3 Easy Ways To Eat And Cook With Bones

I love meat, and I love bones.  And we should try to pair these two things together whenever we can.  Professional chefs will tell you that the things always taste better with the bones left in.  But due to the increasingly sanitized society we live in, we’re losing touch with the beauty and taste of bones.  I wanted to write this article in praise of bones, in the hope that you consider making them a part of your culinary rotation.

I think my love for bones began when I read stories about how primitive humans would roast huge leg-bones of prey, and then smash them with stone tools to extract the rich marrow contained inside.  Scientists tell us that bone marrow is packed with fat and nutrients, and that these things helped the human brain to grow.

My goal here is to present my favorite dishes involving bones.  Finding bones is not difficult.  My recommendation is to seek out a good butcher in your area and develop a rapport with him.  These guys love it when customers take an interest in their trade, and will be more than willing to help you get what you need.

If you are in the United States, I also suggest going to butchers at Hispanic meat markets, if you can find them.  Every large city has them.  Traditional ways of cooking meat are still common in Hispanic communities, and you should take advantage of this.


Steak Fiorentina

There no way to top this recipe for simplicity and rustic power.  Porterhouse steak is expensive these days, but every now and then you should try to treat yourself to this specialty of Tuscany.  You have mouth-wateringly good steak coated with herb-infused olive oil.  Make sure you get a steak with a good-sized bone in it.  Here is how you put it all together.

  1. The first thing you want to do is make the infused oil.  Heat about 1/3 cup of good extra-virgin olive oil.  Then add some herbs:  rosemary, marjoram, sage, and garlic.  Stir this for a few minutes and then set it aside.
  2. Grill or broil a large porterhouse steak on a grill or a broiler, to the degree of “done-ness” that you like. I like mine medium-rare.  You will want the steak to be a thick one.  Two inches thick, and about three pounds in weight is a good goal.
  3. When the steak is done, put it on a plate and immerse it in the herb-infused oil. Let the steak rest in the oil and soak in all that goodness.
  4. Cut the meat off the bone and drizzle some more of the infused oil on all of it.

Roasted Bones

Eating bone marrow is about as primeval and Paleolithic as you can get.  For this dish, I would go to my Hispanic butcher and ask for thick marrow bones.  Believe me, these guys know exactly how to cut bones up.

The nations of Central and South America are not squeamish about bones at all.  Neither are the French, who love their bones.  When you feast on this dish, remember that you are reaching across the millennia to what our ancient ancestors feasted on after a glorious hunt.  This is not a light dish:  it is very fatty and oily, as it should be.  Wimps and wussified vegetarians need not apply here, it goes without saying.


Here are the steps to make good roasted marrow bones:

  1. Have your butcher cut the marrow bones into pieces that are about 3 inches long.
  2. Soak the bone pieces in cold salted water for about 12 hours. The idea here is to remove any impurities or blood.  Change the salt water a few times during this process.
  3. Drain the bones, pat them dry, and coat them lightly with cooking oil to prevent scorching, and to give them a nice brown color when they roast. Stand them up on end, and then roast them for about 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven set at 450 degrees F.
  4. Serve the bones with a long, thin marrow spoon.  Sprinkle with Kosher salt before serving.  Some people like to eat marrow on crackers or spread on bread.
  5. In England it’s customary to eat marrow bones with a parsley salad, which is something relatively easy to prepare.

Beef Stock With Bones

Beef stock made with bones is one of those kitchen fundamentals that everyone should know how to make.  You can use stock for nearly anything:  stews, soups, cooking rice, whatever.  You can even sip it straight.  I don’t know all the chemistry behind it, but there are great things in beef stock cooked with bones.  Weightlifters, take note of this.  My butcher has told me that veal bones are better for this recipe because they have more collagen.


Personally, I prefer what is called a brown stock:  that is, the beef bones are roasted before you boil them.  The end result is darker and stronger flavored.  Making stock is flexible, and you can adjust the portions below to suit your needs.

