Bone Marrow Butter
The best thing to add to butter is another deliciously rich and fatty ingredient
derived from a cow. Sliced and left to melt on top of a large roasted joint of meat,
an individual steak or whole roast portobello mushrooms, this butter is incredible.
Makes about 200g (7oz)
2 or 3 sections of marrow bone (from your butcher)
150g (5½oz) Cultured Butter (page 140), softened
2 banana shallots, finely chopped
20g (¾oz) Parmesan, finely grated
small handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Put the bones into a roasting tin and roast for 20 minutes until the marrow is
meltingly soft. When the bones are cool enough to handle, scrape out the marrow
into a bowl.
Heat a small knob of the butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, then
gently cook the shallots with a pinch of salt until they are very soft but not
coloured, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add the remaining butter to the bowl of bone marrow, then fold in the cooled
shallots, Parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap/clingfilm and roll into a log, then twist
and tie the ends to seal. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, ready for steak night,
or freeze until needed.
large mixing bowl
piece of muslin (cheesecloth)
large enough to cover the mixing bowl
electric stand mixer or handheld electric beaters
cold, clean surface
1 litre (1 quart) 40% fat high-quality double (thick) cream
100ml (3½fl oz) sour cream, crème fraîche or yogurt, which is the starter
rock salt, to taste (approx. 20g/¾oz)
Makes about 500g (1lb 2oz) butter and an equal amount cultured buttermilk
In a large and spotlessly clean bowl, mix together your cream and starter (sour cream, crème fraîche or yogurt), stirring well to make sure the starter is fully incorporated.
Cover the bowl with muslin and leave at room temperature (about 25ºC/77ºF) for 20 hours.
When the time is up replace the muslin with plastic wrap/clingfilm and chill in the fridge for a further 20 hours.
Remove the cultured cream from the fridge and leave it at room temperature for about an hour, or until it has warmed to around 8–14ºC (46–57ºF).
This chilling and warming encourages the bacteria to develop and the cream
Now we’re ready to churn. Using an electric stand mixer or hand-held beaters on medium-high speed (or even whisking by hand if you’ve got arms like an ox) begin to whisk your
cultured cream. It’s important to have your bowl no more than half full, as the
cream will expand before it splits.
When the cream completely splits to form yellow globules (called popcorn butter) and liquid (buttermilk), strain through a sieve, reserving both the popcorn butter and the buttermilk.
This cultured buttermilk will keep for 12 days in the fridge.
Quickly knead the popcorn butter on a cold, clean surface by working it with the heels of your hands, squeezing out any remaining buttermilk until all the moisture has been removed from your butter.
Season with salt to taste. Then handknead the butter again to release any final excess of moisture.
The cultured butter will keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, and will continue to mature and develop over that time.
This dessert is very similar to regular panna cotta, but as the main ingredient is
buttermilk instead of cream, it’s lighter with a delicious acidity. In my opinion, this
makes it a much better summertime dessert, because it doesn’t leave you feeling
too sticky in the heat.
You can either use small moulds or one large one – you’ll just need to be more
patient when it comes to waiting for the larger one to set. In any case, the
buttermilk will take several hours to set, so it’s best to make this dessert the day
before. I tend towards the smaller individual bowls, or make and serve them in
glasses alongside a sticky plum and port sauce or a scattering of candied nuts,
or simply with some fresh fruit. GH
Makes 6 individual desserts, or 1 large dessert
1 vanilla pod (bean)
200ml (7fl oz) good quality whole milk
250g (9oz) caster (superfine) sugar
6 gelatine leaves
800ml (27fl oz) buttermilk
fruit (such as salted plum jam and a generous dash of port), or candied nuts, to serve
Split the vanilla pod in half with a sharp knife. Scrape out the seeds and set aside for later.
Pour the milk into a large saucepan, then add the vanilla pod and the sugar.
Bring to a simmer, then take off the heat.
Soak the gelatine according to the packet instructions, then squeeze out any excess liquid and add to the hot milk. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved.
When the milk mixture is lukewarm, whisk in the buttermilk, then pour the mixture into a jug through a fine sieve.
Stir in the reserved vanilla seeds, then pour into eight 150ml (5fl oz) moulds or one
large 1½-litre (1½-quart) mould. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
Serve with your topping of choice – and maybe a glass of dessert wine, such as orange muscat or Sauternes.
Tibetan Butter Tea
This tea, known as po cha, is definitely an acquired taste, but I’d recommend
it for the hardiest of butter lovers.
In Tibet, cultured yak butter is commonly eaten, and a traditional butter churn
called a mdong mo is used to prepare the tea; it is considered that the longer
the tea is churned, the better it tastes. Sometimes rancid butter is used to give a
different, sought-after taste – but this option might be best suited to mountaineers
The butter tea is often mixed with tsampa, a roasted barley or wheat flour, to
make a porridge. Alternatively, a spoonful of tsampa is mixed into the last drops
of the tea so a little doughball treat can be scooped up and eaten. GH
4 teaspoons loose leaf breakfast tea (or 4 breakfast tea bags)
½ teaspoon sea salt
200ml (7fl oz) good quality whole milk
4 tablespoons Cultured Butter (page 140)
In a large pan over a medium-high heat, bring 750ml (25fl oz) water to the boil.
Add the tea and simmer for 2 minutes, then add the salt.
Remove from the heat and strain into a large bowl.
Return the liquid to the pan. Add the milk and butter to the tea and warm until
steaming, but not boiling. Blitz with a stick blender until completely incorporated.
Serve immediately, with a hot buttered roll, fresh from the oven.