There’s a lot about this recipe that gets me excited. Bones. Marrow. Warm, dense, nutritious custard. And a breakfast food not based on grains. I realise the combined effect could be a little challenging for some, but I invite everyone to think openly and consider the incredible health (and environmental and ethical) benefits of eating like this.

Bone marrow custard, recipe below
Bone marrow custard, recipe below

I should flag, the recipe comes courtesy of the lovely Jenny at The Nourished Kitchen who recently sent me her new book, by the same title. I’ve been following her blog for years and love her informed and clever approaches to healing foods. If you’ve been enjoying my kombucha recipes and other fermented foods, then you’ll get a wholesome kick from going the next step with her culinary inventions…kombucha vinaigrette, chicken foot broth and stewed beef heart with root veggies and porcini mushrooms!

This cookbook is a compendium of how-our-grandparents-used-to-eat recipes that do the farm to table fan-dangle. It’s very much aligned with my philosophy: whole and real foods, with value placed on quality and nutrient-dense foods, eating local and caring for the environment. It also includes organ meats and raw dairy, and a chapter on salt, time and the art of fermentation – one of my favourites!

Bone marrow can taste a lot like browned butter, which is why you’ll often find it in sweet custards and desserts in older cookbooks. Long leg bones provide delicious, buttery marrow. Purchase them pre-cut, or ask your butcher to cut them 1-3 inches (3-8 cms) thick to make scooping out the marrow a little more manage-able. While you can remove the marrow from the centre of a raw bone, roasting the bones significantly improves the flavour of marrow and makes it a bit easier to remove.

Bone Marrow Custard with black pepper and parsley

Jenny: “Cream and eggs nicely complement roasted marrow in this simple savoury custard, while the fresh flat-leaf parsley adds a clean, bright flavour to balance the richness. I often serve this custard for a late but substantial breakfast with sliced fruit, though it pairs nicely with a crisp green salad at lunchtime.”

Serves 4 or 6

  • 5 pounds (2.2 kgs) beef marrow bones, cut about 1 inch (3 cms) thick
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground unrefined sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C. Put the bones in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let the bones cool until they are comfortable to handle.

Decrease the oven temperature to 325 F/160 C and grease six 4-ounce ramekins with a bit of butter. Extract the marrow from the bones with a spoon and drop it into a bowl, discarding the bones. Whisk the eggs and cream into the marrow, then pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl to remove any coagulated bits of marrow or lumps of egg. Whisk in the salt, pepper, and parsley.

Pour the mixture into the buttered ramekins and place the ramekins in a large baking dish. Fill the dish with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the sides of the custards are set but the centres remain a touch wobbly. Serve warm.

And now to the giveaway…

We’re giving away five copies of Jenny’s book to my US-based readers. If you’d like to win, simply follow these two steps to be in the running:
* Pre-order your copy of the US version of my I Quit Sugar book here.
* Comment below with your full name once you’ve ordered so we can track you in the system.

We’ll be picking a winner April 8.*

The Nourished Kitchen is also available for purchase here.

The Nourished Kitchen cookbook.
The Nourished Kitchen cookbook.

* This competition is open to US/Canada-based readers only.

Does bone marrow custard push the envelope for you? Please do let me know if you give the recipe a go…I’m going to have to wait until I’m home in a kitchen again.

Have your say, leave a comment.