As the weather starts to cool, I begin to crave earthier, richer food and this dish is a great example. Chestnut mushrooms are very delicious with a nice firm texture and a delicious strong flavour that holds up to the richness of the bone marrow and the strong flavours of this dish. Altogether, it's an indulgent ode to autumn.
- 4 pieces of bone marrow, split down the middle and approximately 6–8 cm long
- 80 g pancetta, cut into small batons
- 100 g chestnut mushrooms
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- splash white wine
- larger splash chicken stock
- 80 g porcini butter, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
Soak your bone marrow overnight in the fridge in a container of salted water. This helps get rid of any remaining blood and also allows a little salt to soak in and season your marrow.
The next day, when you are ready, take the bone marrow out of the liquid and leave it on a baking tray to come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, get a large frypan and splash in a little oil and the pancetta before placing over a gentle heat. Once on the heat, stir and cook gently – you should notice it releasing its fat as it starts to brown.
Once you see that it has nicely browned, add in the mushrooms and give them a good stir to coat them in all that delicious pork fat. Give them a few minutes on the heat before adding the garlic. Continue stirring, give them a nice season with black pepper and perhaps the slightest hint of salt – you'll find the pancetta mostly takes care of that job for you.
Once the mushrooms start to brown, splash in some wine, stir and then throw in the stock. Continue cooking until you are happy that your mushrooms are cooked while still retaining a little bite. This shouldn't take more than a few minutes.
Season your bone marrow with black pepper and spoon the mushroom mix over the top, being sure to add all the juicy bits from the pan.
Place the bone marrow into a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 6–8 minutes. Pull out, immediately add a spoon of porcini butter along the top of each bone and then leave to rest in a warm place for 1–2 minutes.
To serve, place the bone marrow onto individual plates before dividing up any fallen mushroom bits and pan juices over each piece. Serve with chargrilled toast.
• I really love bone marrow. It's fatty, rich and delicious, but I do realise it's not everyone's cup of tea. Personally, I would easily eat 2 pieces of bone marrow as a nice autumn afternoon snack, but judge your guests as to how much they really want to eat. This dish is also good served as a side, as part of a shared meal.
Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.