I’m a firm believer that many aspects of cooking are not nearly as intimidating as they seem to be. It’s in that same vein that I (for better or for worse) will be taking one ‘strange’ ingredient or pairing from each week’s episode of Chopped Canada and creating something tasty in my home kitchen. (Hopefully under much less stress than the televised situations, so cross your fingers.)
Judging from the response on Twitter, many Canadians were glued to their screens for the premiere of the series last night. With no surprise, the mystery baskets were met with gulps, wide-eyed stares and surprise. Out of all of the ingredients that flashed in pans and roasted in ovens over the 60 minutes, I thought that marrow bones would be the best ingredient to tackle this week.
I don’t think beef bones are an item that everyone is that unfamiliar with, especially when it comes to soup stocks, but if you’ve never roasted some bones solely for the rich, buttery insides, then you’re certainly missing out.
In addition to making for a great conversation piece to start off your next dinner party, marrow bones are also very inexpensive. Since the nose-to-tail cooking theme swept across our country in a more mainstream way a few years ago it’s not unusual to see roasted marrow on restaurant menus in cities like Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto or Montreal. Ask your local butcher for some bones, crank up that oven and see for yourself how versatile this ingredient can be!
Warm Root Vegetable and Squid Salad with Bone Marrow and Lemon Vinaigrette
- 2 beef marrow bones
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 yellow onion (thinly sliced)
- 4 parsnips (peeled and ½” sliced, approximately 2 ½ cups)
- 1 small celery root (leaves reserved, peeled, halved and ½” sliced, approximately 1 cup)
- 1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- reserved marrow bone drippings
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups baby squid (thawed, halved and patted dry)
- reserved celery root leaves (loosely chopped, approximately 1 cup)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place marrow bones in a small baking dish and let roast in oven for 20 minutes.
3. Remove from oven and transfer to rack to cool. Reserve excess drippings by pouring into a small bowl.
4. Once bones have cooled, scoop out as much marrow as possible into a medium bowl using a small spoon.
5. Add remaining vinaigrette ingredients to bowl and whisk everything together. Set aside for now.
1. Place the first 8 ingredients into a medium bowl and toss until well-coated.
2. Put root vegetable mixture into a medium-sized baking dish and roast in the pre-heated oven until they begin to caramelize, about 15-18 minutes.
3. While those are roasting, heat the canola oil in a large pan on medium-high heat.
4. Add the squid to the pan and cook until slightly browned, turning over once, approximately 3-4 minutes.
5. Set on top of paper towel to absorb any excess grease and then place into a medium serving dish.
6. Remove vegetables from oven and add to the serving dish along with chopped celery root leaves.
Pour vinaigrette over squid and vegetable mixture, tossing to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm.
Total cook time: approximately 30 minutes
by Dan Clapson