  1. In an oven set at 425 degrees F, roast about 3 or 4 pounds of bones cut into 2 or 3 inch pieces. You should roast the bones in a pan that also contains some sliced carrots, onion, celery, leeks, and garlic.
  2. Put the bones and vegetables in a large stock pot. Make sure you deglaze the roasting pan with some water, and add all this roasted goodness to the stock pot as well.  Toss in some herbs:  thyme, bay leaf, and parsley work well.
  3. Pour in enough water to cover everything, and bring to a boil. Let it simmer on low for about 4 hours.
  4. Add salt to taste. Let the stock cool then put it into containers and either freeze or refrigerate.  You can skim off the fat before you use the stock.

So these are three of my favorite bone recipes.  There are literally dozens of recipes I could have chosen, but these were the ones I thought were most useful.  I hope you’ll find a way to incorporate bones into your eating habits.  You can do it not just by trying these recipes, but by going out of your way to choose meats (beef, chicken, even fish) that have the bones in them.

It’s the way things ought to be.

Read More: How Jeb Bush Destroyed The Bush Dynasty And His Own Campaign

97 thoughts on “3 Easy Ways To Eat And Cook With Bones”

  1. At first I thought the headline read, “Cooking with a Boner”.
    Done.. and I mean done!
    But seriously, my own favorite is Texas-style pulled pork or lamb. The kind of thing where you slow cook a hunk of meat (usually a budget priced cut) in a marinade for 6 hours, until the meat literally falls off the bone. It can then be eaten on its own, slopped over fries, spooned into a hoagie, mixed with beans & rice Texmex style in a burrito.. basically anything your imagination allows.
    What I love about it most is, you can use a dirt-cheap cut of meat (indeed this kind of recipe is specifically to make the tougher cuts palatable), and none of the meat is wasted. You eat every last piece.. and anything not eaten straight away can be bagged & frozen. As opposed to simply roasting the joint, where you’re always throwing away 20%+ of the meat close to the bone which is under-cooked, contains veins and gristle and whatever, basically is too “yucky” to eat. (Although such bones are great for stock, as per the article).
    Oh I should add, the purpose of cooking this way using meat on the bone.. the bone adds flavor, but more importantly, collagen breaks down and goes into the meal, given it that just-right texture.

      1. I’ll be able to stir the boiling bone stock with the boner I’ll be getting preparing it… Good article, QC, these all look fantastic and I will be trying them asap

  2. Great article Quintus. We include bones in our stews and crock pot, didn’t realize that it was a rare thing. New Years has kraut, bones, silver and pork simmered for many hours, for example.

      1. I grew up with a German butchershop down the road. Sometimes I think about opening up one myself. The place I’m moving to soon has a few around though, luckily.

      2. A funny story. Some of the best childhood memories I have were of my whole family going across the border to eat at one of the local markets. And we ate gallons of beef stew, or so I thought.
        One time, my brother and I were talking about weird food we have eaten over the years. And I mentioned casually about never having eaten horsemeat. My brother tells me” Yes you have.” And I tell him “Shut the fuck up! When” “Remember all the “beef” stew we ate all those years?” I just looked at him for a few seconds while processing all that data. Then I just blurt out “Man, that was some good meat then!” Turns out, horsemeat is redder and has less fat than beef. No wonder I always noticed that meat was too red.

        1. There’s quite a bit of good meat out there that we don’t eat, for some reason. I’m partial to Kangaroo.

  3. I’m really glad that you wrote this Quintus. I’ve found myself instinctively cracking chicken bones and scraping all of the marrow to eat whenever I go out for wings. It’s just a little bit, and I doubt it’s really worth the effort, but I’ve been doing this consistently for about a year now. It’s great to hear your recommendations on how to better access, prepare and enjoy these things. I’m going to print this one out tomorrow and keep it with my recipes.

    1. Probably the best thing about wings is how many bones you get out of it. I’ve been known to rinse any sauces off, roast them, and make a quick batch of broth with some celery, carrots, and onions.

