Lovely bones; marrow and parsley salad.

One of the signature dishes of Madrid is cocido. It´s one of those balls-to-the-wall porcine fests, chock full of every conceivable bit of it, and complemented with chick peas, potatoes, cabbage, and tomato sauce for good measure.
Everyone has their favourite bit. Some prefer the chorizo, others the morcilla. The cabbage is usually given a wide berth, and the boiler chicken considered a little dull, but everybody loves the broth, infused with all the flavour that can possibly go into soup, and of course the garbanzos are always a hit. In our house, the ugly fight breaks out over the marrow bone.
There are many bits of everything else, but only one marrow bone, two at most, and my mother (and her mother before her) always collars it, so that I was quite old when I tried the delights of marrow for myself, and then away from home. And when I did, I loved it, but wondered if I´d have to be a proper motherly matron before being allowed to stake out the marrow in every cocido.
It turns out that no, it´s ok, non-matriachs. Marrow can be roasted and eaten just like that, without all the cocido complications.
Though it´s not that easy to get many marrow bones, it can be done. Butchers in Spain give them away, and tend to hoard them and give just one each to each cocido maker. It works out pretty well for them, as they sell chorizo, morcilla, tocino (lard), shin of beef and maybe even the boiler chicken too, and then look courtly and generous, in a Sweeney Toddish way, by giving away one single bone.
But if you go at the beginning of the week, at a quiet time far from the weekend cocido madness, you might be lucky and wheedle four or five good pieces from the middle of the bone.

The thing to do then is, of course, call your mother and offer to serve up a mini troglodite fat-fest.
All you need is to fire up the oven, wait for it to be hot, put the bones in a dish and wait til they´re cooked. I´ve read that the minute the fat starts running out you should stop, but I´ve always found bloody bits inside the bone, which is gross. Leave them there half an hour at least, and wait til it´s all white.
During that half hour, take a bunch of parsley and pick out the leaves. Chop them roughly, and put them in a bowl with some thinly sliced fresh red onion and a handful of capers. Dress with fruity olive oil and lemon, no salt. Toast bread, a ciabatta-ish one for preference.

Serve the bones with the toast, the salad and a little bowl of Maldon salt. Proceed to scoop out the jellified, quivery fatty inside, spread it on the toast, sprinkle with salt and top with the salad.

It´s a wonderful starter, and practically free, given that both the bones and the parsely will have cost exactly nothing.
And on the plus side, you get to give the picked out bones to your dogs, who will be very happy indeed. A win-win dish for lean January when everybody´s skint.

11 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...


Snug dijo...

omg. i love cocido! But coming from the Philippines, ours is probably a bastardized version of the real thing. And yes, totally agree with you, the marrow is the BEST part! We eat it on toast with salt on top too. Will try it with the salad next time i have some...it sounds delish.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) dijo...

I love your illustration for this post.

Pille dijo...

This sounds like something that K. would really adore. Can one it in March/April? Just wondering ;)

lobstersquad dijo...

anonymous: hourses for courses!
Snug: well, bastardized or not, it´s always really good, there´s no cocido I don´t like.
Lydia: thanks, it´s for a guide to Uruguay, but I thought it would work.
Pille: I´ll start to stockpile the bones already, and we can try the cocido too!

Cakespy dijo...

This would make the doggies happy, wouldn't it!?

xps dijo...

Rico de verdad, eso si. Tu un poquito acusica.

Anónimo dijo...

Love cocido! Very big here in the Philippines (as many Spanish dishes are)...both my mom and my grandma make it :) I've had it in Madrid too...we are big fans :)

Marrow was always fought over in our house too! It's just so good! I am trying your recipe as soon as I get me some bones (you can get them here as much as you want because we have a local soup that uses it)...

I love the cabbage!

Gypsy at Heart dijo...

Ahora que me lei tu post se me hace agua la boca por comerme un buen cocido. Me voy a mi carnicero a por un poco de morcilla, chorizo y todo lo demas. Lo hare esta noche antes de que se vaya mi madre. Gracias por darme una buena idea de que cocinar. No tendrias acaso tu propia receta para cocido no? La parte del tuetano nunca ha sido mi favorita pero no es tarde para cambiar de parecer. En particular con lo bien que lo describes. Soy nueva a tu blog y me encanta. Regresare. Por cierto - fantasticas las ilustraciones.

lobstersquad dijo...

cakespy: oh, the doggies love this ok!
xps: cara tienes, monina
Joey: I bet your cocido is wonderful, all versions are good. and if you can find bones easily, then this dish is so perfect for you, I´m jealous.
Gypsy: bienvenida, gracias pues. Lamentablemente, no tengo una receta de cocido, nunca me he atrevido con ello. soy un poco cobardica con los potajes.

Anónimo dijo...

Marrow is considered very, very high cuisine here in NYC. All the chefs clamour for it. It's a food that gives one their "foodie stripes," therefore it's very hard to find marrow bones to buy. All the restaurants horde them so you have to pay triple for them. It's a conspiracy, but a delicious one!