Bones on the Menu

A Bone to Pick

It's good to see that bones can be still found on British menus. As any avid Bond reader can tell you, bone marrow was M's favourite dish at Blades, his club. Or was it Bond's favourite dish when he visited as a guest? Anyway, I imagine that they both enjoyed bone marrow. They say that most meat is prepared too lean and bone-free nowadays, so we're missing out on the vital collagen-giving properties of a good plate of bone marrow to be scooped out and spread on crispy toast.

Grilled Bones with Parmesan and Parsley Salt is a lip-smacking starter at 45 Jermyn Street, Fortnum's restaurant in one of our favourite London streets. You should pop into the restaurant after you've had your shave and bought your bowler hat just for the bone marrow alone, though the menu has all kinds of wondrous, timeless non-faddish treats on offer (oysters, caviar trolley and so on). You can even try some Dorset snails.

Actually, with my particularly Victorian palate, I tend to favour unfussy food so I'd be spoilt for choice at 45 — Dover sole, ox cheek, calves liver — just my kind of grub — though I don't see any pigs ear stew.

PS: I'm also hearing very good things about 45's Sunday roast, which is carved at the table just as it should be. 

Recipe for Bone Marrow

Can't make it to 45 Jermyn Street? You will find recipes for baked bone marrow in Mrs. Beeton's Cookbook and her Every-Day Cookery. You can obtain a free copy of these invaluable kitchen aids from Project Guttenburg.

Of including bones in the diet, Isabella says that two ounces of bones contain as much gelatine as one pound of meat. Time for a bone marrow transplant — into your welcoming mouth.

Do you know, if you're thinking of opening a hipster restaurant, you might not go far wrong resurrecting some lost dishes from Mrs Beeton and her ilk. Personally, I'm willing to travel great distances for v. good steak-and-kidney pudding — it's getting increasingly hard to find. Please, someone make it fashionable again.

Back to bones — Mrs Beeton has a recipe for boiled or baked beef marrow bones in Every-Day Cookery. Why not ask your butcher for some decent bones this weekend?


Ingredients.—Bones, a small piece of common paste, a floured cloth. Mode.—Have the bones neatly sawed into convenient sizes, and cover the ends with a small piece of common crust, made with flour and water. Over this tie a floured cloth, and place them upright in a saucepan of boiling water, taking care there is sufficient to cover the bones. Boil the bones for 2 hours, remove the cloth and paste, and serve them upright on a napkin with dry toast. Many persons clear the marrow from the bones after they are cooked, spread it over a slice of toast, and add a seasoning of pepper; when served in this manner, it must be very expeditiously sent to table, as it so soon gets cold. Time.—2 hours. Seasonable at any time.

Note.—Marrow-bones may be baked after preparing them as in the preceding recipe; they should be laid in a deep dish, and baked for 2 hours.


  1. Excellent post, Tweedy. One more for the menu: Tom Parker Bowles's receipt for Devilled Bones & Parsley Salad from his book Full English. Yummo!

    1. Thanks Bertie. Full English - I need to seek that one out. Best wishes, Tweedy.


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