        1. If you make bone-in steaks or pork chops, that’s another great resource.
          On a related note, if you don’t like eating the fat from your steaks (possibly because you’re mad), those scraps reduce well in the pan. Use that fat to make scrambled eggs or french fries – tallow is delicious.

  4. I make real chicken stock: Boil a whole organic chicken with some rough-cut veggies and salt and pepper for an hour over medium. Then remove chicken, cut off meat, return bones to liquid. Simmer two more hours. Strain everything out. Let cool; skim off fat. Boom, homemade chicken stock. It’s easy and healthy and awesome. You’ll never look at a can of Swanson again.
    Plus you also have an entire chicken’s worth of cooked meat. I make tacos with it, or ropa vieja.

    1. I do a whole chicken in the pressure cooker, same result. Best tool in my kitchen, like a crock pot and a time machine had offspring.

      1. Hahaha awesome analogy. If you were a copywriter for pressure cookers, i would have bought one ten years ago.

        1. <<hp.. ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!il660r:….,…..

        2. Really, cooking something under 15psi of pressure and having minimal dishes to clean is FTW

    2. I was just saying above how good this is. Only I don’t boil the whole chicken. I roast chickens and eat them and save the carcass and whatever meat is attached. Once I have a half dozen or so then I do this. It basically goes to making the best use of the bird. Last year my whole foods had a sale 1/2 off organic chickens and I bought 12 of them. Froze them and was making a chicken a week. Had stock for 6 months.

      1. Yep, that’s where I buy ’em too. It’s absurdly cheap, healthy, and delicious. Try boiling the entire chicken (quartered) next time. You can do hundreds of things with the cooked meat — it’s way more versatile, and the stock will come out better.

        1. I like boiling a chicken too. I usually add herbs and peppercorns and whatever shit I have extra to the water. You can pretty much do anything from there form curry and raisins to bbq sauce to fried rice with chunks of meat. I love to cook. It is kind of my zen time and I try to never waste any part of the animal.
          The reason I usually roast is simple: I really love fucking roasted chicken. There is nothing I like better than eating a whole roasted chicken on a cold day with a bottle of wine and pretty much any movie or tv show that involves swords.

        2. Men can be meat snobs with various steak cuts etc. However, for cheap & delicious you’ll never hear someone speak negative of a rotisserie chicken. Just bought some beef shank to attempt slow cooking over weekend.

        3. Agreed. Couple bucks at supermarket and gets the job done

  5. I really appreciate seeing cooking advice for men here. Of all the things I’ve learned and accomplished over many years, cooking is one of my top skills. I use it everyday. And we all know how competent the average western female is in the kitchen — not!
    Be careful with roasting garlic for your brown stock. Burn it and you’re going to get a nasty bitterness in your stock. I’ve never used garlic in a stock recipe, probably because I’ve never seen it in a classic stock recipe.
    I’ll save adding garlic later in preparing a dish, where I can control the cooking much better and avoid burning. One solution if you insist on having it in your stock is to roast the garlic separately before adding to the stock pot.

  6. Great article. Started getting into making bone stews a part of my menu from about a year ago after reading about it. Mostly with chicken stock. Investing in a good crock pot & Apple Cider Vinegar for bone stews ought to be a must for men. Glad to see Quintus further refining the steps involved though.
    I’m way too crude with mine 😀

  7. I read the article 2 times. The second time, I just realized…it’s written by Q. Curtius…
    …Now that’s what I call an intellectually prepared meal.
    I too dabble in the arts of the culinary, out of necessity of course.
    Nice recipes !

  8. I have to dissagre with you on the whole ancestors ate meat on the bones thing, Curtius. Truth is our ancestors lived in peace and picked berries and mushroom as a group devout of gender differences. They wore floral dresses and lived in harmony with nature with nature; deer and buffalo would stroll right through the camp and play with children.
    Then, when Christianity arrived, Jesus forced everyone by sword to eat meat and thus sparking the flame of the meat industrial complex. Patriarchy being evil and all gave men more meat resulting in toxic testosterone masculinity which subjugated women with gender pay gap and glass ceiling.
    Keep your steaks CIS gender scum, I’ll stick to Granola bars whose recipe was stole from native tribal matriarchs in Africa by evil white imperialists.
    Ohhh, I also vape.

