if it was related or not.

    vmary wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I wouldn’t recommend eating anything from a pig raw. Pigs are very… parasitic.

      Dave, RN wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • As I understand it, the high rate of parasite development in pigs is a direct result of traditional American farming practices, like the use of scrap feed (often containing pork scraps) and housing conditions, that favor the life-cycles of the parasites. Rare(r) pork is becoming more and more the norm at restaurants as higher quality cleanly raised pigs are more able to be sourced.

        fireandstone wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • Not true. Wild boars and pigs often contain so many worms and parasites that essentially their meat is uneatable for human consumption.

          MrWholistic wrote on September 12th, 2010
        • Actually the opposite. Farmed pigs aren’t parasitic or as parasitic (probably fed dewormers and the such)wild normal ones are. Pigs aren’t kosher for a reason and I think it’s because it was found it’s not safe to eat raw.

          Oly wrote on January 5th, 2012
  3. I’ve tried it and scraped it out and put it in soup I made. Problem is, the grass fed beef joint where I got them charges out the wazoo for them. 6 marrow bones (small ones at that, about and inch and a half long and that much in diameter was over 6 bucks! I can get a whole pound of ground beef for that.
    On the other hand… They also sell “pet food” which according to the ingredients is “Raw beef and organ meat trim – including liver, heart, kidney and tongue. All things most like a dog or cats natural diet”. Sounds like something I’D like!

    Dave, RN wrote on April 7th, 2010
  4. I found using wooden chopsticks to be a good method for getting bone marrow out.

    I’ve actually been making stock and marrow at the same time. In a slow cooker I put the bones with water about half way up. Once the marrow is done, I take the bones out, eat the marrow and then return the bones to the stock to simmer longer. Makes for a good mid-day snack while you’re waiting for soup later.

    Kat wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Thanks for the tip on the chopsticks-they were a HUGE help with my 2 year old trying them for our first time! I will have to try your method of slow cooking them to get both the benefits. I roasted them per Mark, then put the empty bones in the slow cooker but didn’t feel it was very brothy.

      Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama wrote on October 29th, 2012
      • I find my broth so much tastier when I add a pastured chicken carcass, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 1 onion, and 1 tbs of apple cider vinegar (to help extract the nutrients from the bones). I usually add about three grass-fed beef bones to that and cover it with water in the slow cooker for 20+ hours. The marrow slides right out of the bones when it’s all done. I’m not a big fan of eating the marrow straight up so I mix it with ground beef for extra nutritious burgers or make a sweet treat with it: marrow from one bone, 1 cup coconut milk, pinch of cinnamon, squeeze of honey, and wisked over low heat. I threw in a little coconut flour to thicken and some blueberries and even though they were hot when they exploded in my mouth, it was a delicious dessert! I might try to make a custard with the marrow next…

        Andrea wrote on June 5th, 2014
    • My dogs love marrow bones, but the vet told to be careful do the high fat content. I know they also make delicious stock for so ups. A big concern, however, what about the fat and cholesterol issue? Weight Watchers would never recommend this?

      Linda wrote on December 14th, 2012
      • Are you on Weight Watchers? My doctor likes that I am eating it as it is healthy for other problems I have but I could not figure out the points plus value.

        Wendy wrote on May 16th, 2013
    • Thanks… i’ve been using the even to roast the bones for the marrow “harvest” and then crock pot to make the broth. for me, your method makes most sense.

      andreakk wrote on January 19th, 2016
  5. Not only that it’s in you to give, the first in a 4 part series about donating Bone Marrow through the Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Network.

    Steven R. McEvoy wrote on April 7th, 2010
  6. I also have a friend who eats chicken’s bone,s marrow and all.

    Steven R. McEvoy wrote on April 7th, 2010
  7. I just finished eating the last bit of lamb I had made with the marrows. It seems more of an American cultural phenomenon where organs, marrow etc. are looked upon as ‘weird’ and ‘yuck’. Sometimes my spleen pops out of my left eye when I go on a date and the girl goes: “I don’t eat anything with bones in it”.
    One way to make a nice ‘marrow only’ broth is to boil the bones in salt, chillies, pepper, ginger, garlic, cinnamon sticks, cloves and cardamom. Gotta love spices!

    Kishore wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I don’t eat anything with bones in it either because I take the bones out first to suck out the marrow and make stock!

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Sounds very much like the broth I make for my Vietnamese PHO soup.

      William Jones wrote on December 14th, 2013
  8. Sounds like something I will definietly have to try- seems like a good alternative for this poor college student!

    JamieRose wrote on April 7th, 2010
  9. I’ve never tried bone marrow, but I’m sold after reading this.

