Death Row Meal #1 Bone Marrow w/ Oxtail Marmalade
3 pounds center-cut beef marrow bones cut into 2-inch pieces, tendons trimmed (ask your butcher to do this)
¼ cup kosher salt, plus more if needed
4 pounds oxtail, trimmed of fat
6 cups port wine
6 cups dry red wine
4 quarts veal or chicken stock, homemade or purchased
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
½ bunch of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ pounds carrots, peeled, trimmed, and
cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 pound shallots, peeled and cut into
¼-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
2½ teaspoons freshly ground black
pepper, plus more to taste
-3 slices challah bread, homemade or you favorite store-bought soft loaf, toasted and still warm, cut into quarters
-Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for serving
-Fleur de sel or other good-quality coarse sea salt, for serving
- To soak the marrow bones: Place the bones in a large bowl. Combine the salt with 4 cups cold water; pour over the bones. If the water does not cover the bones, add a solution of 1 cup water to 1 tablespoon salt at a time, until the bones are covered. Soak in the refrigerator for 36 to 48 hours, changing the water three times, until the bones are bleached of color. Drain well.
- To make the marmalade: Combine the oxtail, 3 cups of the port, the red wine, veal stock, garlic, thyme, and peppercorns in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 hours.
- Transfer the oxtail to a bowl; when cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and cut it into small cubes. Refrigerate the meat until ready to use. Strain the oxtail liquid into a large skillet, discarding the solids. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the mixture is reduced to 3 cups, 1½ to 2 hours.
- While it reduces, combine 3 tablespoons of the butter with the flour until it forms a paste. Whisk the paste, 1 tablespoon at a time, into the reduced liquid over medium heat. Cook until the mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.
- In a separate large skillet, melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter. Add the carrots, shallots, and a pinch of salt over medium heat until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the sugars, the remaining 3 cups port, the vinegar, the 1½ teaspoons salt, and 1½ teaspoons of the pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid has completely evaporated, about 45 minutes. Stir in the oxtail meat, thickened oxtail cooking liquid, and remaining 1 teaspoon pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Set aside or transfer the marmalade to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. (Before serving, reheat in a saucepan over medium heat until warmed through.)
- To cook the marrow bones: Place the bones in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not let the water come to a boil or the marrow will melt out of the bones). To test for doneness, place a thin metal knife in the center of the marrow and hold it under your lip to see if it’s hot. When hot, remove the bones from the water and drain well.
- Arrange the bones and challah toasts on the platter. Spoon oxtail marmalade in between the bones (reserve remaining marmalade for another use). Sprinkle with chopped parsley and coarse sea salt.