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Brasato al Midollo (marrow-braised beef) by Dario Cecchini

“It’s about transforming a cut that many believe to be the ‘ugly duckling’ of beef into a beautiful swan.”

Dario Cecchini

One of Dario Cecchini’s favourite dishes, made with the humble beef shank and its marrow.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

Beef shank (about 5 pounds including bone)

Marrow from shank

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

A handful of fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

2 pounds shallots, peeled, whole 1/2 cup vin santo (or similar sweet, dessert wine)


Have your butcher bone the beef shank, then ask that they top and tail the bone and cut the shaft in half lengthwise.

Heat oven to 180 (350°) degrees. On a cutting board, lay open the boned meat with cut side up.  Season open side of beef with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. From the split bone, scoop out the marrow from each side with a small metal spatula or spoon.

Place the marrow in the center of the opened meat, along the same direction as the grain. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Roll the meat tightly, enclosing the marrow, and tie the roast with butcher string.

Place beef roast and olive oil in a large ovenproof casserole.  Add the peeled shallots to the pan.  Cover it and cook for 2 hours. Add the vin santo and cook for another hour. Remove the beef and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the strings, slice across the grain, serve with the shallots and pan juices.

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