  9. There is this restaurant in Perpignan whose specialty is bones. My, oh my, you are diven to joyful tears as you taste it. I think they use local wine and a mixture of garlic, mushrooms (truffles perhaps?), and butter…
    It’s more or less famous, but I can’t remember the name, now…

  10. But due to the increasingly sanitized society we live in, we’re losing touch with the beauty and taste of bones.
    I used to wonder why so many meat products were “boneless”. I never really realized it until now. I assume that in this day and age where so many people are under the impression that animals are like (or better than) people, they are freaked out by the thought of livestock being food.
    It’s a shame that people are so far removed from nature and where thier food comes from, the only thing most people know about it is from reading b.s. on the Internet or seeing a hit piece about food on the MSM.

    1. I can’t stand this “animals are just like us, but good-hearted” culture. There are places in Europe where you can be called a murderer for eating a steak…
      I am like nature made me, an omnivorous mammal. Not only will I eat meat, as I don’t feel guilty for it. What’s next on this? Feeling guilty for breathing oxygen? Distributing «vegetarian hamburgers» to lions, tigers and other animals that kill their prey in a more cruel, painful and slow way than ours?
      Hippies love nature so much they end up disdaining it.

      1. I can’t stand this “animals are just like us, but good-hearted” culture.
        I just don’t get it, they are convinced all animals are just like Disney movies and if you point out some of the terrible things that animals do to other animals then they start breaking out the pitchforks and torches. They can’t grasp why humans call other humans who do bad stuff,”animals”.

    2. I roast a while chicken at least once every two weeks (more in winter) and stick the carcass in a big gallon ziplock after I am done eating. Usually after about a month I can boil those carcasses for over night deliciousness. God, bone is the best.
      I mean, you can even ask Deadeye dick about Mary Moon. Hell, she is a vegetarian. She don’t eat the mean but she sure likes the bone.

      1. Roast in oven? Then you freeze carcass until ready to boil & produce your chicken stock?

    3. I think so many things are boneless for the same reason people don’t eat organ meats anymore: they’re lazy and don’t know any better.
      Bone marrow is mineral rich, but you can’t get that from the microwave. You have to actually cook it, with an oven and a stove and a pot. It’s to haaaard.
      As for liver, it’s got more digestible vitamins than a bottle of One-A-Day, but it tastes bad if you cook it wrong. You have to have recipes and techniques. It’s to haaaard.

      1. I just grill liver like a steak and eat it with a side of eggs. Isn’t the best thing in the world but it’s not terrible either.
        We’ve become so distant from the old way of doing things that people think of eating meat as just the muscle meats (steaks, burgers, etc). No one accounts for the bones and offal.

        1. It’s more tolerable with younger liver, but I tend to get slightly more rancid stuff (no available meat market). To make that tolerable, I saute the liver with mushrooms and onions, reduce red wine over top, and thicken a bit with cream. Then I drop all that in a blender and make pate.
          Of course, my grandparents passed down a recipe for a liver sausage that is to die for, but I’ve not yet inherited it.

        2. I know liver has a ton of benefits but I was also wondering since the liver also works as a filter and most cattle today are fed and injected with things they shouldn’t be, does any of that effect what we are actually putting in our bodies? I know it’s hard to find natural meat that’s been left alone.

        3. I grew up eating liver and onions every Friday at a Greek style family restaurant we used to go to. It was my choice; I must’ve been a weird kid.
          Nowadays, I’m all about organ meats, bison, and of course the glorious pig. Chicken is a fallback, when I can’t think of anything else to make.

      2. I’m not a fan of liver for the very reason you stated. It takes skill to cook liver.

      3. I drink cod liver oil every morning like grandma recommended. Best supplement on the market, well next to Krat….

    4. The hipsters call it “bone broth”. All the rage and the trendy Wendy set act like they invented broth. The first time I read about “bone broth” I could hear my grandmother laughing.