    A sledgehammer on the bones sounds very primal indeed! I’m tempted to grab my hammer right now and head for the mountains in search of prey.

    Timothy wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Try paleolithic flake technology and brush up on your flint napping skills. It’s the best and most traditional way to open up dem bones.

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • Thank you, Aaron. I believe I will!

        Timothy wrote on April 7th, 2010
  10. Luckily for us, the farmer we get our grass fed 1/4 cow from gives the bones and offal for free…As no one else who gets part of that cow wants them usually, we get all of the bones, the liver, the heart and the tongue.

    When I order, I also go for Shank steaks, as you get that nice marrow bone in the center…YUMMY!!!

    Lucky us!!!

    Paleo Nation wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Here’s a great video of two young girls devouring there marrow bones

      Paleo Nation wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • Notice how healthy they (and their mother) look and not overweight like most!

        Lee Edwards wrote on April 8th, 2010
        • Those are Tom Naughton’s daughters — Tom wrote, directed, and produced “Fat Head” — a movie y’all should be familiar with!

          Those girls encourage me to consider trying marrow — the mere thought of which freaks me out! But .. I’m gonna be brave and actually try it. (eek.)

          Elenor wrote on February 21st, 2011
        • Just think of it as butter.

          More than one cooking show host has referred to bone marrow as “the butter of the Gods”.

          After roasting some marrow bones:

          Make some italian or french bread toast rounds and spread the morrow on.

          Pulse some parsely and shallot or scallions in a food processor and sprinkle on top with a little sea salt.

          Ohhhh so goood!

          BillHoo wrote on July 26th, 2012
    • Ask for the tendon as well. It comes from the back legs and is used in many asian dishes. I am not fond of the texture so I just use the broth. I put the tendon in water and cook it at least 24 hours in the crock pot, then package and freeze the broth. It does amazing things for joints and has richness, but virtually no flavor. I get these free or for a small packaging fee for the same reason. Kidney is also very good. Soak it overnight in buttermilk, then cut of the fibrous parts to get about 3/4 inch chunks. Cook briefly on high heat, remove from pan, use the juices to make a sauce, add them back in and serve. Any sauce which is good with snails is good with kidney. I also put chopped organ meats in my mincemeat. This way I sneak the nutrition in for those who are squeamish. Ask for the suet, it is the kidney fat, and renders into really amazing cooking fat/

      Liz wrote on April 14th, 2014
  11. “As for the nutritional content, consider this data (PDF) on standard “African ruminant marrow”, courtesy of Loren Cordain. Three and a half ounces of the stuff contain 488 calories, 51 grams of fat (mostly monounsaturated, as I understand), and 7 grams of protein – extremely dense.”

    Bless you Mark! A few months ago I searched high and low for this information and failed. Bone marrow is like ambrosia.

    fireandstone wrote on April 7th, 2010
  12. I used to eat marrow when I was a kid. I definitely have to start eating it again.

    Organic Gabe wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I haven’t thought about eating marrow for years. But when I was a kid, I also used to crack the chicken bones and suck out the marrow. I don’t think anyone else in my family did that. I probably read about marrow somewhere, but I think it was mostly instinctive!

      Meanwhile, I made what was going to be a delicious gelatinous ham stock from my Easter leftovers–full of melted connective tissue and lots of yummy fat. But at some point I recently acquired a resident rodent, and my cat is no huntress. Guess what drowned itself in my ham stock! The rat, not the cat. Boohoohoo. I’m pretty primal but I’m not primal enough to eat rat! And yes, I shrieked a girly shriek. So down the drain it went.

      Shebeeste wrote on April 7th, 2010
  13. “if you’re able to master the preemptive slurp, nothing compares to a mouthful of gelatinous marrow.”

    this made me LOL. good work.

    I oftern eat whole chicken bones. If the bones are cooked enough that the outter bone is crunchy enough to eat, has the marrow has lost most of the nutrition?

    MeatMe216 wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • One of the traits distinguishing fat-soluble vitamins from water-soluble is that FS vitamins stand up much better to heat exposure. So you’re still getting plenty of those, plus the minerals, which are not affected by cooking.

      With water-solubles it’s a bit more tricky. The good news is you can get at least some of your Bs from raw muscle meats and raw fish, and of course vitamin C’s readily obtained through fruits and leaves. (If you can find raw milk, it’s available there too.)

