Cook the Book: Roast Beef on Marrow Bones

Cook the Book: Roast Beef on Marrow Bones

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

This Roast Beef on Marrow Bones is the kind of recipe that only a butcher could come up with, so it's no big shock that Joshua and Jessica Applestone, butcher-owners of Fleisher's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats and authors of The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meats, created it. The recipe replaces a traditional roasting rack with a bed of marrow bones and it's pure meat genius.

The Applestones always have plenty of marrow bones lying around their shop, and knowing the beefy, buttery goodness that rendered marrow bones produce, they decided to incorporate them into a roasting bed. The marrow bones are set on the bottom of a roasting pan along with onions and garlic that have been caramelized. The seared beef is placed on top and stock and butter are added before this meaty dish is roasted in the oven to a rosy medium-rare.

When the roast comes out of the oven, you're met with a trifecta of beefiness—a gorgeous hunk of meaty, rare roast beef; marrow bones just waiting to be spread on crusty bread; and a mess of onions that have been braising in beefy juices, marrow, and butter. There are all sort of ways to serve this over-the-top roast beef, but I'm thinking that a roast beef sandwich spread with marrow and scatted with braised onions is the way to go.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meats to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meats by Joshua and Jessica Applestone and Alexandra Zissu, copyright © 2011. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.

  • Yield:4 with leftovers
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes


  • 1 (3- to 5-pound) eye round, cleaned of silver skin, fat, and sinew
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
  • 4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 6 (2-inch) marrow bones
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into thin pats
  • ½ cup beef or chicken stock (preferably homemade) or white wine
  • A crusty baguette (for serving)


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Tie the eye round with butcher’s twine. Season generously with salt and pepper. In a large roasting pan set over high heat, heat the oil until it’s almost smoking. Sear the roast on all sides until it has a good brown crust, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a plate and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Settle the bones among the onion and garlic, arranging them into a rack. Put the roast on top of the bones and onion, then scatter the butter pats over the top of the meat. Add stock or wine to the bottom of the pan, making sure that the liquid does not cover the bones. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and cook for 35 minutes, basting every 15 minutes or so with the pan juices and the stock. The roast is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 120°F for medium-rare. Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

  2. 2.

    The roast can be served hot or at room temperature. Spread the marrow from the bones on bread to accompany the meal.