  11. Excellent writeup.
    Most people today are very deficient in Collagen since we don`t generally eat the these cuts of meat and bones anymore.
    Learning how to cook with them will make you healthier and save you money. (If you shop smart)
    I guess Mexican housewives still honours these skills, to bad our women have forgotten them, (just had to sneak that in:)

      1. It will save you money if you stir with your cock…
        no kitchen utensils needed, pretty sure it`s healthy too.

    1. Only girls ive dated who ever cooked a decent meal for me were latinas. Even in Ohio where I grew up, my generation of women were raised on tv dinners. Ill stop there.

  12. Fan-damn-tastic article. The deliciousness is in the bones for sure. At least once a month in the winter I go to a place that just serves bones cracked side ways with the marrow broiled in the bone covered in butter and served with toast. That’s it. Bones. It’s where the yum is at.

    1. At least once a year, I make bone broth in the crockpot. Throw in some celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and pepper for extra nutrition and freeze the broth in ice cube trays for easy, single serving portions.
      I’ll get the broth piping hot and whisk an egg in it for a nutritious breakfast. Delish!

      1. I do the same with ice cubes. I have used the dutch over traditionally. Also do it way more than once a year. I also use ice cube trays for my home made marinara sauce. It is great if I ever want some pasta. I just make enough pasta for two and then toss it in a pan with 2 ice cubs of marinara rather than have to make a whole big thing.

        1. I use the Dutch oven on my girl constantly….oh.wait, different kind of Dutch oven.

  13. Nothing quite like a good, thick pork bone stock. Scraped off half the skin on my right side a few days ago in a road accident, and am eating heaps of tonkotsu ramen in the hope that the collagen would help with recovery.

    1. Tonkotsu is the Ramen of the Gods, I swear. I make sure to find a well rated place for it every time I visit Japan, unfortunately we don’t have local places serving it where I live.

  14. Meat on the bone, especially beef was demonised after the BSE crisis in the UK during the ’90’s. The Depth. Of Agriculture and /food there banned the sale of all meat on the bone as a precautionary measure. The needless fear has carried on since. Bones are a culinary ingredient quite forgotten these days. “Suck the marrow from the bone”.

  15. That’s why I love chicken wings & drumsticks… the bones get quite hot and so ensure that they’re nicely cooked, all the way through.

  16. Most butchers will give you bones for making stock for free or a greatly reduced rate. I pay 25 cents a pound for beef bones at my local butcher. He has told me multiple times he wouldn’t charge me but his (((boss))) makes him charge something for anything that goes out the door.
    On Saturdays I will make stock. On Sundays I will usually then use the stock to make a soup. Freeze the soup and it is good for 6-8 months at least. Cheaper and healthier then the canned stuff which is packed full of sodium.

  17. This beef stock looks like a French pot-au-feu , cook it the day before you plan to serve it , let the smooth and greasy marrow melt all the flavours . ( I had a bone marrow transplant a few years ago , it made me always smile to see my hematopoietic cells’ natural habitat )

  18. I switched my basic lentil soup recipe from bone-based to tomato-based (mainly for cost reasons), but I still make it on occasion. Start with one lb. lentils and several beef bones, bring to a boil and skim. Add chopped celery and carrots, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, pinches of basil, oregano, and thyme, and simmer for an hour or two.
    Problem today is that beef bones are incredibly more expensive than they were back 20 years ago. Still a great delicacy to me, but less affordable all the time.

  19. Another avenue of cooking bone is making Indian curries. Take for example, goat curry, in crock pot or pressure cookers can lead to flavorful dish with eh marrow leaking out of the bone.

  20. Mm good article! I like bone marrow and I used to eat it lots but now I mostly just eat steak (and maybe some bacon for breakfast)

  21. “…Hispanic butcher and ask for thick marrow bones. Believe me, these guys know exactly how to cut bones up.” Somebody has been watching cartel vids on bestgore…

Comments are closed.