      Dana wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • Can you tell me how much b12 is in the beef marrow and does it deminish its value during the cooking process as I think b12 is water soluable. my friend has b12 deficiency and i am researching foods that she can eat.
        Thank you

        Cardy wrote on June 26th, 2012
  14. I grew up eating bone marrow, because my father did. He came over to Canada from Poland, where he and his parents escaped from the Nazi death camps – having very little money and needing to start life over, they were very poor for a few years. Bone marrow and fish oil were his “vitamins” in those days.
    Bone marrow is very well known in most of Europe to be extremely healthy, but it seems the last generation has forgotten (and in America, did anyone ever really know?). It’s truly delicious stuff, I loved it more than candy or pasta as a child!

    Ace wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Hey, another Slav! :-)
      My Serbian parents’ favourite childhood treat was bone marrow spread on some bread and sprinkled with paprika…. I always thought it was gross and refused to try it. Now I wish I had!

      unchatenfrance wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • Ukrainian here… Pretty much the same story!

        Greg wrote on April 13th, 2010
      • Bosnian here.
        Get out of my country.

        Kebab wrote on March 11th, 2013
        • Remove kebab from the premises

          Serb wrote on April 25th, 2013
    • We now have death camps here in America as well… they are referred to as FEMA camps… Hitlary Clinton calls them FUN camps.
      Back to the marrow… i’m about to indulge in sum elk bone :)

      bj wrote on January 13th, 2016
  15. I have never tried bone marrow, but after reading this I must give it a try very very soon.

    It sounds very delicious and I love the fact that it is very nutritious. Always love to try something different!

    Officially being primal is so awesome. Eating no grains (except for 300 calories of irish steel cut oats a week) opens up opportunities to eat so many different kinds of foods. It’s awesome. Had I not be interested in Primal food then I would not be up for trying bone marrow!

    Fortunately I am :)

    Todd wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Why the Irish oatmeal?

      Ben wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • I used to eat cereal 6 days a week for breakfast. I did this for several years but stopped about 6 months ago.

        Around two times a week the cereal was oatmeal.

        I always had old fashioned quaker oats. Then, I discovered irish steel cut oats. I love them do death – way better then old fashioned.

        Irish oatmeal is the only grain I eat and I only eat 300 calories a week. Not bad for someone who ate tons of grains just a few months ago.

        And, oatmeal in moderation promotes clear skin because of the selenium content (I think thats it).

        I make it healthy and add berries, hemp seeds, almonds, etc. One serving has around 24 carbs I believe – not too bad.

        Plus, I do not have many idea for breakfast right now. Do you want to help me out? I eat chocolate coconut pancakes on sunday, an omelette 3 days a week, oatmeal twice a week, and a green smoothie with one avocado the other day.

        Any ideas that do not include eggs would be great! Anyone??????????

        Todd wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • Try fruit and cottage cheese maybe.

          I also like stir fried veggies and bacon.

          Milton wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • You might try this link Todd:

          This morning I had my first ‘primal’ smoothie I made with 1/4 c. full-fat greek yogurt, 1/4 c. coconut milk about 1/2 c. unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop of whey powder, 1/2 c. frozen blueberries and 1/4 of a frozen banana (for the thickness but I want to ditch the banana so I’m gonna mess with that) and some ground flax seeds.

          I was an oatmeal-o-phile until about three weeks ago and I can’t say I’ve even thought about an oatmeal breakfast since.

          Julie wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • Reply to Milton:

          I don’t eat dairy. Especially during right now during my primal based diet experiment with absolutely no dairy.

          But, down the road when I can afford grass fed, raw cottage cheese, I shall try some.

          Bacon with steamed veggies sounds good. Thanks!

          Todd wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • The cookbook Nourishing Traditions has recipes for reducing the phytic acid content of oats, which contain a lot, if you’re that attached to them. Believe me, I understand; I feel the same way about rice. (I’m Cajun. What can I say?)

          Dana wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • I haven’t made many coverts to this, but I have sauteed chicken livers (sometimes with chicken hearts, if I can get them) for breakfast. Sometimes I add some spinach. It really good sauteed in coconut ghee, with some salt and pepper.

          Chicken livers are pretty cheap, too.

          Duncan wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • Thanks a lot for the ideas guys. I really do appreciate it.

          I am not completely attached to oatmeal. But, I just bought a large tin of it. So I have 18 servings to eat up. I can make it last. I’ll have my second serving of the week on Saturday and then I will go with 1 serving a week allowing it to last about 17 more weeks.

          I LOVE smoothies to death. So easy and you can make them very healthy.

          Mark (or anyone else)

          Is there a limit as to how many smoothies/shakes you should eat? If not, I would go for 2-3 a day, literally.


          Thanks for the link. It gives me loads of ideas!

