Bone marrow on toast with salsa verde

This dish, while not a rip-off, is definitely an homage to the classic Fergus Henderson bone marrow on toast with parsley salad from the St John cookbook Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking. The cooking process is the same but instead of a parsley salad, I’ve made an anchovy salsa verdé, which is a staple accompaniment to a broad range of dishes throughout Europe. Simple, salty and zesty, it’s enough to cut through the rich bone marrow.

Serves 4 as a snack

The main bits
3 veal or beef bones cut down the middle (a butcher will do this for you. If you buy your meat from a supermarket, stop it.
Go to a butcher. Support small business. Supermarkets suck.)
Maldon sea salt
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lay your bones on a tray, marrow facing up. Season with salt and pepper – not too much as the sauce is quite salty. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. The tops should start to brown and the marrow start to pull away from the bone slightly.
Remove and cover with a tea towel.

For the salsa verdé
2 cloves garlic
1 good pinch of Maldon salt
5 anchovy fillets plus 1 teaspoon of their oil
1 handful of parsley, coarsely chopped (don’t be afraid to use some stalk too)
1 tablespoon capers, chopped (go on, throw in a splash of the caper brine)
1 shallot, halved, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (start with 2 and if it feels too dry, add more)

Chop the garlic coarsely and work into a paste in a mortar and pestle with the salt. Add the anchovies and bash some more, then add the rest of the ingredients and continue to smash and grind until you have a rustic sauce.

To serve
1 loaf good-quality sourdough
1 block salty butter, French style with salt crystals if possible


Toast thick slices of bread and apply butter liberally. Spread bone marrow on top of the butter and drizzle salsa verde over to your taste. If you’re drinking with this snack, make it something with good acidity to cut through the richness of the bone marrow.

Words and photography by Charlie McKay, styling by Jess Murphy