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Need advice on bone marrow for Borderlaise sauce

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
As many of you will know, Borderlaise sauce requires bone marrow, I have never used it and want to make the sauce authentic. My butcher cannot supply the bone marrow but is delivering beef marrow bones next week. I need to know how to extract the marrow from the bones and how to store it. I am experienced at making sauces and usually freeze them in ice cube trays and store the cubes for use in service. Will the marrow dissolve in the sauce, or is it better to freeze it separately to add a la minute?

Thanks in anticipation.

If anyone is interested in my restaurant its
post #2 of 12
You had to figure I'd have an opinion. :D

Actually, I have several, but I'll try not to be too confusing.

If it's at all possible, you're better off adding the marrow at the end. Essentially, you're using it instead of, and as you would use butter. I.e., to finish the sauce for gloss and texture and mouth feel. Even more than butter, marrow puts a protein + fat gloss on the diner's lips. It's this gloss that's responsible for that prized, "smack-your-lips" feeling you get with collagen rich foods.

The question is, should you cook the marrow before adding it, or add it raw. If cooked, how?

There are two ways to cook marrow. One is have your butcher split the bones, for you. You then remove the marrow with the handle of a tea spoon, chop it into short pieces, and poach it, 'til light grey, in stock. The advantages to this method are the resulting enriched stock, which may be added to thin and enrich the bordelaise sauce itself -- if, for instance, your method is a pan reduction; and, the ease and speed with which cooked marrow incorporates. The marrow and stock can be held separately in the refrigerator for a day or two before incorporating into the bordelaise.

The second is too have your butcher cut the bones into lengths short enough, so you can poke the marrow out after the bones are roasted, or have him split the bones lengthwise. Roast the bones in a slow oven, until lightly browned -- at which time the marrow will be cooked. Let the bones cool, and poke or scrape the marrow out. The marrow can be held for a day or two. Reserve the bones for making stock. Advantages: Roasted marrow tastes a tiny bit better, and cooked marrow incorporates better.

Raw marrow requires less pre-prep, but takes awhile to dissolve completely. If well chopped (think brunoise), we're talking a little extra whisking and five extra minutes. Raw marrow can be removed from the bones, chopped, and brought frozen to the catering kitchen.

There are a lot of sauces known as bordelaise -- if working from a demi-glace (as I would), I'd choose between the poached and raw. In a sauce that goes through as many reduction stages as a bordelaise, you won't get much benefit out of the roast. The poached, will give marrow broth to control consistency -- helpful, as sauces which have been frozen and rewarmed tend to thicken anyway, and if you're not too familiar with marrow which will add some structure on its own, it's nice to have a fall-back. The raw is showier, ballsier, and perhaps a better choice if the client is in the kitchen.

Hope this helps,
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply, with a name like that I guess I can take your advice seriously :D There is a lot of info there and as I suspected adding it at the end is better. I am using demi-glace and would prefer the showy ballsy thingy option.

You see I am a lone chef in a small restaurant, I do all the prep all the cooking and all the cleaning. There is no need to tell you guys how hard the job is but the situation is so. I only have help in service and, inevitably there has to be some compromise somewhere even though I try to do things properly. Thanks again for your prompt reply, I am looking forward to tasting Borderlaise with a nice juicy piece of sirloin :lips:

post #4 of 12
It's hard to find any restaurant that takes time for marrow. YUM
post #5 of 12
In my experiance the bone marrow is a garnish it can be poached or fried and is then served on top of the steak. Its a bit like cooking foie gras as a garnish cook as quick as possible at the last minute. I think the others have pretty much coverd how to extact the marrow.
post #6 of 12
My preferred method is to pass the marrow through a tamis. This will give you a soft, clean, product to use. Its actually easier to monte than butter. Marrow like this also freezes really well.

The only "issue" here is that it will be a totally smooth sauce with no marrow "show pieces." You can always add pieces of pan seared marrow escallops at finition if you want that look.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of your replies my bones arrive today and armed with this expert knowledge I will now cook the sauce with more confidence :chef:
post #8 of 12
Also, please soak the marrow bones in cold water for at least an hour to draw out the excess blood that will give your marrow too strong a flavour.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #9 of 12
Blue -- Interesting. I've never heard of pre-soaking marrow to take down the flavor. I've used beef and veal marrow by incorporating it into sauces raw, poached and roasted; used it as garniture pan-fried and roasted; and included marrow bones as an integral part of several dishes -- including osso bucco, of course; and was taught and thought anything held in the marrow was desirable. Never had marrow sashimi, though.

Anyone else know about this?
post #10 of 12
I've found that excess blood that remains in the marrow bones gives it an undesirable taste (sort of a bloody flavour that may be nice for a boudin noir but less so for sauces and eating straight up). Also, IMO by extracting as much blood you remove some of the impurities that go into the sauce (again for blood-enriched sauces good but I find less good when I'm using marrow to mount sauces).
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK it's official, I now have a new sauce in my repertoire. Bazza's Borderlaise is big, bold and beautiful! I poached the marrow and lost most of the texture but left the shallots in the final sauce and added some freshly chopped parsley. It went down lovely with a nice slice of fillet steak, the marrow adds richness and depth to the sauce and a distinct background flavour, it's delicious. A little adjustment here and there but overall I am very happy with it.

Thanks for your input.
post #12 of 12

Mes compliments au chef

And, as they say, well done!
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