          I found this – I must try this immediately :)

          I am going to make this smoothie tomorrow… what do you guys think???

          -1 california avocado
          -2 Tbs coconut oil
          -1/2 cup frozen blueberries
          -1 scoop whey protein powder

          FitDay says 622 cals, 50g fat, 27g protein, 21 g carbs (11 is fiber).

          Not too bad, yea?

          Todd wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • Hey Todd, there is a free cookbook at; It has a lot of great breakfast ideas. My wife is in a similar situation, she ate a lot of grains until recently. Now we bake banana bread, muffins, biscotti, etc. for her breakfasts. They’re all primal!

          Ben wrote on April 7th, 2010
        • Lee Edwards wrote on April 8th, 2010
        • Brasil nuts have the highest selenium content; 1 a day will give you all the selenium you need!
          I eat berries with a cup of cream for breakfast or sausages and pork sides (like bacon but without the additives) fried in butter with some fresh veggies :) No need to stick to traditional breakfast foods.

          Robin wrote on April 21st, 2011
        • I often eat yogurt with some different fruits for breakfast every morning. I read that you don’t eat dairy. That’s too bad, because I don’t know much that would be more “primal” then throwing some milk in a calf or goat stomach, letting it “turn” and slurping it down with fresh fruits!!! mmm tasty! Not sure what to say about the marrow that hasn’t already been said… Yum!!!!!

          David wrote on August 14th, 2012
        • Please be careful especially if eating Brazil nuts, as I have read that too much selenium can give you some very bad effects. The right amount is a good thing, but don’t overdo it. :)

          Polly wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  16. The last paragraph was one of the best you’ve ever written!

    Ryan Denner wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I second that!! 😉

      Peggy wrote on April 7th, 2010
      • I third that…

        Miss Libby Jones wrote on November 5th, 2011
  17. I am a big fan of the marrow, but I have hard time finding it. Any suggestion?

    Dont say “go and ask at butcheries”… I can’t find any in my area… 92660

    MichaelA wrote on April 7th, 2010
  18. I eat a lot of it when I was a kid. My mom would boil the bones in a stew where the marrow would become so soft, it just fell out (then the dog got the bone.)

    Sometimes she would leave the marrow in the stew, but other times, I would slap it on some white bread (of death) with some butter and salt. Good times! Good times!

    Haggus wrote on April 7th, 2010
  19. I believe another reason our ancestors may have gone for marrow, is that even after the meat has rotted of the bones, the marrow is protected inside the bone for some time.

    I grew up eating marrow bones, another great “bone dish” is stew and soups from oxtails. With some of the bigger sections it is possible to slurp out the marrow.

    Tom wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I agree. Tonight’s oxtail soup dinner is already simmering in the pot!

      Aaron Blaisdell wrote on April 7th, 2010
  20. Just this weekend I decided to try marrow for the first time. It was actually a lot tastier than I expected. I scraped a good chunk of the Easter ham’s marrow out and dug in. Thankfully my 7 year old joined in; the kid will eat anything I put in front of him.

    Jason wrote on April 7th, 2010
  21. I always use bones. I make all my own stock and especially when I hit the veal vendor at the market, I buy 20# of bones for making demi-glace. There is a great Michale Simon restaurant nearby that serves marrow on the menu and let me tell you, roasted bones are incredible.

    Great one Mark!

    Daniel Merk wrote on April 7th, 2010
  22. Here’s some data on caribou bone marrow:

    kctex wrote on April 7th, 2010
  23. That sounds delicious! Americans are so weird. Why have I never tried this stuff before?!

    DianeThePurple wrote on April 7th, 2010
  24. Another bone marrow and demi-glace lover here.
    Beef shin meat is great too – slices of leg with large marrow bones in the center. Braise the shin meat, simmer for a few hours, removing the marrow before it melts into the pot, and saving the bones for bone stock of course. mmmmm

    Debby L wrote on April 7th, 2010
  25. I’ve been thinking of trying devilled marrow bones for a while, adding butter, paprika, and a dash of cayenne to the roasting bones.
    Your article has inspired me to buy some bones tonight.

    Tom wrote on April 7th, 2010
  26. Tom “Fat Head” Naughton girls feasting on bone marrow. They seem to really like it!

    My mother always used it for making soup, and gave the bone to our dog, and she *loved* it!

    Eric Vlemmix wrote on April 7th, 2010
  27. I’m another of those lucky b#ggers who get’s bones and ox liver free from my ‘meat dealer’ (it’s free to customers who usually feed it to their dogs) but when I tried marrow a while ago I was really underwhelmed. It’s just a tasteless jelly as far as I can tell. In the UK I grew up eating ‘bread and dripping’, dripping being what you call beef tallow in the US, but without the bread it’s just not a goer. Maybe I’ll try cold marrow and see if I like that any better.

