This Thermomix recipe is one with tremendous health benefits, thanks to its star ingredient: bone marrow.
Revered by traditional cultures as a medicinal food for fertility, growth and development in children and as a potent healer for the sick, bone marrow is one of the richest sources of alkylglycerols or ‘AKG’s’, second only to human breast milk and shark liver oil.
And I’m confident neither of those ingredients are as accessible (for most) or delicious as this recipe – not that I’ve tasted either, recently!
What’s so good about AKG’s?
– They’re powerfully immune boosting and anti-inflammatory. This animal study found that on a dose for dose basis, they’re more effective than aspirin, more potent that phenylbutazone and equally as effective as hydrocortisone. Go nature!
– They may help with sperm health. This animal study found that they improve both fertility and motility via a mechanism that applies to all mammals. Perhaps this is why marrow was considered a fertility food?
– They’ve been widely used in Scandinavian countries in the complimentary treatment of cancer due to their ability to destroy prostate and breast cancer cells. They also protect cancer patients from radiotherapy side-effects and help inhibit tumor growth.
Adiponectin: the fat-loss hormone!
Adiponectin helps our bodies regulate sugar and fat metabolism (among many other things). And frustratingly, despite being secreted by our adipose (fat) tissue, we tend to have higher circulating levels of adiponectin when we’re lean.
In fact, we now know that low levels of adiponectin play a causal role in insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis. High levels actually protect us against these conditions. And although there are drug treatments which can increase levels and help restore insulin sensitivity, bone marrow has been found to be one of the richest dietary sources of this natural wonder treatment!
A Thermomix recipe: Anchovy, garlic & lemon thyme marrow butter
So do you need another reason to indulge in this healing, health-promoting food? Try to banish any stubborn fat-phobia that might be lurking – this recipe (taken from our What To Eat program companion e-cookbook) falls into the ‘soul-food’ category anyway.
Aside from the tried and true method of simply roasting the bones with salt, a la Fergus Henderson’s famous St John’s legacy, this Thermomix recipe for marrow butter is my all-time favourite way to consume marrow.
It’s delicious, versatile and makes the marrow go much further.
Prepare for savoury bliss! Anchovies. Lemon thyme. Garlic. Lemon zest.. I’m telling you, it’s lucky there’s some adiponectin in there as it’s very moreish!
Don’t have a Thermomix?
Simply use a knife or mortar and pestle to mince the ingredients together, then a whisk or handheld beater to whip the butter mixture at the end.
This is one of the most delicious ways to enjoy bone marrow. The butter can be melted over vegetables dishes and corn on the cob or sliced into medallions for steak. It's also lovely used in cooking or simply spread onto sourdough toast!
- 70g roasted marrow (2 large whole veal or beef bones, sliced lengthways)
- 4 sprigs of lemon thyme, leaves only
- 3 medium shallots (incl green), roughly chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic
- Zest of 1 medium lemon (with as little white pith as possible)
- 10g anchovies (approx. 4)
- ½ tsp salt
- 125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Place the bones face-up on a baking tray and roast them for 20 minutes or until cooked through and starting to brown.
- Whilst the bones are in the oven, add the lemon thyme, shallots, garlic and lemon zest to your Thermomix bowl. Chop on speed 9 for 3 seconds. Scrape down, add the anchovies and process again on speed 9 for 3 seconds. Scrape the bowl again.
- Insert the butterfly and add the unsalted butter to your bowl. Once the bones are out of the oven, set the scales to weigh and carefully scrape in 70g of marrow. Replace the lid, MC and whip on speed 3.5 for 1 minute, scraping down once throughout.
- Transfer the marrow butter to a ramekin to be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. Alternatively, you can form the butter into a small log using baking paper (and a bamboo sushi roller if you have one), then once chilled, it's easy to slice into medallions for melting over steak or vegetable dishes. If you're after a perfect cylinder, clingwrap makes it easier, but we've tried to banish the stuff from our kitchen!
It’s important not to play too much with the ratio of butter to marrow as it will alter the mouth feel. A higher amount of marrow will yield a butter that tends to stick to the roof of your mouth. I've learned that dogs will patiently tolerate this result, however. ;-)
If you only have salted butter on hand (normally the case in our house), either reduce the amount of salt in the recipe or enjoy a deliciously salty finished product.
I have a few more marrow recipes from the What To Eat e-book to share, so if you’re not an anchovy fan, don’t be disheartened! ;-)
I’d LOVE to hear where you sit with this marvellous medicinal food. Have you tried it before? Can you see yourself giving the marrow butter a go? I promise it’s easy, delicious and so worth it.