Bone Marrow Beef Burger. Can I improve on perfection?

Bone Marrow Burger (9 of 10)I thought I had it right. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t do any better. When I got my hands on some (rare breed, grass fed) Belted Galloway, coarse ground beef and made burgers with three ingredients, I knew that I had created burger patty perfection. That was another one ticked off the bucket list. I had eaten the perfect burger. Or, at least I thought I had.

We had been chatting about restaurant trends. One of the lads was scoffing the concept of bone marrow, served in the bone, as they do in pretentious restaurants. That got me thinking. Marrow has a lovely unctuous texture as well as a lot of beefy flavour. What if we were to add it to burger mince? I had to bide my time. As soon as I was able to get my hands on some more Belted Galloway mince, I persuaded my butcher to give me some marrow bones too. This added a fourth ingredient to my list.

The list of ingredients is pretty thin, despite the fatty mince.

Ingredients for Perfect Bone Marrow Burgers

  • 2 kilos of prime Belted Galloway mince*
  • 200 grammes of bone marrow
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Smoked sea salt to

* When I say prime mince, I don’t mean lean. Burgers need fat for flavour. So, I suggest a burger with about 15%  fat content. It sounds like a lot, but, it isn’t. Just don’t eat them every day or your cardiologist will start sending me commission.

The fun bit of this is getting the marrow out of the bones. I used a spoon. You might need to warm the bones a bit to loosen the marrow.

Don’t be put off by the appearance or method. It’s delicious!

Poke and scrape out the full 200 grammes of marrow. You can make a necklace out of the bones.

The marrow came out very easily. It does feel a bit weird.

The marrow has a strange fatty consistency. It sticks to the knife like glue. Chop it up nice and small. It will need to be mixed with the mince.

It can be left reasonably coarse as it will melt into the meat.

Place the mince into a large bowl and add the marrow. Season to your own taste. Do bear in mind that there are no other seasonings bar salt and pepper. Not too little, not too much.

If this photo is any help, that’s as much seasoning as I used.

Mix the mince by hand. The texture will be ruined if you use a machine.

It’s hard work but worth it. Mix it well.

Shape the mixture into 250 gramme patties. It doesn’t need to be exact. But, it helps if they are all about the same size. I used a pastry ring to shape mine.

Consistency in a world gone mad! All roughly the same size.

I cooked them without any added fat (they certainly didn’t need it!) until medium rare. It is perfectly safe to do this with freshly ground beef.

You can see the lumps of marrow. Delicious!

As the burger cooks, the marrow melts into the meat. This gives a delicious texture and added beef flavour (as if it needed it). I am now 100% convinced that I have devised the perfect burger.

A little smoked salt is all it needs…

If you are contemplating beef burger perfection, you will need access to high quality, grass fed, rare breed beef. The cattle need to have enjoyed a good life. They need to have been slaughtered professionally, with the minimum of stress and the meat needs to be handled well by the butchers. That way, you will have excellent meat. If you want to make the truly perfect burger, you will need the marrow too. It is so tasty!

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Latest comments
  • Hi, good looking recipe with your usual great photography and copy. I’ve been using marrow in burgers for a while – and coarsely mincing the beef myself. I usually use short rib or short rib with shin. Any idea where your beef started it’s life on the animal? Personally I also prefer to add a beaten egg for binding the meat.

  • That’s got to be the simplest single recipe you’ve ever posted, and it really doesn’t need a thing more. Marrow is wonderful stuff; my favourite use for it is in ragú, it makes it so silky and glossy.

  • My father used to go nuts for bone marrow… My mother used to make that beans and bone marrow stew… Quite something!

  • I can just taste that burger, perfect. I used to make stews with the marrow a long time ago.

  • I can almost taste this as I read it. I think 11am is far too early to want a burger, yet here I am! Great recipe Conor.

  • Four ingredients from you . . . . three words from me: yes, absolute perfection . . .

  • Here in Beijing I can get excellent quality grass-fed Mongolian beef, and also marrow bones. However I fairly sure they are not rare-breed, just the beef that is most common in Mongolia – and I have no idea what that is! Never-the-less I am going to give your recipe a try-out, it sounds wonderful …watch this space!
    As to eating marrow in the bones, over the years I have given two foodie friends Victorian silver marrow spoons as special birthday gifts. They are becoming harder to find, but are often very decorative and fit the bill perfectly when eating roast marrow bones.

  • Oh wow. This is just utterly decadent as far as burgers go.

  • I just adore bone marrow! I often grab a few out of the freezer and roast them up for a short spell with a little sprinkling of kosher salt, then dig in directly with a baby spoon. Mmmm. I’ll have to sneak some marrow into our next burger grill. 😀

      • Thank you so much Conor, this means so much to me! You know if I post my menu recipes, I’d have to … (fill in the blank) 😉

  • Unctuous. Sigh. 🙂

    I grew up eating both beef and lamb marrow thanks to my mom. We were “straight shooters” — a little s&p, a squirt of lemon over the lamb marrow, and a spoon. Lovely memories (including my dad making weird faces at us because he couldn’t believe we actually liked the stuff!).

  • What a great idea, Conor! I’ll have to try and sneak this in (because I’m not sure how well the announcement of bone marrow would go down). I have used bone marrow to make stock, but that’s about it so far.

  • Great minds think alike! I recently made meatballs and stuffed onions and added the bone marrow to the meat. Delicious! 🙂

  • I’ll have to try adding some bone marrow magic to burgers, I can imagine how deliciously succulent they were. Inspiring stuff Conor

  • I seem to be one of the few Americans who doesn’t much care for hamburgers. But coincidentally as the weather turned nice this weekend I decided to grill some up with grass fed beef, and topped onions sautéed in lots of butter and fresh mozzarella, on a brioche bun. It was actually really good. Now I’m sure that some added unctuousness from bone marrow would send it over the top. Brilliant idea.

  • We looooooooooooooove using bone marrow into our winter vegetable soup. Now you taught me a brand new exciting use of it! Kinda ginius recipe! Thank you so very much!

    “If you are contemplating beef burger perfection, you will need access to high quality, grass fed, rare breed beef. The cattle need to have enjoyed a good life. They need to have been slaughtered professionally, with the minimum of stress and the meat needs to be handled well by the butchers. That way, you will have excellent meat.” – couldn’t agree more………One more thing I’d humbly like to add here: the blood has to be drained well from the body of the animal before you use the meat. It makes the meat taste waaaaaaay better. To ensure that, the animal/bird has to be slaughtered gently … not electrocuted abruptly.

    A delightful post, definitely <3

  • Now that you’ve improved on perfection, are we to assume that everything else is just a little bit lacking? (There’s always one, isn’t there…)

  • I love this and I plan on giving it a whirl this weekend. I am going to try sous vide on the burgers and then a quick grill on the flat top.

    I will let you know the result

    Also I am curious as to what toppings if any you used as I would not like to have something distract from the meats flavor

    Cheers

    Steve

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