    Darren wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Darren, where do you get your marrow from in the UK? Is it just a local butcher? I’ve been searching online and I can’t find any online butchers who sell bone marrow here in the UK.

      Nikki wrote on April 8th, 2010
    • Bone marrow will not taste good from factory animals, in fact the organs, the bone marrow and the tongue are good ways to taste the quality of the meat.

      Try bone marrow from pasture raised farm animals, 100% grass fed cattle, etc…, the taste is amazing.

      I myself used to eat bone marrow as a child, than I moved to U.S. where the bone marrow tasted as you sad a “tasteless jelly” or worse.

      The bone marrow is a primal diet for humans thus natural, but the animal it comes from must also be raised eating its natural diet.

      Jarold wrote on July 1st, 2013
  28. OK, wow, first time I’ve seen marrow recommended since living in England (although I’m not gonna lie, kind of grossed me out!). I imagine the “low fat” killed a lot of marrow consumption.

    Michael Dyer wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • We were already way too enamored with what Weston Price called “the displacing foods of modern commerce” here in the States, even before the low-fat craze. Actually, that’s been a problem in England as well. But at least you guys held on to your organ meats a while longer. Some ethnic groups in the States did as well, but a lot of folks just dropped ’em, trying to be “modern” and all that.

      Dana wrote on April 7th, 2010
  29. Marrow bones are a staple in my house, there are always a dozen or more in my fridge. My husband and kids don’t like the looks of the marrow in the bones, so I prepare it in soups or stews for the family. For myself, I will bake a couple of bones in the oven and place them on a layer of eggplant and mushroom, spiced to taste. The veges bake in the escaping marrow oil and what stays in the bone is my main meal.

    Marielize wrote on April 7th, 2010
  30. A little too primal for me. I’ll leave the bone picking to the rest of ya.

    Gina Worley wrote on April 7th, 2010
  31. After I got out of hospital a couple of years ago, my herbalist strongly recommended a bone marrow soup to help recover.

    KestrelSF wrote on April 7th, 2010
  32. I love this post! I have not tried bone marrow yet, but now I’m inspired! Sluuuuurp!

    Beauty wrote on April 7th, 2010
  33. Bone marrow rocks… have been eating it all my life, mostly in soups. Will have to try cooking them in the oven.

    Christian Chun wrote on April 7th, 2010
  34. I just found a great recipe where you basically spread uncooked bone marrow on a steak and grill it:

    I’ve never eaten bone marrow before but now I’m intrigued.

    Julie wrote on April 7th, 2010
  35. I. Love. Marrow. I also learned to eat it from my dad and older generation of the family, brought from Eastern Europe.

    Just today, in fact, I enjoyed a sidewalk cafe lunch with a lamb shank. I sucked every bit of marrow I could get at for dessert, to the utter amusement and disapproval of my table mates. To access it in the long, narrow bone, I used a trick I learned by watching this Anthony Bourdain video: — with my straw!

    BestSelf wrote on April 7th, 2010
  36. LLLLOOOVVEE TTTHHIIISSS! Anything affordable is right up my alley. The recession is no excuse to not eat primal after this post! Can’t wait to try this, my hubby will freak! :)

    Ashley North wrote on April 7th, 2010
  37. We purchased some organic marrow bones that we boiled to make a broth and were thinking of then consuming the marrow…but we all found it a bit too…strong. Although I really like the concept, and WANT to like it, I personally felt almost sick from tasting it.
    I guess to each his/her own.
    we ended up using the wicked broth for soup but felt bad for wasting the bones/marrow :(

    (ps: it wasnt that cheap actually :( )

    romesaz wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • I also find it too strong and almost sickening. I’m not that squeamish either.

      Karen C. wrote on April 7th, 2010
    • Organic is a meaningless term, since even CAFO meat can be labeled as organic.Try bone marrow from 100% grass fed free range cattle.
      As I’ve stated before, the bone marrow gives away the true quality of the meat you just bought. Bones and the narrow inside them are the foundations of all vertebrates. A good healthy animal will have a strong healthy foundation. When people are not eating a proper diet such as lots of sugars, the body starts tearing material from its own bones (self-cannibalising) to get the materials it needs to be able to make use of the sugars.
      If the bone marrow taste is off or yucky, it is because the animal was raised eating unnatural diet, fed drugs, hormones, etc… and the bone marrow will taste like a sick animal.

      Jarold wrote on July 1st, 2013

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